Two Types of Motivation: Which One Do YOU Use?

I’ve been playing the game of self-motivation for a while. It’s one of the perks of being an entrepreneur – you get to learn more about yourself so that you can see what works and what doesn’t. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, watch this video:

Two Types of Motivation: Which One Do YOU Use?



  • Srinivas Rao

    Reply Reply June 25, 2009

    Definitely an interesting concept to explore. We all have a bit of both depending on the circumstances. I like the moving towards motivation because it seems much more positive.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply June 25, 2009

    Hi Srini,

    I guess it really depends on what you’re doing. If a building is on fire and you had to get out of it as quickly as possible, I’m sure a moving away from strategy would come in handy ;)

    I find that I use a moving away from strategy in some cases. Take waking up in the morning as an example. If I’m in my soft bed I may not feel like getting out of bed – no amount of visualizing is going to get me up :-)

    So what I do is picture some of the scenarios and consequences of not getting out of bed so that I can get things moving and build momentum; once I’ve got momentum and movement it gets easier to transition into a moving towards strategy.

  • Sandra Hendricks

    Reply Reply December 2, 2009

    Hi Steve,

    I have known for some time now that we are motivated from within, and I understand that our thinking is what creates the energy to take action.

    I see where you are coming with the moving away strategy, but I have learned that when I use that one(we all use both), I am left unfulfilled in the achievement. Basically when I manage to create and avoid what I don’t want to happen I feel relieved by the accomplishment, rather than rewarded.

    As much as I can I try to utilize the moving toward approach, because it has a lasting fulfillment that moving away doesn’t have for me.

    Thanks for the video! It certainly gave me something to contemplate. And I learned more about myself from listening to it.


  • Steve

    Reply Reply December 2, 2009

    Your welcome Sandra,


  • Greg Fry

    Reply Reply July 21, 2010

    I’ve done some work on this, and I think the first thing is to find out what character deficiencies are mental road blocks for motivation, and where they come from.

    I know in my case, growing up my biggest problem, in my fathers eye, was that I wasn’t perfect. So when I was constantly barraged on my misgivings and not patted on the back for my achievements, subconsciously my brain said why bother starting anything at all.

    Learning to overcome that was the start of self motivation. Having said that I liked your concept of moving toward it has very positive overtones.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply July 21, 2010

    Hey Greg,

    It’s unfortunate, but many of us have been treated the same way from our parents. They didn’t acknowledge us and give us something exciting and juicy to “move-towards”… they taught us to get our ass-moving by punishing us (I used to get spanked with the wooden stick!)

    And that strategy didn’t turn out to be the best strategy (for me), but I don’t blame my parents for it because they were doing their best with what they had…

  • omid

    Reply Reply December 25, 2010

    Hey Steve, I just realized that why I just didn’t like to work under supervision of a professor who was both very successful and willing to hire me. He was completely afraid of failure and bad consequences of not taking action. But I found myself of the second category, moving towards a vision. I think dreamer kind of personality belongs to this category. I really don’t care about what happens if I don’t do that. I just care about what happens if I do that!

  • Judith

    Reply Reply July 29, 2011

    Hey Steve,

    Isn’t the “moving toward” strategy much more consistent with the keys to success you’ve been discussing throughout your website? “Moving away” motivation relies a lot on pain, which is inconsistent with a positive vibration. Isn’t it detrimental to rely on this motivational force to a great extent? Isn’t this what keeps people stuck in a painful environment? (In other words, holding a rod over your own head to motivate yourself doesn’t feel very good!)


  • Steve

    Reply Reply July 29, 2011

    Hey Judith… completely agree. Moving towards strategy is also alot more fun :)

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