“If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If broken by an inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from the inside.” ~ Jim Kwik (I think) Seek to become a little better each day. You cannot change the world if you cant change you.
The ability to motivate yourself—self- motivation—is an important skill. Self-motivation drives people to keep going even in the face of set-backs, to take up opportunities, and to show commitment to what they want to achieve.
What is Motivation?
Motivation is what pushes us to achieve our goals, feel more fulfilled and improve our overall quality of life.
– Understanding and developing your self-motivation can help you to take control of many other aspects of your life.
– Motivation is one of the three areas of personal skills that are integral to the concept of emotional intelligence.
The Elements of Self-Motivation
1. Personal drive to achieve
You could think of a personal drive to achieve as ambition, or perhaps personal empowerment. However, it is also worth thinking about it in terms of mind- set.
There are two types of mind-set, fixed and growth.
– Those with a fixed mind-set believe that talent is ingrained, and that we cannot change our level of ability.
– Those with a growth mind-set believe that they can improve their skills through hard work and effort.
Research shows that those who believe that they can improve—that is, who have a growth mind-set—are far more likely to achieve in whatever sphere they choose. A growth mind-set is therefore an important element in a personal drive to succeed.
2. Commitment to goals
A crucial factor that separates those who successfully achieve and maintain health goals from those who don’t is commitment. Commitment helps you stick to your goals during the good times and the bad times — when barriers get in the way. Two factors contribute to commitment: importance and ability.There is considerable evidence, even if much of it is anecdotal, that goal-setting is important to our general well-being.
The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
Initiative is, effectively, the ability to take advantage of opportunities when they occur.
It is all too easy to hesitate, and then the opportunity may be gone. However,the old sayings ‘look before you leap’ and ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread’ have a lot of truth in them. It is also important to think things through and ensure that you are making the right decision for you.Initiative can therefore be considered as a combination of courage and good risk management:
– Risk management is necessary to ensure that you identify the right opportunities to consider, and that they have the appropriate level of risk for you; and
– Courage is necessary to overcome the fear of the unknown inherent in new opportunities.
4. Optimism or resilience
Optimism is the ability to look on the bright side, or think positively. Resilience is the ability to ‘bounce back’ after a setback, or keep positive in the face of challenges. The two are closely related, although not exactly the same.
Resilient people use their ability to think as a way to manage negative emotional responses to events. In other words, they use positive or rational thinking to examine, and if necessary, overcome reactions that they understand may not be entirely logical. They are also prepared to ask for help if necessary—as well as to offer their own help generously to others in need.
Most people do have to work in order to earn money, but at the same time they also find their day-to-day work life rewarding or satisfying in other intrinsic ways—job satisfaction and the chance to socialise with colleagues.
The Importance of Obligation
What about if a task has neither intrinsic nor extrinsic motivators?
The obvious conclusion is that we are unlikely to do it, because it will be pointless.We all know it doesn’t always work like that. There is a further issue: feelings of obligation.
Obligation motivators are not strictly either intrinsic or extrinsic but can still be very powerful. Obligation comes from our personal ethics and sense of duty, what is right and what is wrong.
You may feel obliged to go to a party because you were invited by somebody you know – there will be no obvious extrinsic or intrinsic benefit to you attending but you may worry that you will offend or upset your friend if you don’t go. You are more likely to enjoy the party, however, if you go with a positive and open attitude, expecting it to be fun. This adds an intrinsic motivator: fun and enjoyment.
Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.There are many skills involved, and you cannot expect to develop them all instantly. However, a better understanding of the elements of motivation, and particularly how they fit together, should help to increase your skills. Just remember, Rome was not built in a day: think about making progress over a long period of time and in small steps.