My Thoughts on Motivation Theory

By August 6, 2019 No Comments

Motivation is fluid in that motivations can change depending on objectives, goals and moments that an activity has occurred (Merriam and Bierema, 2013). When I first started volunteering with a photography workshop non-profit, it was because of my love of photography and thirst for more knowledge (learning-oriented). I networked with other photographers and read every article I could find that showed how to photograph the stars to how to get the sharpest photograph of a bird in flight (intrinsic and cognitive). However, later my passion evolved into starting a pet photography business (goal-oriented) to combine my passion and earn an income at the same time (extrinsic and economic).


However, motivation is not always the sole factor in our drive and energy to accomplish something. In line with McClusky’s Theory of Margin, I was limited in how far I could take my love for photography. Camera gear is far from inexpensive, and once you have the gear, ideally you want to travel and use that gear (serious wanderlust here!). McClusky discusses load and power and the margin or dynamic between those two elements. If a load is career and family commitments, then power is how one deals with that load such as with finances.


Ultimately, for me at least, it’s a life balance. I’m motivated to do many things, but truly, I have to step back and take into account my time and finances. Only then can I make a decision. And to be completely transparent, I probably still do squeeze in more activities than I have time even after I’ve decided I don’t have the time. But then, don’t we all?



Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2013). Adult learning: Linking theory and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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