Without knowing one thing about what this class was going to be about I signed up for it based on one word in the title of the course, “Motivation.” Motivation is something which can drive us to do amazing things in our lives, and I feel it has in certain points in my life, but it is not something which I come across on a daily basis. The main thing that I feel that I have pulled from this class is learning the sources of motivation for human nature, and reading a story such as “Endurance” which shows men with motivation I can only one day dream to have definitely helped me to feel as though I need to find some motivation in my life once again. When the semester first started I was the laziest I had been in years both with my schoolwork and just my overall motivation with everyday activities such as cleaning my room, exercising and my desire to keep my mind stimulated. From the first day of class when we discussed physical and psychological motives of behavior I knew that I was at a point in my life where I was lacking many of the psychological motives, and hoped that through learning more about the concepts behind motivation, that I would be able to regain a few.
Some of the things that I learned in this class are obviously terminology about motivation and the concepts that drive it, for example motives, incentives, and goals, but I honestly believe I learned more than just a few definitions. Although I feel that I already had a concept of the basic traits that influence motivation, learning about them in detail and doing things such as making lists on the board as a class to explain our motivations of why they did things such as exercising, attending school, and working, I was able to reassess where I was in life and why I felt that I was sorely lacking motivation in these areas, especially that of working out. This class was not simply about learning about “motivation” and things that drive us to reach goals, but we also discussed subjects such as addictions (to things such as drugs, gambling, chocolate, etc.), reasons why we feel the need to drink, eat, and regulate our temperature (reaching homeostasis), how arousal effects our behaviors, and even concepts on why we experience stress and ways to improve our overall health. These concepts are all important to explaining our behavior on a daily basis and I can say with all honesty that there was never a moment in this class were I was bored about the subject we were learning about. I liked the way that our attention was kept during the slides by not just having a bunch of definitions written that we needed to know, but also through the active involvement when you would call on us to explain our on view on the concepts behind our motivation, the interactive poll we did using our cell phones the one day and of course the interesting YouTube clips related to the subjects of ever chapter we covered throughout the year.
The class that was probably most interesting to me all year was when we went over Chapter and learned about addictions and addictive behaviors. Whether we admit it or not, we all have addictions to one thing or another. These are not necessary always bad addictions, such as how some people are addicted to exercise, but nonetheless the addictions greatly influence our behaviors in ways we can’t even explain. In the case of certain drugs there are obviously physical addictions that some face, such as in the YouTube clip we say which depicted the lives of a few heroin addicts and offered insight into their physical needs, but we also learned about psychological addictions which although we may not physically need a drug or behavior, our mind helps to convince us that we do. I personally have always been interested in ways to alter our state of mind, not just through things such as alcohol or drugs, but also through things such as adrenaline and meditation in which we can experience the world in ways that you cannot explain in words. I consider myself to be an “adrenaline junkie” and love do things that give you a thrill. This started at a young age with things such as Rollercoaster’s and continued as I got older as I began to do things which help me experience adrenaline such as skydiving, free Rock Climbing while hiking (without a harness), and when I began doing MMA. I have and probably always will enjoy anything which either tests the physical limits of my body or puts me into a state in which I feel adrenaline coursing through my body.
As I said earlier learning about these concepts has definitely helped me to regain some motivation that I have recently lost since earlier in this year, and has positively affected my life. It is because of this class that I know do something which some of my friends make fun of me for but helps to keep me motivated; almost every night before bed I compose a list of goals that I want to accomplish the next day. It can be something simple such as do a homework assignment, stretch when I wake up, study for a test, or a long term goal such as drop a few pounds before a set date. One thing I learned in this class is that we all have different goals and reasons for motivation, but for me personally to actually be stared down by my goals every morning when I wake up gives me a reason to go about my day in a way I otherwise wouldn’t have. When I was doing MMA, I feel that I was the most driven I ever was in my life. I would set goals for myself and I refused to let anyone or anything stand in the way of them, because not accomplishing those goals could mean the difference between winning or losing my fight. For my one fight I had to put on a few pounds because I was unable to find anyone in my weight class but wanted to fight on this one fight card at Resorts Casino. I didn’t care what that meant, even if I would have to work harder because I knew that I was going to be undersized for that weight class, and this is an example of how motivation can directly affect our behavior, and the end incentive was obviously wanted to win the fight. After the fight was over I took another one which was set about 2 months later and required me to drop from 161 pounds to 147. This was extremely difficult for me because of my love of food but I knew that I could do it if I applied myself. I had a sense of motivation then that I simply do not have now, but am currently in the process of trying to gain back. This class has helped me to keep in my mind the external forces that are required to be motivated and to keep those forces in check. Whenever I am at a point where I feel unmotivated I like to go on YouTube and look up motivational videos. This is one which I feel is probably the most motivational to me personally, and I hope that you will find it to be motivational as well.