Have you ever wondered why people have pictures, figures, or other objects on their desks at work? Well, that’s because symbols are important when it comes to motivation. Let’s talk more about it in deeper detail.
Why do people bring symbols to their workplace? (family photo)
If you happen to work in an office, one of the things that might have caught your attention is how there are pictures or different decorative objects on people’s desks.
They may have their families, loved ones, or could even be about beautiful sceneries. Other objects may be religious or patriotic symbols.
So, why do people have these pictures of their family or different sceneries on their desks? And what are the objects for? Well, these are symbols.
Symbols may seem nothing but they are quite powerful. In fact, symbols are powerful to evoke certain feelings that encourage someone to do more just by looking at the picture.
For example, have you ever had the feeling of being tired but seeing someone you love gave you the strength and energy you needed to keep going? That has the same effect on the human mind as symbols.
Symbols can be anything that represents a person’s motivation and drive to work, and that is why they are often placed on a desk at work. The symbol could be related to family or loved ones or it could be about personal goals or even religion.
As long as the symbol is there to remind you what your reason for working is all about, you will be able to find more strength and motivation to work.
Why do people have tattoos?
I have discussed the importance of symbols in the workplace, especially if you use symbols to motivate yourself to work harder. So, does the same concept apply to people who have tattoos?
You may be wondering why certain people get themselves inked with tattoos. In the past, those who had tattoos were often regarded as criminals or delinquents in society. Nowadays, it has become quite common and generally socially accepted.
A study about tattoos found that people have tattoos related to something significant and meaningful in their lives. For example, one participant said that the tattoo reminded him of his mother.
Some people had tattoos because the tattoos were extensions of who they are. Having a tattoo allowed them to express their personalities.
Tattoos become symbols. They are symbols of certain things that give meaning to a person’s life such as family or a person’s identity.
Tattoos can make someone feel motivated, especially when the tattoo is a reminder of something important to the person.
As one of the respondents in that study said, “my body is a book, my tattoos are my story”. The tattoos evoke an emotional feeling within the person as they are reminders of their story and what matters to them in life.
How does emotion affect motivation?
Speaking of emotions, what does it even have to do with motivation? Why do we rely so much on our own emotions when we want to motivate ourselves?
Motivation is a positive energy that impels someone to do something which is usually of own interest.
For example, if you love basketball and you want to be the best, you would put in the necessary work to be the best. Or, if you are working to help your family get a better life because you love them, you would also do your best in your job.
Emotions play a role in the way a person reacts to a certain task and how he can feel motivated to do that task. That is why emotions are important when it comes to motivation. It is easier to do something that you love or enjoy or do for a purpose.
Motivational symbols and their meanings
Believe it or not, a huge portion of the brain is used to process anything visual. That’s why we have a saying “a picture tells a thousand words”. And that is also the reason why symbols have meanings to us and can help motivate us.
When our brain analyzes symbols and the meanings behind them, we can quickly take the images apart and feel the emotions attached to that symbol.
For instance, when we go to a museum different works of art stir up various emotions and feelings inside us. It is all down to the association we make, stimulus and emotion. It is very useful and potent if the emotions triggered are positive. It can lift our spirits and mood instantly.
On the other hand, if they are negative it can lead to a downhill spiral and an unhelpful state of mind. Being aware of this is fundamental when we look at what we are feeding our mind and soul with. We can control our minds and emotions to minimize negative triggers or learn to deconstruct them in our s. The secret is to nourish our minds with what we like and make us feel good. It could be summarised as pleasure-seeking and pain avoidance.
These different feelings and emotions are what we relate to ourselves just by looking at a picture or an object that may be close to our hearts. And that is why symbols are powerful motivational tools that we use regularly.
When we see a symbol, our brain quickly analyzes it without even us knowing consciously. It is a conditioning/association made and depending on what we deciphered from the symbol, our emotions are affected accordingly.
How symbols empower you
These symbols are not only ways that we use to motivate ourselves but can also be used for empowerment. That is why different movements meant for empowering people to rely on logos and symbols to represent their groups and instigate a sense of belonging and purpose.
For example, LGBT groups use the rainbow as a symbol in their fight for love and equality. Flags are symbols that are often used to empower the people who belong to such nations.
The reason why symbols can empower us is that connect to us on a deeper and emotional level than simple words can ever do.
We give different meanings to symbols, and the moment we see such them, the feelings connected to the meanings are evoked. For example, that is what makes some people wear their nation’s flag and colors whenever they go to an international sporting event.
These symbols represent pride, honor, and identity, which are all important when it comes to empowering a person or a group.
Now that you have more awareness of the significance of symbols, make sure you use them to your advantage by empowering yourself!