Motivation Made Simple


Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

Musings on Human Resource Management

Numerous theories of motivation have been formulated – tomes and tomes have been written on the subject of motivation – and Management Gurus pontificate to their hearts’ content on how to motivate.

Let me try and make the art of motivation simple.

I feel that, in a nutshell, all the motivators – or motivating factors – can be encapsulated in the acronym “MICE”

Let’s expand MICEMoney, Insecurity, Cause, Ego…




E:   EGO


In  today’s world Money is probably the primary motivating factor.

Money Motivates.

Need I say more?


Fear and Insecurity have always been most powerful motivators for ages.

Though this is a form of manipulative motivation and negative in nature – creating Fear and Insecurity are used as manipulative motivation toolsvery often by many organizations and bosses to “motivate” individuals.

One way of creating a sense of insecurity is to threaten to use the weapon of transfer if you don’t toe the line.

Fear is even deadlier – like the fear of losing your job.

This “motivation tool” is used effectively in the private sector.

Of course – the fear of losing your life (fear of death) – or fear of physical harm – are the ultimate powerful motivators.

These type of “motivation” techniques are especially prevalent in the Army (and Defence Services) – particularly during initial training.


Many idealistic persons are motivated for a Cause – an ideology, belief, passion, love, ambition, or to realize one’s “life-mission”.

This is the highest quality of self-actualization type motivation.


The role of Ego, pride, self-importance, self-respect [“izzat”] and self-esteem as a motivator is significant in some cases.

This is a high quality “self-esteem” type of motivation.


MICE and Motivation – they are inextricably linked, aren’t they?

Tell me – isn’t this MICE Theory of Motivation so breathtaking in its simplicity?

The art of motivation is so easy.

When you want to motivate someone – just remember MICE – and see which factor (Money, Insecurity, Cause or Ego) applies the best in the particular case.

Throw in the MONEY – Create a Sense of Fear and INSECURITY – Give them a CAUSE – Massage their EGO – use one – or more – of these 4 factors – depending on the situation.

Try it.

It works.

You can take my word for it.

I wonder why we have all those high-falutin esoteric motivational management theories taught at B-Schools, when all you need is MICE for Motivation.

In some of my future blog posts – I will try and give you some examples of“MICE” Motivation that I have come across during my career in the Navy and Academia.

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1. These are my personal views. Please do your own due diligence while selecting a philosophy of life.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Revised Version of my Article Use MICE for Motivation written by me 20 years ago in the year 1995 and earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve in my blog at urls:… and… etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/26/2015 02:13:00 PM

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