Motivation is the engine that moves everything. Without motivation, in whatever form (intrinsic, extrinsic) we would simply lie around watching our favorite reality show and no one would care about flying into space. We find ourselves in the throes of a full knowledge revolution. We’re becoming increasingly aware of the need to focus, and the importance of identifying our potential as human capital.
First I want to make a distinction between motivation and personal development. Personal development is composed of techniques that make us evolve personally and or professionally- concrete things that help us become better.
Motivational or personal development
Feeling motivated is amazing. We feel a renewed sense of energy and ready to take on the world. However, motivation alone is not enough. Motivation without a goal or blueprint may lead to a lot of misguided efforts. The same is true about personal development. Without personal development a person may be a social disaster failing at both professional and personal relationships. They may remind you of a hot air balloon without a specific course or destination. They lack content because they don’t know what to do.
If we focus solely on personal development and we see results, we can begin to lose motivation for continued growth. As we evolve our need for motivation drops due to strengthened values, roles, and commitments that carry us through.
If you’ve spent any time looking at personal development online you’ll quickly notice the subject is predominantly oriented toward motivational content and less on actually developing the person.
Sometimes you’ll stumble upon a good thing that’s both the right amount of motivation and personal development. A perfect example can be found here: http://achieveprospergrow.com
This amounts to trying to take a ride in that same hot air balloon without untying the weights securing it to the ground. The balloon will not fly if the weights hold it down just as you won’t really evolve if you’re mostly full of motivation. Personal development should constitute 70-80% and motivation the other 20-30%. Give up the weights.
In other words, it is a fruitless task to motivate yourself without putting in real work somewhere to make concrete and sustainable changes. Why motivate yourself for nothing? You’ll have shoot for the stars thoughts with only head in the clouds abilities. Don’t fill your tank with gas if the key won’t start the car.
Motivation through reward and punishment
Rewards can be utilized to motivate us right? Of course. The problem is that people are not granted with the same sets of values. You will not be able to motivate indefinitely with the same values that others use. At some point it just fails to stoke your own fire. You will need to provide yourself with more and more and…you guessed it, more. Make sure you’re working toward knowing what truly motivates you for the long haul and not what simply gets you charged up for a day or two.
Using motivational materials
You can read the cornucopia of motivational stories out there, you can put the motivational images or quotes on your desktop or cell phone and you can watch motivational videos until your eyes bleed. You’ll feel motivated for awhile. But for how long? A day? Two? Three? Maybe a week or two.
You’ll return back and maybe listen to some motivational music, read more quotes that inspire you. You can use any motivational element you like. You’ll feel motivated for a while. But for how long?
Have you ever been to a seminar held by a good motivational speaker? After the speech, the audience leaves feeling energized and ready to change the world. A few days later they’re back to their quotes, music, and screensavers. Why?
Because, like most people, they were motivated by something outside of themselves. They’ve become motivation addicts and when the high is over they search for their next fix.
There are many free resources available that can be both motivational and help you develop personally. Some of the best ones motivate you to take the action necessary to change personal habits. This is a great example of one of these free resources: http://achieveprospergrow.com
Outside and inside motivation
Extrinsic motivation relies on outside factors, or simply, things outside of us that motivate us. Maybe a motivational text, a picture or song. Possibly your bank’s interest rate motivates you to go to work? An upcoming exam in two days may immediately motivate you to study. A baby crying at night may be your motivation to get out of bed.
Intrinsically, a smiling child or spouse can motivate us to go further. You may find that someone you respect is equally encouraging. Are you pushing yourself for that ideal physical image of yourself? Learning a new skill that will boost your self-esteem?
Obviously, the intrinsic motivators listed feel more positive than the extrinsic ones. The extrinsic motivators tend to motivate us to avoid unpleasant things. Most of us prefer the more positive intrinsic ones, which help us evolve and have a better quality of life, and be happier accomplishing things we always dreamed of.
This does not mean that extrinsic motivation is all negative. We often accomplish more when we’re put under pressure than when we simply think, talk, and act like everything is beautiful. Everyone is unique and this includes what motivates us. Each goal and vision depends on the individual and the previous experiences which they’ve lived.