Motivation: It is a Feeling or an Action?

When we hear motivation, we always imagine someone who will do whatever it takes to do their desires and goals, simply because they are motivated. Motivation is a strong driving force that forces us to do things. Motivation can come from lots of sources. It can also be intrinsic or extrinsic. We will learn more about motivation in this article including answering if motivation is a feeling or an action.

Motivation is an emotion or a feeling that drives action. This means that motivation is something that forces us to do things such as when we are motivated to do our work, or we are motivated to improve ourselves. Thus, motivation gives us a reason to act or behave in a particular way.

However, there are actions that require different levels of motivation. More physical or mentally demanding tasks will also require more motivation to accomplish. Thus, motivation has a relationship to action and emotion. In this article, we are going to know more about this, and I will try to explain it as simple as possible.

Is Motivation a Feeling?

Motivation is a feeling that gives us a reason to do or to behave in a particular way. This means that motivation is our feeling when we feel like doing things. In fact, almost everything in life requires motivation in order for us to do it with the exception of habits.

In everything we do, there is something we call activation energy. This is the amount of willpower or motivation required in order to start and accomplish something.

As an example, I didn’t feel like making this article because I am not motivated. This means that I need more willpower to start making this article.

But as soon as I gathered my willpower to finally sit and start opening my laptop, I finally started to do write.

However, there is a shortcut.

Motivation is the feeling or emotion that decreases the activation energy.

There are two things that can decrease activation energy, motivation and habits.

In this article, we will be discussing about motivation.

To make it easier to understand, here is a graph I made on the relationship between motivation, action and willpower.

In this graph, you can see that the willpower required to do an action is constant. Which means that we need to use willpower to start doing tasks.

But take a look at motivation and what it does.

Motivation gives a boost so that you will need less willpower in order to do things. In fact, if you are very motivated, it will seem like you don’t even need willpower to do tasks.

I hope you now get the relationship between motivation, willpower and action. Now, let’s discuss motivation.

Motivation is a feeling that reduces the amount of willpower you need to do an action.

Motivation comes either from external or internal source. An example of an external source is having a bonus when reaching a quota, or you are going to treat yourself after finishing a task.

Internal motivation comes from the inside. For example, my dream to make this website big forces me to improve my website performance and produce more articles.

Neither of these is better than the other. It depends on what you can currently give yourself as a form of motivation. For example, since I really need some motivation, aside from knowing my internal motivation, I might give myself a treat after finishing this article.

Thus, is motivation a feeling?

Motivation is a feeling or an emotion that forces us to take action. It forces us to take action because it reduces the willpower required in order to do things. Usually, there is certain willpower required to do tasks and it is your motivation that lowers its willpower requirement.

Is Motivation an Act?

Now that you’ve understood about motivation, let us discuss it as an action because there are some confusions regarding this. Thus, it needs to be discussed for you to fully understand motivation.

Motivation is not an action. Motivation is an emotion or feeling that drives us into action. To make an action, we need to use motivation to force us into doing things. In fact, doing things with motivation gives us more strength in order to do achieve things.

Many people confuse motivation with their action.

While it is true that most people move because of motivation, action is the product of willpower and motivation.

This means that in order for you to do an act, you need first to gather your willpower. If your willpower can’t do it, motivation can decrease your willpower requirement to do things.

That is why whenever we are motivated, we tend to forget about using our willpower. This is because if we have lots of motivation, we do not need much willpower to do things.

Most people confuse motivation for action. But it is not the case. Action is only the product of the feeling of motivation.

For example, after watching a motivational video, you are pumped or excited to do something. But only after using that motivation to do something where you will do the action.

You can be very motivated all day but if you don’t do the action, you are just motivated.

That is why motivation is not an act. It is the source of the action.

Now that you’ve understood both motivation and its relationship with feelings and actions, let us go with the conclusion for this article.

Is Motivation a Feeling or Action?

Right now, you know a lot about motivation. I made the graph above so you can understand things with fewer words. I hope you got what I want to say in this article.

If you are reading this article, it means that you are interested in motivation. Motivation has been closely related to confidence. That is why I also recommend you read another article about why is confidence a good trait to develop.

It will give you a better understanding of how to develop your confidence so you can have more motivation to work on yourself. Here is the article: Why is confidence a good trait?

But to conclude, I want to give the main point of this article.

Motivation is a feeling that results in action. In order to do the action, motivation is necessary so we won’t be forced in doing things. Motivation decreases the amount of willpower required in order for us to accomplish things. That’s why motivation is very important.


Jason Ong is a YouTuber and the one who owns this site. He shares what he learned with people and makes videos if necessary. He was a former lecturer. The things he taught are topics related to Clinical Laboratory Science or what others call Medical Technology. Right now, he is also working part-time in an app company as a production supervisor. You can visit his YouTube Channel on

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