Want, Need and motivation
Very often the success of a student and overall their professional development may come down to the simple form of wants, needs and those things that provide motivation. This has always been a concern when dealing with new students or students pursuing a change in their careers. Early within my class one of the things I like to do is have the students make a list of these three things, a column of wants and column of needs and a column of those things or people that motivate them. These will help them formulate goals and plans as they develop their career objectives.
The wants are the simple things that could help them in their business plans, not necessities, but hose things that would give them the edge over competition; after all it is these things that separate successful business from those that go under after a short time. The next column would be the needs of or for their business. Items or supplies that are going to be required to perform the basic tasks of the business they are getting involved. Nothing over the top, but basic needs to operate, and in many cases, make some money. Finally, the people or things that provide motivation. This is sometimes referred to as the “Why”. This will help a student regain focus or remember why they have decided to pursue a life changing experience like going back to or continuing school.
The simple and plain truth is that each of us have some form or hierarchy of needs. As Maslow (1943) explained in his work, that once we satisfy the basic needs in our life we are able to take on more complex tasks and explore not only ourselves, but the world around us. Give us that little thing to help us move forward with decisions and provide a platform for success. Basically set or explained, a student can create an environment of success and reach their potential it is important that they first are able make the basic needs an focal point and take the actions to secure those basic things and then move on to the greater challenges with confidence. By the formalization of these lists a student can outline their success in goals which are believable and attainable. Small goals equal the bigger picture and career success.
As an educator, the goal of helping a student recognize their potential, and open their minds to the world; to the key to their continued success. Finding a way to engage and keep them involved is also important. By using their own motivation and purpose the task becomes more real to the student and makes the process a team effort.
Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-96. Maslow, A. H. (1954)