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Motivate yourself


Achieving goals is not a matter of having “discipline”. It’s a matter of motivating yourself and keeping your focus on your goal. Often the question is asked, “How do you motivate people”? The answer is simple an encourager who does not try to attach people’s motives to the decisions he has decided they should make instead, he relies on people to motivate themselves. He provides encouragement that makes self-motivation likely. With accepting uncritically certain common assumptions about human beings, an encourager can amplify the difficulty of his task to the point of misunderstanding his role.
One misleading conjecture is that people are so lacking in ideas and initiative that they must be induced to accept some program he or his supervisors have decided would be good for them. He then becomes a too much salesman. Every good encourager is enthusiastic and he counts on some contagion of his enthusiasm to stir people. The method of encouragement does not rule out the making of suggestions with persuasive fervour, but it calls for skill in helping people to discover that they themselves can have ideas and the enthusiasm to carry their ideas into action.
The question is not who is to be credited with the proposing an idea but whether the people adopt it as their own. They must see for themselves that a proposal, whatever its origin, is one they have freely chosen. Another assumption that can delude an encourager is that people are lazy with no motivation or with malevolent motivation. So, it’s necessary therefore for someone to control them.
Parents, teachers & other figures of authority used to discipline the young with such assumptions about themselves. And an uncritical encourager can be tempted to nominate himself as some similar authoritarian figure in dealing with people. As we know all people have motivations. They have impulses to do many things. These are both munificent and selfish, though many of them are difficult to classify in our age of changing standards.
The selfish or rebellious impulses are likely to be the ones that receive the most attention. Some impulses are spontaneously pro social, even when the experience of community has been largely lacking. People apparently aspire to serve a common good even though their unselfish impulses fall short of encouragers hopes for them. Community serving motivations potentially are often hidden behind the socially acceptable exteriors that people use as protections.
These good motives are frequently so well hidden that the person involved refuses to recognize that he has them. Nonetheless, he can be helped to talk about these pro-social impulses as a starting point for community creating activities. An encourager needs to be sensitive to accept minor altruistic proposals as the beginning of aspirations for greater and greater programs that will serve an expanding concept of the common good.
All people can be helped to come together in the service of some commonly held altruistic purpose. There are, however, practical limitations to his effort here. One may lack the skill to reach certain people or his personality may be less acceptable to certain people than another encourager would be. The conjecture is not disproved because any encourager fails to elicit a cooperative response. Another might succeed later when more dexterous or when the people are more ready.
The beginnings of development that grow out of people’s own motivations are usually humble and in a small dimension. The initial responders are likely to be few with minor significance. When people are learning to discover and trust their own good impulses, they usually try themselves out with lesser enterprises. The grandiose services to the common good are more likely to come later.
The trouble is that an encourager may have difficulty acting as though he were guided by such principles. He may be jammed by his own fears or by his conscious or unconscious acceptance of the folk wisdom that prevails in the area where he works. The clichés of thought that ‘everyone knows are true” may tend to undermine his self-assurance.
Those who they are wise about the people they wish to encourage may say, “These people are beyond redemption. They are no good”. Or the people themselves may say, “We tried to do something like that five years ago, and it was a great mistake,” or “We can’t get together; folk fights each other in rival factions.” Or even worse, some will say. “We don’t want to get involved in anything,” Some workers with whom people hold to other unfortunate assumptions about motivation by saying, “People will not stir out of apathy except as they face a crisis in some major disaster. They will not respond to an invitation to altruistic public service.” All these and many other clichés of cynicism can paralyze a majority of the people in a locality. But worst of all they may paralyze an encourager.
If all their friends make cynical assumptions about them, and the people themselves concur in these uncomplimentary assessments, the possibility of positive development is most unlikely. But if some trusted friend indicates a convincing belief in their higher potentials, a developmental process may begin. An encourager can be that trusted friend with positive persuasiveness.
As rightly quoted by Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam “The bird is powered by its own life and by its motivation.”