Personal Motivations

How can I ensure that I have a sustainable motivation to collaborate?

Purpose is the biggest motivator of any human being. Viktor Frankl is someone who described this in a way that is touching deep inside us (link to an article about the importance of meaning).

We all have different kind of motivations, of reasons that push us forward, to do things.


Sense is by far the strongest motivator. It’s the one who transcends all other aspects of life and has been well described by Viktor Frankl. Sense can also be broken down to everyday intentions like beautifully stated in the following article.


Everybody has different personality treats of which you have the following two types:

  • Primary motivation (talents): a motivation that was imprinted in our brain when we were a baby. We have an intrinsic motivation to do something and we cannot explain why as there is no explanation. The activity itself gives us energy without specific reason.
  • Secondary motivation (competences): a motivation which results from our education and culture. The results make us happy, not the action itself. We are happy afterachieving something (and not while). All organizations are stimulating the secondary motivation, unfortunately, as it is by far more fragile than to two others. As soon as we don’t completely achieve our objectives, we lose our motivation. Imagine a kid that learns walking that would driven by results?


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (often represented as a pyramid with five levels of needs, see the picture below) is a motivational theory in psychology that argues that while people aim to meet basic needs, they seek to meet successively higher needs in the form of a pyramid.


Unfortunately, we also have hurdles that are blocking us to go forward, be it limiting believes, intolerances or any other reasons why we don’t act. Most of them are unconscious, so it helps to discover them and to find ways to decrease their impact on our lives.


  • What is my purpose in this collaboration?
  • How will this collaboration fullfill my needs, my personal objectives?
  • Which values are important in my collaboration? Are they shared & respected?
  • How often do I reflect on my motivation for this collaboration?


  • Choose a project or a collaboration you are currently active in
  • Could you define if this gives you sense? What kind of sense?
  • Do you get energy out of it? Why do you “like” it?
  • Do you force yourself to work on it? You force yourself in which way?
  • Could you rate on 10 how active these 3 levels are?

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