I read a sentence on a video but am not sure what does "motivation" means in it.

Does it mean "enthusiasm for doing something" or "the need or reason for doing something" in the following sentence?

Some of the principles behind IE, intellectual entrepreneurship, specifically its intellectual aspect, focuses on the person’s individual motivation to pursue skills, expertise, and knowledge in one area, the development of what I call the "unique intellectual capital", the individual’s set of knowledge.

1 Answer 1


To motivate means: make someone want to do something.

I will give an example:

I am hungry. I am motivated to eat. My hunger motivates me to eat. The grocery store is far away. I do not want to walk to the store, so I am motivated to ride my bike. The far distance motivates me to ride my bike.

Another example, for your specific sentence:

I want to get a better job, so I will learn new skills. I am motivated to learn new skills. I have motivation to learn new skills, because I will get a better job. I have a motivation to learn new skills because it will be good for me. The potential for a new job motivates me to learn new skills.

  • what a lovely answer. I know there is blur area between these two words for the word motivation or there is not huge difference in terms of meaning but which word would you choose if you want to replace the word motivation with "reason" and "enthusiasm" in my sentence.
    – Mrt
    Jul 22, 2020 at 15:12
  • I would do a direct swap-out of "motivation" for "reason". These two sentences mean basically the same thing: 1) "Some principles focus on the person's motivations to pursue skills." 2) "Some principles focus on the person's reasons to pursue skills." ............... I think that 'enthusiasm' doesn't do a good job saying that there is a goal trying to be achieved. For example, "I am enthusiastic about riding bikes", may be just because I enjoy riding bikes. However, "I am motivated to ride bikes", sounds more like I have a goal, that I'm training to win a race or to become healthy.
    – Tyler M
    Jul 22, 2020 at 15:33

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