Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Need to Achieve

The need to achieve, in my opinion is one of the most prevalent needs in our society today. I believe it is a powerful motivator for the behavior of many individuals. It is the drive behind why people work so hard in college striving to get a good education and obtain their degrees. Their ultimate goal is to become a marketable individual, and hopefully have a career in the future. The need to achieve is responsible for the performance of many athletes in the world of sports. People in the music business, politics or even the media all want to succeed at something and are working towards an incentive. The choices that are made and the paths that we take shape the situations we experience.

However, I believe because of our individual differences in characteristics such as our psychological needs and personality traits, what one person wants to achieve can be different from another. The inspiration and motivation of another may be different because of the preferences of certain individuals. For example, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is famous for his skills on the basketball court, as well as leading his team to 3 consecutive championships (2000, 2001, 2002) and a 4th championship in 2009. Kobe Bryant is playing basketball not only for the monetary rewards, but also to win, and experience that joy with his teammates. He wants to bask in the "light of success", knowing that all the determination, dedication, and persistence he puts in is all well worth it. Why do some players stand out more than others, when all are working toward the same goal? Players such as Kobe Bryant put in the extra effort needed to achieve. His motivation includes duration, frequency, and intensity. To be one of the best basketball players, (arguably) Kobe Bryant had to put in the time to satisfy his goal. He has to be dedicated and spend enough time to improve his skills. The frequency of his behavior can help him achieve his personal goals because "practice makes perfect". Intensity plays an important role also. How hard he goes when he is training or practicing can affect the outcome. These aspects are all part of the motivation sequence.

If the need to achieve is satisfied then the person will most likely feel confident, satisfied and worthy. I believe that if this need for achievement is not fulfilled, then negative emotions will arise. Emotions such as disappointment, anger and frustration will consume the person because the goal in mind has not been achieved. This could also lead to the individual feeling a sense of failure.

Below is a video about the mindset of Kobe Bryant.


  1. Abosoloutely. The motivation to feel successful and to feel like youre doing something and doing it well is a huge intrinsic motivator. Kobe probably decided on the lifestyle he wanted to live and money came into play so for him he had that extra extrinsic movitvator of money. But in the end everyone wants to feel successful and like they are worth something. Everbody wants to have nice things and to be considered great. Kobe exemplifies that perfectly.