Leisure is perceived as a state of mind in the classical view because it is highly valued. It must involve a state of being that is positive for it to be considered leisure (Leitner & Leitner, 2012). This means that free time and leisure are not synonymous if the definition of leisure as a state of mind is used. For example, reads a boring book during their free time, it is not considered as leisure. According to Biswas (2008), leisure is a state of mind because it must be considered pleasurable. Leisure is motivated intrinsically (Leitner & Leitner, 2012). This means that it is valuable because of itself and is an end in itself. People seek leisure to get rewards such as enjoyment, satisfaction and relaxation (Leitner & Leitner, 2012). These are known as intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards are obtained from outside of the activity. These include getting accolades or getting social recognition (Leitner & Leitner, 2012). Some people may engage in a leisure activity as a result of intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. According to Biswas (2008), motivation is the operation of contingent intrapersonal processes that activate, direct and maintain behavior. Motivation is a form of internal drive, which causes one to do something for the purposes of obtaining a particular result (Leitner & Leitner, 2012).
According to the Motivational Theory by Iso Ahola, travel motivation for tourists is triggered by the search for intrinsic rewards, while escaping from familiar/routine environments. Iso Ahola postulated that tourists sought to avoid over-stimulation (physical or mental exhaustion) or boredom (inadequate stimulation) (Veal, 1992). The Iso Ahola theory may be applied to leisure to show that people seek leisure in a manner that they avoid inadequate stimulation. This means that they are driven by a state of mind. This means that the Iso Ahola theory of stimulation proves that leisure is a state of mind.
Biswas, M. (2008). Confirmatory Factor Analysis of Iso Ahola’s Motivational Theory: An application of Structural Equation Modeling. Conference on Tourism in India – Challenges Ahead, 17(3), 177-188.
Leitner, M. J., & Leitner, S. F. (2012). Leisure enhancement. New York: Sagamore Publishing LLC.
Veal, A. J. (1992). Definitions of Leisure and Recreation. School of Leisure, Sport and Tourism, 18(3), 44-45.