Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Copy of Your Motivation

“You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. 

But both those methods are only temporary.

The only lasting thing is self-motivation.”

– Homer Rice

We now know what’s important to us, what we want to achieve and the steps we need to take to get there. We are on the journey of personal development, of self-leadership.

The next step is to take the action and implement the strategies you have learned.

Motivation is the fuel that will drive your performance.

How do you motivate yourself to do the doing to achieve what you want?

It is the force that drives you forward – getting up to go the gym, to work, to study at night.

And if it was simple, we would always be highly motivated in all areas of our lives.

But it’s not simple.

Motivation – The Predictor of Success

According to the research of Dr Anders Ericsson, motivation is the most significant predictor of success.

In simple terms, Dr Ericsson found that experts in many walks of life, whether sport, music, chess, dance, or business had put in the most hours at their craft. He coined the phrase, “It takes 10 years and 10,000 hours to become an expert.”

Other research has shown that the longer someone is in a career, the less important innate ability (i.e. intelligence) is, and the more important motivation becomes. In other words, the most successful people just keep plugging away longer than others.

The link between motivation and success seems logical. Straight forward. We know high motivation directly impacts total preparation, which in turn ensures you maximise your performance and results.

Motivation, wellbeing and growth are linked together.

At work, there are external motivators that fulfil some of our core needs, such at significance and growth. There are also other motivators such as money and prestige.

In our lives, the same concepts can be applied, but there’s not the same external motivators present. It relies more on ourselves – on our internal world to do the driving.

And change in some ways is more challenging in our personal lives than at work. The way we have been doing things is ingrained. Our habits have been developed over our lives.

Our ability to motivate ourselves in our lives will depend on how determined we are to break habits and patterns that no longer serve us. And that is challenging and uncomfortable. But the rewards are worth it.

Motivation Impacts Everything

Motivation impacts every aspect of your effort to change and grow including:

  1. Preparation to make the changes;
  2. Patience in giving yourself time for the changes to occur;
  3. Persistence when old habits and patterns resist your efforts;
  4. Perseverance in overcoming obstacles and setbacks;
  5. Lifestyle that supports the changes; and
  6. Ultimate achievement of the desired changes.

For some people, the motivators for change come out of fear and some of out of positivity. They can be internally driven or externally driven.

Obviously, the ideal type of motivation is internal-positive because the motivation is coming from a place of strength and security. At the same time, there has been research that has shown that many successful people are driven to achieve their goals by insecurity, suggesting that an internal-negative or external-negative motivation can lead to change (though rarely  happiness).

The question becomes “What do you want and who do you need to be to get there?”

Do you want an unstable life, full of pressures and fear?

Or do you want a life that is happy, secure and full of choice?

Who do you want to be?

Bonus Content:

Self-Determination Theory

In psychology, self-determination refers to our ability to make choices and manage our own lives. We feel we have control over our choices and lives. There is a direct correlation between taking action and feeling the action will impact the outcome.

The theory was developed by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan suggests we have 3 basic needs – competence, autonomy and relatedness or connection.

The theory assumes that our need for growth drives our behaviour – gaining mastery over challenges and taking in new experiences are essential for developing a sense of self. When we feel we have the skills and competence needed for success, we are more likely to take the actions to help us achieve our goals.

Secondly, the theory assumes that autonomous motivation is important – or our ability to control the course of our lives.

Where some people are motivated by the external validation – rewards, money, prizes, acclaim, SDT focuses on internal sources of motivation or intrinsic motivation.

We need to feel in control of our behaviours and goals, with that sense of being able to take action when we want. We then create self-trust – knowing that whatever challenges that come our way, we’ve got this – we can do it – we trust and back ourselves to keep going.

The third element to SDT is connection or relatedness – this is an external driver of motivation. The need to feel that sense of belonging or attachment to others – belonging to a tribe. So, the growth and motivation is driven by something else – we don’t necessarily have control over taking actions as we are relying on the actions of others to create the environment to motivate us.

So, again for sustainable growth, it starts on the inside. When we are intrinsically motivated, we do things for joy and the satisfaction of the action itself.

When we are mainly driven by external validation, we are doing the action because we have to. The extreme end of the scale is that we have no choice. There is a complete lack of control.

When we have lower levels of internal motivation, we blame others, make excuses, no control and feel stuck.

When we have higher levels of internal motivation we admit fault, fix and take action. We are accountable.

Think back to the above/below the line model we have learned about in an earlier unit.

Actions often rely on a certain degree of self-determination which may also be influenced by extrinsic motivators.

Feeling in control and intrinsically motivated can help people feel more committed, passionate, interested and satisfied with what they are doing.

For example, at work leaders can foster a sense of SD by allowing team members to take an active role, provide meaningful feedback and offer support and encouragement. Too many external rewards can undercut internal motivation. And vice versa – too few can cause employees to feel unappreciated and unheard.

In our personal lives, SD also plays a pivotal role in our motivation. Having a close sense of belongingness, one of our 6 core needs as humans, is critical in the development of motivation. Having positive relationships with people to support your goals and offer support to others as part of your social circle and inner tribe.

Now, what are the gold standard benchmarks when it comes to self-determination?

Your Turn

Let’s do another exercise together.

Please download the workbook and let’s start to reflect on what drives your motivation.

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Your Strengths

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