Was a very interesting comment made by a parent this morning, “I wish my child would be motivated to complete any-thing taken up without us coaxing and cajoling. She just does not seem to realise the importance of self-motivation, her attitude is, if not this, something else – why bother?!”It was almost a cry out for help, to quite frankly anyone who would listen to her in a hope that someone would suggest a “quick fix” solution (we are a generation that also believes every problem can be addressed within matter of minutes, so remember quick fix has become part of our DNA and a tough one to deal with as it is but coming back to the topic!), and quite frankly she did try earnestly to find the “perfect” quick fix – all her mommie networks and tweets got her some varied responses, none that she found were useful or applicable.
I thought to myself, if this mother was crying out for her 10 year to be self-motivated, are we as adults any different? How many of us can claim to jump out of bed in a hope to embrace work after a short family holiday on a Monday morning, how many of us struggle to find the right motivation to drive to work on a rainy day, how many of us envy those who lie in each day without a worry of “not achieving”. Have we as adults learnt the ways of “disguising” and simply focus on “getting through, envy and all?
Some interesting perspectives as you dig deeper ……
While those around you play a part in inspiring you to do more at times, some work assignment that gives you a great deal of personal satisfaction, or a family matter successfully dealt with becomes an incentive, does this happen for all? And is self-motivation as important as it is made out to be?
For me personally, one of the keys to a leading a balanced life in today’s era with all its expectations we have self-imposed, is finding that motivation within. It is about reflecting, and analysing why I could not complete that task on time, or to the expectations of those around, or why I did manage to produce a fabulous solution to a problem, others could not. It gives me the “buzz” to do more. And it is funny, the satisfaction that this brings you is a different kind. One that cannot compare to materialistic gains, or promotions, or praises, it is finding that something that helps you to move forward. And stay hungry for more. As someone who was encouraged to be independent from an early age, this dependency attachment is a worrying fact for most people – the need to have some else make the decision, or lead…. Quite frankly, following and executing is simpler than leading, isn’t it?
Self-motivation is therefore that self-correction tool that enables you to improve without being dependent on this advice from others, and clinically evaluating your own strengths and weaknesses. And should everyone want to become better people?
Some peers of mine have argued that there are some people wired to do things differently, always seeking for that something more, and generally “crave” that achievement to stay ahead. Some are the “happy go lucky” types who are content and satisfied. My answer to that is simply, it isn’t a nature vs nurture argument, is it simply that some people have not taken the risk of trying it out. And anyone who has “tasted” its success, gets hooked on. So try it, just for laughs and see how it changes your world.
It isn’t that everyone can be on top of their game or approach, all the time. It is about accepting that some days will be tougher, and finding that memory that allowed you that success in the past, gets you through those days. Reaching out, and surrounding yourself by positive people, also helps, not for asking for their solutions, but the general energy it brings to the situations. I also find writing down aspects about a tough day using a mind map, helps me quickly put things in perspective, and I often say, I pick my battles, knowing I cannot win them all.
The one bit of advice, if I have not bored you enough already is simply that to be able to grow and mature and develop a better attitude, you will have to push the boundaries. And unfortunately, no one else can make it happen for you, unless you want to. So set realistic targets for yourself, allow yourself a moment of weakness, read books and anecdotes from what others have done, and then simply tell yourself, “it is time to wake up and smell the coffee!”
This age old saying, works. Trust me!