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Motivational Emotions

Motivational Emotions

Motivational Emotions

There are three emotions that can be motivational:

  1. Fear can be a motivator.
  2. Anger can be a motivator.
  3. Desire can be a motivator.

Motivation : Motivational Emotions

Fear and anger are both negative motivators.

Desire is a positive motivator.

All three motivators work, in the sense that each emotion will get people moving.

BUT fear and anger are detrimental to the human psyche. Fear and anger make you sick.

On the other hand, desire, is a positive emotion. It feels exciting to be in a positive state of desire; to be in a state of drive, hope, ambition, anticipation, wishing, and expectation.

If you want to motivate people, then you have the same three options.

  1. You could stir up fear.
  2. You could stir up anger.
  3. You can stir up ambition and a promise of a better future.

We recommend, that you do NOT use fear or anger as your primary tool to motivate people.

We recommend that you motivate people by the positive motivator of desire.

Some people use fear to motivate.

Do you know a manager or parent who uses threats as a means of motivating others?

Motivating by fear means saying things like;

  • "If you don't do it, there will be hell to pay!".
  • "Do it or else!"
  • "You are facing a dangerous world, and unless you do as I say, your future is in jeopardy".
  • "There is a global crisis that can only be averted if you vote for me."

This works. This is why politicians use this method. That is why terrorists use this method. This is how the media sell their papers and magazines. And this is how some managers manage. They do it by the application of fear.

Although this method works, it is horrible to live under the threat of fear. So, after a while, people rebel against the fear mongers.

The manager or parent who manages by the fear of threats, and painful consequences, eventually fails because people move away from him or her.

Don't fall into the trap of motivating by inducing fear. It is a short-term emergency method only.

Motivation by anger.

Motivation by anger is another negative motivator.

There are many people who whip up anger in order to motivate people. Anger against immigrants. Anger against the government. Anger against the injustice of it all.

Anger is a powerful emotion.

If you can make people angry about something, you will succeed in motivating them to take action. BUT the emotion of anger is detrimental to the human psyche.

Anger is a negative element. It makes you feel bad, speak badly, act badly. It is usually a destructive emotion not conducive to progress. Anger is the emotion most linked to acts of destruction.

There are many politicians, media professionals, and terrorists who try to invoke the emotion of anger. Because anger serves their purpose.

We recommend you do not use anger as a tool of motivation.

Motivation by desire.

We recommend using desire as a motivator.

Desire comes in many forms. There are many forms of desire. Here are four forms of desire you should use as positive motivators.

Desire for more money.

Money is a motivator, because money can easily be transformed into other material goods that the owner wishes. Money can buy you food, fashion, toys and time. If you want to motivate people, then link their success to money. If they perform well they get paid more. If they don't perform well they don't get the extra money. Money works as one of the motivators.

Desire for Achievement.

Achievement is itself a motivator. If they achieve something, it makes them want to achieve more. It is human nature to enjoy achievement. That is why people do puzzles on the train. They like the feeling of achievement when they finish the puzzle. Motivate people by giving them plenty of chances to achieve.

The desire for achievement is another positive motivator.

Desire for praise.

Everyone wants to be loved, and respected and praised and be socially validated, it is part of the human psyche. So, intelligent people are unstinting in their praise for others. Dish out kind words of appreciation and praise.

Remember that the lack of appreciation and praise is a demotivator.

Appreciation and praise is a huge social motivator.


Motivation comes in many forms: some positive and some negative.

Use the positive motivators of desire for more money, more achievement and more appreciation. Dish out the cash, chances to achieve, and appreciation.

Be cautious of using fear and anger as your tools of motivation.

Be a positive motivator and reap the rewards.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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