If you are interested in self-development, then self-motivation is a skill that is worth looking into and mastering. The beautiful thing about it is…because it’s a skill, it can be learned. But please note, self-motivation begins with you and only you. Your vision, your goals, your desire, your passion, your mission etc. You have to understand this otherwise no matter how many books or articles you read, no matter how many motivational speakers you listen to, if your vision, desire, passion etc. are not well outlined and understood, you will struggle with self-motivation.
7 years ago, a very good friend of mine told me that she was going into interior decorating. I asked why she wanted to do it since she was a lawyer by profession. In her words “I love it….I know I am good at this and I want to pursue it”. I was happy for her and I wished her well. Eventually she started her business a year later. In 6 years, I watched her work hard, labored day-in-day-out tirelessly for the success of her business. In six years, her employee capacity grew from one to 15 people.
Here is another picture….another friend, who relocated to the United States 5 years ago. Her original plan when coming was to write her professional exams, then go for her graduate degree. Since this was going to take years to complete and she needed to make ends meet, she took up a teaching job that paid her bills and took care of other personal matters. This continued for a while until she secured a job she actually loved.
Comparing these two stories, both parties had different incentives to do what they wanted/had to do. In the case of the former, it was passion and love for interior decoration that motivated her to jumpstart her business. This is otherwise known as “Intrinsic self-motivation”. On the other hand, the motivating factor in the latter case was the need to make ends meet which I will call “extrinsic motivating factor”. Either way, both of them were able follow their dreams. Several factors could be responsible for jump starting a cause but there are other qualities and skills that help bring the dreams to fruition.
As simple as these two scenarios may look, unfortunately many people can’t seem to find how they can be self-motivated to start or stay motivated to complete a task.
Self-motivation can be built into your DNA because it is a skill that can be acquired. If you are the type that don’t get to be easily motivated, trust me, it can be done. The beautiful thing about working on it is that the more you build it, the better you are at it. It’s like a muscle, the more you work it, the firmer and bulkier it becomes.
How you can be and remain self-motivated
#1. Find and connect an incentive to your goal. I think the love for a cause (intrinsic motivation) is better incentive to go on a journey. When you love what you do, it is easier to get up every day and do it. Sometimes the incentive may also be obligatory, the need to fulfill an obligation. Whatever your incentive is, hold on to it. Remind yourself every day especially when the going gets tough. It will give you the strength to move on even in time of adversity.
#2. Before you embark on any journey, know your strengths and your weaknesses. What you can or cannot do. If your weaknesses can be developed, then pursue development. If you don’t tackle this early, your weaknesses will act as an “intrinsic demotivator” as you move along your journey. Deal with it before it deals with you.
#3. Identify extrinsic factors that can hinder your progress. Let’s face it, obstacles can be discouraging at times. Even to the strongest leaders. Map out a plan at the onset of your journey to tackle them. You might not be able to identify all initially but at least have a backup plan in case of any surprises. Have a contingency plan in case things go wrong in future.
#4. When you eventually begin your journey, determine within you that you will finish what you started no matter what may come your way. Believe me everybody goes through challenges, remember quitters never win. So stick with your cause.
#5. Stay away from negative minded people. They are called pessimists. People who do not believe in your dreams. I once wrote about walking with giants; surround yourself with optimists (read it here). Please stay away from negative minded people. I once know a person who was laid back in character. Whenever I spoke with her about what I was up to, in a subtle way, she would try to make my plans smaller and tell me a thousand and one reasons why I should not do it or do it in a miniature way. I always leave our conversation down casted. So what did I do, I reduced my encounter with this person tremendously and if by chance I have to speak with her, I make sure I don’t discuss my plans or objectives with her. Period!!!
#6. Always have a to-do-list. I started having a to-do-list years back. Ever since I learned to keep one, it reduced the cluttering in my head when I think of what I have to do. I am also able to prioritize as well. In addition to this, as I complete a task on my to-do-list, I get a sense of accomplishment because I know I am one step closer to my goal.
All said, please note that no one can make another do something they are not motivated to do. One may motivate another through words, actions or deeds but the actual getting up and acting on a thought or an idea depend solely on an individual effort. Go for your dreams. Don’t let YOU stand between you and your dreams.
We are all on this journey of life to fulfill our destiny. Is there an experience you want to share that we can all learn from, you can leave a comment below or if you are shy like me 😉 , then send me an email on email@example.com. I will help put it in a beautiful write up so we can all learn from it.
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