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Activity Group

Human activities, in a broad sense, include several key elements:

  • Motivation is the root area of this group. It is on the axis of the map because it has a side that can be associated with the internal domain (positive and intrinsic motivation) and the side that is normally closer to the external domain (negative and extrinsic motivation). Recognising these two sides is important because they don’t always go together. For example, extrinsic motivation can sometimes weaken intrinsic motivation and vice versa (e.g. focusing on rewards may reduce our enjoyment in what we are doing, but that enjoyment may reduce the need for the reward too). More about this below.
  • Energy is difficult to define even in physics, and in relation to human life and psychology it is used to connote a wide range of phenomena. So it may be better to clarify that in this context the term is used as in everyday language when we talk about strength, vigour, élan, effort or being tired. Self-evidently, this area belongs to the internal domain.
  • Organisation addresses structuring and planning one’s activities. It is a counterpart to the previous area because it is concerned with the distribution and direction (the use) of energy. As organisation is normally about synchronising our activities with the world around us, so it belongs to the external domain (e.g. if you want to organise a trip, you would take into account how far your destination is, rather than how long you feel like travelling).
  • Performance: the above areas can be considered the necessary conditions for an activity. Performance is the final area in this group that focuses on activity itself. It is also the last area in the whole category. Performance normally involves an interaction between the internal and external, so it encompasses both domains, as indicated by its position in the model.

This is the last group in the Doing category. As in previous cases, it means that the group is based on and overarches others (e.g. meaning discussed in the Choice group can induce motivation, and in turn our activities inform and affect our sense of meaning).