By: Thomas Young
Motivation is direction or focus toward a goal or mission that is fueled by energy and enthusiasm. It is the key to success in any venture. Motivation is like the motor in a car. The car is not moving unless the motor is running. Unless, of course, the car is coasting or being towed! True motivation comes when your own internal motor is driving you toward your goals, not when you are coasting or being pulled along by another’s direction. Let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of personal motivation.
Motivation and Personal Leadership
True motivation comes from within. The highest levels of motivation come when we are in tune with our sense of mission. This is personal leadership. Our mission statement defines what we love and our purpose for being on this planet. When we are in touch with this true calling, we are maximizing our motivation and functioning at our highest capacity. Without this true sense of purpose or mission, one cannot be fully motivated. The answer to motivational problems is personal leadership, or the deep belief in a vision of who you are.
Being in touch with your true calling unleashes a tremendous amount of energy that, when combined with focused direction, results in the highest level of motivation. Three of the most important qualities of a highly motivated person are clarity, focus and persistence. The more clear the focus, the greater the energy toward your goals. Motivation is visualizing success and moving toward it.
Motivation in the Workplace
Very few people are highly motivated at work. Most people work at only a small fraction of their actual capabilities. Imagine a workplace where everyone worked at even 80% of his or her potential. The key to being motivated at work is in understanding that it is not the responsibility of your employer to motivate you. He or she can only create a motivational environment. It is up to you to motivate yourself.
Self-improvement and Motivation
Self-improvement is one of the best motivators. Increasing your knowledge and learning new material pushes you beyond boundaries and brings greater rewards. Work to improve yourself every day and your motivation will increase. Allow yourself to expand beyond safe paradigms.
The Personal Barometer
We all have a personal barometer that guides our comfort zone in response to our levels of success. Why do some people drive a BMW and others a Geo? It has to do with how they see themselves. Any disharmony in this area will motivate actions to get back in balance. Motivate yourself by raising your own personal barometer. Expect more from yourself.
It is very important to create an environment that motivates you. You should get a charge from where you work, not a drain. Also, the people with whom you interact affect your motivation tremendously. Spend time with those who build you up, support you and avoid negative people. If you don’t receive positive feedback, do a personal assessment; there may be a reason for it.
Money Does Not Motivate
Beware of false motivation, such as money. Money, as a motivator, is a very tricky proposition. People adapt to the amount of money they are making; as a result, motivation is short- lived. People work up to what they expect to be paid, based on their personal barometer of what they are worth. When they reach that level, fixed pay adds no additional motivational value. Be careful that you do not place too much emphasis on money. Your mission comes first and then the money will follow in direct proportion to the service you have provided. The key is to provide the service that is your true calling.
Self-motivation is personal leadership via your own vision, goals, values and your own unique definition of success. A commitment to personal leadership with a high level of motivation is a long-term process. It will take time for behavior to change and be sustained, and longer for the rewards to come. But when the rewards do come, it will have been well worth it.
Tom Young, MBA is a sales trainer and marketing consultant in Colorado Springs helping companies increase revenues.