Motivation is any internal or external process, which is involved in instigating directing, and terminating behavior. All our involuntary responses are reflexes, where as all our voluntary activities involve motivation. But one's motivation cannot be observed directly. It is inferred from the behavior of the organism.
Motivation is a driving state; it is also a behavior-arousal state within the individual. Motivation directs the behavior towards a goal. It is thus an internal eternal condition of the organism that forces him/her into action.
Motivation has the following three aspects: (a) A driving state within the organism that is set in motion by bodily needs, environmental stimuli, or mental it’s, (b) The behavior aroused and directed by this state and (c) The goal towards which the behavior is directed.
We never observe motives directly. Rather we infer their existence from the people say about the way they feel and from observing that people and animals work towards certain goals. In other words, motives are inferences behavior. If our inferences about motives are correct, we have a powerful for the explanation of behavior. Truly speaking, most of our everyday explanations of behavior are in terms of motives.
Here is a simple question- "Why are you going to college?" The answer is given usually in terms of "motivation". You are going to the educational institution because you want to learn something or you need a college degree let a good job or it is a suitable place to make friends. You are a student in the college because you think it is expected of you, and one of your goals is to conform to what is expected.
It is true that, most likely you are going to college to meet some combination of these needs. Someone who understands your motives can see why you do the things the way you do. For this reason, clinical and personality psychologists who study the behavior of individuals place so much emphasis motives.
Sometimes motives do not tell us exactly what will happen; rather they give us an idea about the range of things a person will do. So, in other words, motives help us to make predictions about behavior.