Motivation Equation

One of the best equations I’ve ever come across is the motivation equation developed by Piers Steel.

Why is it so good?

Because of it’s practical utility.

Steel conducted a meta-analysis on a ton of motivation studies and came up with a Motivation Equation.

Here it is…


Let’s break that down…

Steel tells us that our level of motivation towards a goal is dependent upon

1. How much we value the goal we are pursuing i.e. how much meaning it derives for us.

2. How much we expect the goal to be actualized.

3. How impulsive we are i.e. how distracted we get by immediate gratification (takes us away from our goal).

4. How much of a long game we can play i.e. can we endure through the up’s and downs over the long haul.

Thus, motivation from Steel’s perspective is not simply imagining a degree or the attainment of some object. It’s more than that. It’s about our ability to dig deep and reflect on the meaning and why of the goal we are putting our energy towards.

It’s also about the level of self-belief and self-efficacy we have towards the goal we are seeking to attain. Importantly it’s also about knowing our distractions and how to mitigate those to stay the course.

Lastly, it’s about our ability to keep showing up regularly and repeatedly getting mini and macro wins until one day our goal is realized.

There’s a lot in that innit? + it’s tough yet can be fun!

I’d argue that your tougher than any goal you’ve set for yourself.

Over the long term it’s not just the goal you seek to attain but who you become in the process.

Stronger. Wiser. More appreciative and with a greater capacity to take on bigger goals and in the process one day help other’s do the same.

If potential = possibilities than greater potential = greater possibilities.

If we apply this to Steel’s equation it’s means tremendous strength and clarity is required in each of these components of the formula.

You can build it up.

Fail, try, try again.

You can build it up.

Time to bring it in all four of these areas even more.


Bring it.



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