Analytical Essay on Motivation




Context. 2

Symptoms. 3

Causes. 3

Conclusion/Fix. 4

Bibliography. 5




The following observation to analyze a lack of motivation or incorrectly placed motivation is set around a person who happened to be in my life at the time when I was going through the final years of my school life and has remained to be in touch. I will refer to him as “Bill”. Bill came into my school when I had four years more to complete my schooling. He happened to have a good intellect and was friendly and funny which was perfect considering that part of life when people consider friendships depending on other qualities of a person comes later on in life. We had the same approach about studies but bill used to have a superior knack for scoring high on every subject considering his good handwriting and effortless way of grasping whatever was taught in school. All throughout the later part of the school life that we shared; Bill had consistent outstanding grades in almost all the subjects without being too studious in his approach towards studies. The low point in his career came around when we parted and landed in different colleges in two different cities.




When Bill began his college, he was enthusiastic as always and had fairly excellent grades in his first semester. But as the time went along his grades started falling and he had to repeat a whole semester by the end of his college. After the concerning fall in his performance, my inquiries led to the conclusion that he spent more time skipping his classes and hanging out with his friends from the same class and it was also found that his friends also faced the same music. Even more concerning was the fact that he wasn’t concerned or worried about this downfall. Whenever I asked how his life was going and what did he want to do, his replies would be like “It is going really amazing as I like to spend time enjoying with my friends” and “I just want to enjoy in life”. It wasn’t wrong to have fun but he made that his life while having a lot of potential to outdo himself and as a close friend I was worried but as a grown-up, he had his own outlook and which didn’t change due to anything else. Even his parents grew worried as he started picking up bad vices and was heading towards a steep fall.




On Further analysis it was found that Bill faced this consequence and was going through a phase of nonchalance due to the group of friends he used to be with almost all the time. He found joy in nothing else and he became content by his time out with friends and not by his performance in studies and would not worry about anything about his future and didn’t seem to have a clear idea how he wanted it to be.  He was going through a conflict of interest and put his needs in the wrong place without considering the future. It is related to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs in a manner as Bill was going through a phase where his needs were misplaced. He was given money to survive by his parents so he wasn’t concerned about that need for the time being and his physiological and safety needs were already fulfilled currently. By being with his friends his belongingness needs were fulfilled and he felt he belonged with his friends and he was right where he should be. There was shortsightedness in his actions as he didn’t realize that soon all of his friends were going to go about in their loves to work and their own respective careers and that he wouldn’t be financially supported by his parents the whole life. He still hadn’t reached the stage where that would actually happen and his behavior throughout this time was very cool and he didn’t show any sign of alertness or worry as in his mind his required needs were fulfilled. He didn’t have a self actualization need at that age and his esteem needs were also satisfied which gave Bill no reason to make efforts for his well-being. Another cause of this event was that his parents had a huge amount of faith in him as he used to be an excellent student in the school and as a result always provided him with money and thought that he will come around someday when actually they should have analyzed his performance closely and should have acted with concern when the grades dropped and tried to help bill set proper goals in his life.  (Lester, Hvezda, Sullivan, & Pluoride, 1982)



The Solution to this problem was a way of self realization that the satisfaction of those needs was temporary and soon he would become bereft of his social and monetary needs and he would have to make efforts in his career to satisfy those needs through his own efforts in the near future. The first requirement was to cut off the funds and a condition should be laid that unless he makes consistent efforts in his studies, he would not receive any extra monetary help. This is the implementation of a type of operant conditioning tools which is called the negative reinforcement tool which consists of methods like extinction and punishment which suggest curtailing the behavior by removing the reinforcing element in behavior. (Touretzky & Saksida, 1997) Another solution is a time based solution but proves effective most of the times and it is the social learning theory called as vicarious learning in which the person notices the endeavors of other people in their lives to achieve those goals and getting motivated themselves to achieve that goal which happened with Bill’s case finally when some of his friends took up jobs and got busy but satisfied and content in their lives in a different way by having a sense of fulfillment and after noticing this, Bill chose a line of career in which he was interested and took up a course in a college to pursue that line of career with his newfound zest for hard work in life which never set him back again and his true potential was observed when he landed a job at a respectable firm while studying at the same time in college and had success in both the areas. (Grusec, 1992)The remedy of extinction implemented by his parents initiated this chain of events when Bill faced a lack of funds and his friends gained salary from their work and had enough money to fulfill their needs which lead him to rethink his actions and put his needs and goals into perspective and on a long run, there was enough motivation in Bill to keep him going to achieve his goals in life.



Grusec, J. E. (1992). Social Learning theory and developmental psychology: Legacies of Robert Sears and Albert Bandura. Developmental Psychology , 776-786.

Lester, D., Hvezda, J., Sullivan, S., & Pluoride, R. (1982). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Psychological Health. The Journal of General Psychology , 83-85.

Touretzky, D. S., & Saksida, L. M. (1997). Operant Conditioning in Skinnerbots. Adaptive behavior .




Posted on

February 28, 2018

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