Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Motivation Myth


Why motivation myth? I'm referring to our understanding of what motivation really means. Motivation is more akin to doing what you want when you want! It's the realisation that no-one can motivate you to achieve anything long-term. Have you ever noticed its effect in your own life? Think of those times when you've been 'too tired' to do something planned but undesirable, yet as soon as something with personal appeal surfaces, so does your enthusiasm and energy!

Your Internal Integrity
Motivation is much more than that though. There's an honesty to it in relation to your commitment, and keeping your word. So few people underestimate the power of truth within themselves.

It's what you do when no-one's looking that defines who we really are - that's where your real motivation lies.We have to want to make the change, or the motivation won't work. Why? Because most motivation is external - someone or something trying to get us to 'do' something. And I say 'trying' because all external motivation is temporary. It may influence us to see things differently for a while (even enthusiastically), but the effect cannot be long-lasting.

They say fear of loss is one of life's greatest motivators because it often implies the taking away of something we already have at our present level - read 'comfort zone!'

It's How The Human Brain Works
We need to understand how we've learned everything we've learned up this point in our lives. Gradually. Over time, often with repetition (remember school?) It's how the human brain works. This is why, in the human brain, it's impossible for momentary external motivation to create permanent change. It's also why so many hopeful attendees at motivational talks get pumped up, given a new lease of life ready to conquer the world, then slow down or revert back to their old selves within a matter of days, weeks or even hours after the talk is over.

Encourage, Encourage, Encourage!
External motivation cannot make the change for us. It's up to us to motivate ourselves towards our goals and objectives. And for that we need a lot of internal encouragement! Remember, you're the horse in the race! Give yourself a growing list of reasons why you can achieve your goals. Reward yourself at every sign of progress that you're headed in the right direction, and before you know it, you'll have authentic confidence in your ability to achieve.

No-one is Going To Do The Work For You
No one is going to do the work for us. We are responsible. This realisation tends to dawn on us as the years progress. Don't leave it too long before you realise you really have to do something! The external coach or motivator who encourages, demands even, and paints pictures of reward is great until they've gone. As soon as they leave, so does the support, the encouragement and our internal pictures of possibility. The coach was your motivation!

Don't get me wrong, some motivation works, it's just that about 95 percent of it doesn't. That's a big percentage. The key is to start asking yourself some tough questions about where you're headed in life. If you really enjoy what you're doing, you need little in the way of motivation to make progress, and time seems to stand still. Ever felt like that? This is representative of your true calling and what you were put on this earth to do.

On the flip side, if you've ever met up with any of delegates a few weeks after a motivational rally, you'll notice how little has changed. Now you know why. Its not their fault. At least you now know why it's best to become your own personal cheer leader!