What is motivation? I personally have a very broad definition of motivation. I believe that nobody does anything unless they are motivated to do it. I think it comes in many shapes and forms. It can be internal or external, positive or negative. It sure as hell doesn’t always feel like excitement or joyful glee to go grab life by the lemons and make lemonade. I believe it is a very important thing to have, but that there are many other virtues that you must also possess in order to be successful. But for now let’s focus on motivation.
If you look around at celebrities, well the good ones at least, you’ll notice they throw around the word “inspiration.” That is because many of these famous people who are using their powers for good understand motivation. In order to create positive change in a person or a group of people, the person or group has to want to change. That is the key here. No one can force anyone to do anything! They can try their hardest, but ultimately you have the final choice in what action you take.
In order for people to positively change they must be motivated to change. To motivate someone who is not motivated you must inspire them. Inspiration will look different for everyone. To inspire someone is to truly move them, to appeal to at least one of their emotions strongly enough that they want to get up and do something about it. This type of motivation is external. It is caused by the person who evoked the emotional response, and because it is external and emotional it is very fleeting, but it is a start.
Once this initial burst of external motivation is there, very few people possess enough other qualities and characteristics to internalize their motivation and realize their goals by themselves. What I’d like to do is help people turn their fleeting, emotional, external motivation into rock solid, long lasting, internal motivation.
I realize that some people are already masters at this and some are completely new to it, and like most bell curves everyone else falls just above or just below average at this. If we look at it like a journey them some people are at the finish line, and some people are looking for the trial head and most people are somewhere along the trail. For those that are masters – congratulations. For the rest of us we need to learn and practice the behaviours both mental and physical that will lead us to develop and harness intrinsic motivation.
If you refer to my article on self-awareness, I describe awareness as the catalyst for all human growth. As your awareness increases then you can begin to problem solve, and consciously influence how you respond to different motivators and what does and does not work for you. So, use all tools available to you to build your awareness of motivation and motivators. Use all tools available to you to build your self-awareness and apply what you learn to all aspects of your life. In this case, if you’re currently focusing on motivation, then apply everything you learn about yourself to what you know and can learn about motivation. Be aware of times you feel high levels of motivation, be aware of what led you to feel that way, what is going well for you at that point in your day, week, month, life. Who are you interacting with? Be aware when your motivation starts to wander or fade. Be aware of what might be influencing it in this manner. Be aware of which of those things are within your power to control or influence, and which aren’t. Be aware of the type of person you become if you do all the things you need to do to reach your goals.
Over time you’ll develop a strong sense of all the thoughts, actions, and people that help you stay motivated. You’ll be able to surround yourself with positivity and minimize the other noise that may be out of your control, but you can control how you respond to it and how it affects you. It is through this type of self-mastery that all things can be achieved. It doesn’t end with motivation, there are many other characteristics that you will discover you will need to develop in order to achieve true intrinsic motivation and ultimately see goals through to their realization. So, go out and get inspired, then pay very close attention to what happens next! There is no failure, just learning.