How we interact with people on a day to day basis depends on a variety of factors. Our mood, how well we slept, whether we actually like the person we are waking up with and so on. While most of us can control our own factors, we can’t control the other person. This is why in any interaction the most important thing to understand is the other person’s motivation.

Interactions come in many sorts. It could be interacting with your partner, boss, colleague or friend all of which will have different motivating factors when it comes to you. Identifying and understanding their motivations will make interactions successful. What we don’t often do is work to develop the skill of identifying motivation, occasionally leading to misunderstandings and conflict.

People are complex and their motivations may change hour to hour. For example, you may be out with your significant other shopping for things for the house. After an hour your partner becomes quiet and apparently irritable. Their focus on what you’re looking for is drifting and they are clearly distracted. In my case, it is likely she is hangry. Her motivation went from nesting to food. Understandably.

In many cases, when dealing with your boss they are looking for advancement themselves. So their primary motivation is how you can help them fulfil their key performance indicators. If you find a way to do this, you will almost always have a successful relationship with your boss. Unless they are an absolute twat. Then you have no hope. [Disclaimer: Your boss being a twat isn’t actually a game ender. If you utilise their motivations to your advantage they may become less twattish. To you at least.]

The range of motivations can be extremely varied. Don’t confuse what makes someone happy as their primary motivation, particularly in relationships. There are plenty of people out there that will take a hit on their happiness for other positives in a relationship, like security or good sex.

Conversely, there are people that will prioritise their happiness above all else. Whilst this is admirable to some degree, these people are for the most part idiots, but it is good to understand they may have different motivating factors.

On the flip side, we have to truly understand our own motivations to be successful. You may think this is relatively easy, but most people don’t give it much thought. We have primary motivating factors which relate to the hierarchy of needs. But secondary priorities can influence your life as much as primary, particularly once the latter is taken care of. We all know the person whose life self-destructed when their relationship failed. The relationship wasn’t a necessity, but the lack of security in that relationship destroyed their life.

These secondary factors are important to identify and understand, as they will dictate many of your decisions and level of happiness. If your motivating factors are not the things that make you happy, it is time for a rethink of your life priorities.

If you need to build motivation for yourself to achieve whatever you aspire to, it is a good idea to build some mental triggers to inspire you to not procrastinate. This could be wanting to build a prosperous life for yourself and your family, for example. Every time you are losing motivation, use that visualisation as a trigger to inspire you to keep going and achieving more. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your circumstances are, this strategy can be used to stop anyone fucking about. Get out there and do it.