Being the best person you can be may be met with various challenges but you have more than a hundred strategies in this book to help assure you of your success.
This success is not measured by superficial and materialistic barometers (money, toys, status, recognition, prestige, title, etc.) despite the fact many people think these are the best motivators. These motivators may provide some initial burst of joy but will not provide you with continuous meaningful motivation. You will not sustain any type of real personal achievement via the rewards, love and approval of anyone…other than yourself!
What is needed to drive and sustain success is not some external reward system but rather a strong intrinsic, internal reward system – one that you control.
Not only is this type of reward system more powerful, it is more lasting, and costs you nothing more than adapting your present ways of thinking. Let’s be clear about one thing, the ultimate motivator is internal and is simply for the enjoyment and interest of an activity – like reading a book.
However it isn’t always easy finding this type of motivation when achieving a diploma or degree. It is often said that if you have a career you love you will never have to “work” a day in your life. So here are some approaches to help achieve the same type of motivation at all academic challenges and perhaps many others in life.
Be present and engaged in your task
In order to be sustained, this requires a healthy dose of energy, but not through energy drinks! Obviously doing a task you love will create this energy naturally; however doing a task that may be compulsory but not compelling, means finding ways to create interest even if it is artificial. Simple things like seating in class, participation, taking notes, or simply try to find some part of the lesson/topic that’s interesting.
Making a constant conscious choice to be more engaged in the class/activity will help with your motivation when the subject matter does not do it alone. This may seem like an oversimplified approach but the results will prove it true – self motivation can be learned through repeated and conscious efforts to become and remain engaged in an activity.
Achievement begets achievement
When we achieve an important goal we are left with a great sense of satisfaction that can tap into real internal motivation and become like an addictive drug. Striving to do your best on a challenging task can reward you with feelings of accomplishment and stronger self concept – making you feel like you can take on the world. Inevitably your drive to succeed on future tasks becomes stronger.
And if you have not achieved the level you had hoped, you must remain positive and look at what you can do – not what you can’t. Achieving goals for your own internal desires of self-development becomes a self rewarding endeavor that has no limit and has no failures. By enjoying the fruits of your labor and taking pride in what you have achieved, it becomes a better motivator than any material possession that you could ever attain.
Become the journey
Abraham Maslow was a famous American psychologist who believed everyone has strong desires deep in them to achieve their full potential thus achieving self actualization. Self actualization is simply a person’s desire to be what they were meant to be. Fulfilling our potential by exploring our limits in the direction of interests and talents is one of the ultimate and most effective methods of becoming and remaining motivated. If you see each day as peeling back another layer of who you are and where you are going, each task becomes an exploration of the possibilities that lie before you. Like an artist carves a sculpture, you too are carving out the person you were meant to be. Embrace the surprises, rewards, challenges and yes – even the struggles.
You have direct control over your levels of motivation. Motivation is merely your internal desire and commitment to do things and is the basic and fundamental factor in achieving all of the goals you dream of. Being fully motivated is not a result of what happens to you, but a result of what happens in you. Tap into this and you are on your way to being better than you ever thought possible.
You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon.
To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions.
– Adlin Sinclair
Donnie Holland, M.Ed. is a school principal in Nova Scotia, Canada and currently working on his Ed.D through the University of West Georgia.
Read more about internal awards