Do you know where the word ‘motivation’ comes from?

I usually start my seminars by asking, “What would you like to get out of today?” Invariably, the word ‘Motivation’ is on the list of answers.

The word ‘Motivation’ means ‘Motive for Action’ or another way of saying that is, “What is your reason for doing it”, whatever ‘it’ is. What motive for action do you have? What drives you forward?

When I reflect the question back to people, everyone has their own reasons, from money, to pride, ambition, a better lifestyle, to support a family etc.

So, how do you motivate yourself?

It follows then, that if motivation means ‘motive for action’ that what you need to do to motivate yourself is focus on what your ‘motive for action – your reasons for doing it’ are… It’s the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor.

The more ‘reasons for doing it’ that you can come up with as to why you need to get on with it, the more motivated you become to get it done!

Sometimes we all look for the easy way out, where we want someone else to motivate us, “I just need motivating” or “I need you to motivate me” or “If only I could get motivated”.

Motivation is a feeling…

Motivation is a feeling, an attitude, an emotion, it comes from within. Someone else can inspire you, but you need to learn how to motivate yourself.

When you look at someone, you can often tell how they are feeling and what their level of motivation is because their body language speaks volumes.

Think about it, what is the body language of someone who is happy? Angry? Sad? Depressed? What do those emotions look like?

Alternatively, What is the body language of someone who is motivated? Do they sit slumped in a chair, rounded shoulders looking at the ground? Of course not, that is the body language of depressed, that is how you ‘do’ depressed.

So how do you do motivation? How do you sit? How do you move? How do you sound? What tone of voice do you have? What words do you use? What do you focus on? Who do you spend time with? What do you listen to? How do you communicate?

Motivation is something you do…

The quickest way to motivate yourself is to change your physiology. Think about it, when you’ve felt motivated before what was your physiology? Whatever it was, do it again… put yourself in the same physical state, do the same things you did with your body when you were last motivated and you will feel more motivated.

I know it might be easier to sit collapsed in front of the TV watching some mindless rubbish with a glass of wine or whatever in your hand… but that’s not how you do motivation.

I know it might be easier to sit in the staff room and complain about everyone and everything, but that’s not how you do motivation either.

Motivation comes from being focused…

You need to have a focus, a purpose, not my purpose or someone else’s purpose, your purpose, your reason for doing whatever it is.

Your purpose is your goal, so what is it? If your ‘motive for action’ is money, how much money is it you want, and by when? If your motive for action is a better life style, what sort of a life style do you want and by when? If your ‘motive for action’ is ambition, what is it you want to achieve, what position, what job, what reward is it that you are aiming for?

People who succeed in life are people who are focused, they know what they want and they focus on getting it, they are clear about their ‘motive for action’.

People who are ‘fuzzy’ in defining what they want, who are vague in getting definition in their ‘motive for action’ lack direction and the focus needed to succeed.

Many people think motivation leads to action. No, motivation doesn’t cause action. It’s the opposite ‘Action creates motivation.’ That’s a really important distinction.

Being motivated is down to you. Sorry but you can’t blame anyone else. Motivation is a choice, your choice. So make the choice to be self motivated.

It’s not up to someone else, it’s up to you! One of my favourite quotes is made up of ten 2 letter words “If it is to be, it is up to me”

Brainstorm with your team:

  • As individuals what are your ‘motives for taking action’?
  • As a team what is our collective ‘motive for action’?
  • How can we motivate each other?

Thank you for watching…

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Have a great week! 

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