Theory of Human Motivation

EVERY HUMAN action is believed and done because there are impulses which caused it moved to perform the action. Without the impulse, that would be impossible for human to perform the actions. How important the encouragement or motivations behind the behavior, are now so many trainings of motivation in which each participant invited through a number of thought processes and simulation so after that they will experience behavior modification. It means, that will emerge a strong motivation to perform an action that is considered essential to be done in order to achieve a goal or a certain value. The simplest example is organizing some training for practice and business development such as training for the marketer to develop their mental effort in order to reach customers, clients, buyers, and relation.

Furthermore if we look at to the theory, Sigmund Freud postulated that almost all human’s actions are driven by something that it’s called the sexual libido. The libido is inherent in every human being. Whatever he does in the form of assortment activity yet in the end it is all done in order to satisfy the sexual libido.

Talking about motivations, the most famous humanistic psychologist, Abraham Maslow has theory of basic needs. According to Maslow, there are human’s level of basic needs that must be satisfied and those needs that stimulate people to do their actions. Maslow was more comprehensive than Freud who said there were five human needs shaped on hierarchy or pyramid. Those five requirements are: physiological needs, safety needs, needs to be loved and cherished, needs to be respected, and self-actualization needs. In the Maslow’s pyramid, the physiological needs is at the lowest level. It means this types of needs must be satisfied first. After these basic needs fulfilled, consecutively the needs will be satisfied, next culminating in self-actualization needs. Those needs that justify and to be a main driving force of human’s activity.

Maslow’s theory is very popular and widely used in everywhere to explain and to understand human’s behavior. But uniquely, as written by Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall in their book Spiritual Capital (Mizan, 2005) that at the end of his life, in his elderly, evidently Maslow revised his theory. He said the pyramid that has been built over many years, it turned upside down. So the most important of human need is self-actualization. A need tends for spiritual, social, something that concerns the meaning of someone’s existence in the middle of and for the environment. The need that has spiritual quality. In other words, Maslow seemed to begin to see something more true in human beings, something that more essential rather than an obsession and swirls of activity answered the physiological and onwards. In any condition, the most important thing people can acts and give a meaning. Probably something like that what he thought.

Maslow’s revision is also reminding us to Victor Frankl who wrote a book Man’s Search for Meaning (1959). A book that is referred as the main book in logotherapy of psychology major environment. This book which is only divided into two chapters, originally started from observation or study of life in the concentration camps of Germany Nazi that laden of torture and difficulties or very limited of everything. The situation was the occupant tried to satisfy their own needs one another, if necessary get rid of others. Do not need to think other people. They just want to save themselves. Frankl discovered the fact that people who are not selfish, selfless who want to help their friend, who do not see people as competitors, at the condition and environment that generally form them to act selfish oriented, instead they are more long-lived or able to defend themselves. By giving meaning to another people, they are gaining moments that made their sustainability lives to be more durable and lasting. It seems like this facts disprove Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest.

In Kenduri Cinta January 2011, Emha Ainun Nadjib (Cak Nun) also mention about motivation behind the activity or human’s behaviour. Cak Nun introduced that in this world man has three types of activity: transaction/professional, movement by either private or together and friendship or communality in intimacy. If it is placed in the context of motivation, by the meaning there is a transaction motivation, motivational movement/social activism, and motivation relationship. Conceptualization of Cak Nun was certainly emerge from experiences or daily lives reality. Perhaps there is no hundred percent merely motivation of transaction, social movement or gathering. But it is exist and could be felt which one is dominant from those. For instance, a company is likely to have a bigger concentration on transaction aspect/economy. It is also in the individual level. There are times in which we buy and sell, social activities, but also there is a relationship.

Cak Nun highlighted the disproportionality in determination of this motivation. Even more, when it is placed in the context of the nation. Cak Nun asks, “Which activities our government does? Professional, movement, or relationship?” Implicitly, Cak Nun questioned, how far the state places itself within the context of the third context: economic, the management of society, and relationship. Cak Nun also mentioned that sometimes the nation mix some points associate to the purpose. For example, there are some areas of the nation that should be a social, and not doing exploitative approaches or to gain profit. These areas are: religious, education, culture, and health. While on duty for profit is State Owned Enterprises (SOE). Not all departments were based on economic reasons. Incorrectly, the assets that should be guarded instead sold to the foreigner.

Cak Nun did not say that people or nation has to move on social movement level or relationship and ignore the transaction. Perhaps Cak Nun would say there is no structural approach such as Maslow’s approach about the human basic needs. Also there is no supremacy of sole motivation that controls of human action. Then, once, in a chat, Cak Nun said, “Sigmund Freud was right about the sex libido in human beings, but he failed to find a human in a human being”.

Presumably, with that statement, it is understood that in a human being there is so many potency that could drive human beings, but all of those should be controlled, be managed, or in other words Cak Nun said “be caliphated”. The Prophet said that the deed was depending to the intention/motives. We could draw the line that the intention or motivation can be determined.  Intentions is not purely instinctive.  Nevertheless, if the good motivation implanted repetitively, it could be automatic motivation. The kindness should be automated in a man. In a discussion with teachers in Yogyakarta, the theme of discussion provides the motivation for teachers, Cak Nun said, ”Modern man is so weak, just wants to do the good deed he needs motivation”.

In Kenduri Cinta, Cak Nun has provoked us to explore issues of motivation comprehensively, cyclical, and projected into the context of contemporary human being. Modern man who organize many motivation trainings, perhaps it could be a of contribution of understanding.