The Key to Real Motivation is Love

A success strategy without love behind it, puts us in danger of reaching our goals and feeling empty.

In this brilliant article “How to Program Your Brain to Get What You Want,”Zat Rana says, the key to motivation is to be engaged in proactive, not reactive behaviour.

Reactive, or unproductive behaviour comes from the originally developed reptilian brain, which is responsible for fear.

It’s often at odds the modern brain, the centre for forward planning and proactivity. The primal brain is so clever that it can sabotage the most sterling intentions of the modern brain to ingrain positive habits by using fear, to stop us from venturing into uncharted territory.

In knowing this relationship between the modern and primal part of our brain, Rana says, we can forward plan for success by asking the question “am I being mindlessly reactive or am I being proactive?”

But what about those days where the reptilian brain gets the better of us and we wake up wanting to stay under the covers, instead of being proactive?

there’s two ways to motivate ourselves in this scenario:

Either fear pushes us with a sickening urgency to be more, do more and achieve more. Surging in manic waves of lethargy and haste and feeling kind of empty, desperate and like punishment.


Our love for ourselves, others and the world inspires us to give, serve and help more. It feels meaningful and our motivation intrinsic and endless. In love, we’re not in danger of feeling empty when we finally reach our goals, because our motivation was grounded in love, not success — it never needed validation.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” — John Lennon

The primal brain is responsible for both our love and stress hormones. It releases the comforting hormone oxytocin, which is has the complete opposite effects of the stress hormone cortisol. It’s at this point, that I can’t help but think about Voldemort and Harry Potter “for neither can live while the other survives.”

Just like fear and love can’t exist in our brains at once, real and lasting motivation therefore, must come from activating your proactive love hormone, instead of your reactive fear response.

Read more about bringing more love into your life here.