I have a personal goal: to be the best at writing and editing. But I have no idea how I can get there from here. I’ve spent hours and hours doing research, reading books, talking to people, asking my friends for advice, etc. I’ve done it all. And yet I still don’t know how to do it. And if I tried to figure it out on my own, I might even spend the rest of my life struggling with it as a discipline rather than being able to enjoy it as an art form. This is what self-motivation is like: one person’s struggle against an obstacle that you cannot see or understand because you do not have the experience required (or are unwilling to seek it).I myself am self-motivated by a deep need for achievement in writing and editing, but also by empathy and curiosity about life in general. If you share these motivations with me then I will be happy to help you solve your problem or find a solution for yours too.
2. The Benefits of Self-Motivation
The search for self-motivation is a long-standing puzzle in psychology. It has been widely described as a “psychological trait” that can be measured with instruments such as the NEO personality inventory and the SWS (Self-Willedness Scale). However, there has been no consensus about what exactly this trait is. Most recently, Robert Sternberg and his colleagues published a study in which they tested how self-motivated people differ from non-self-motivated individuals. They found that self-motivated people are more likely to follow their goals, approach problems more confidently and persist in completing difficult tasks. A lot of studies have looked at the relationship between motivation and personal growth, and most of them suggest that personal growth is driven by motivation. Therefore, a better understanding of the relationship between motivation and personal growth may help us to better understand why some people achieve higher levels of personal growth than others. One study conducted by Jacobson et al. (2004) used the SWS to measure the moods of Americans who participated in an experiment where they were given free beer during a 10 minute break at work and asked to complete a series of tasks such as describing what they do for a living or taking the temperature of their own body temperature. The results shown on the graph above show that those participants who showed strong levels of self-confidence (i.e., high SWS scores) were significantly more likely to report that they would rather be happy than stressed out after their work day had ended compared with those who reported low levels of self-confidence, indicating that they were less willing to ‘hide out’ at work after having completed an unpleasant task because it was not easy for them to do so (even in the face of free beer!).This finding should be encouraging not only for those who are constantly trying to improve themselves but also for those individuals who desire to improve their lives but fear exerting themselves or feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges!
3. How to become self-motivated
I’ve noticed a lot of people have a hard time being self-motivated, especially when it comes to learning new skills. It’s not that they don’t want to learn new skills — they just find it difficult to be motivated. It’s an unfortunate paradox that we need external motivation in order to become motivated. The first step to being self-motivated is having a personal goal that you can work towards if you start at the beginning and work your way back to the end. But if you start out with something that isn’t personally meaningful, then it could take years for you to become motivated enough to do something you love. This is why I believe there is such a strong correlation between education and motivation. Someone who has achieved their goals because of their education will always have motivation for whatever pursuit lies ahead of them, and someone who hasn’t has no motivation at all if they don’t have a goal to go after (which is why I think it’s important for people with low education levels not only to learn new skills but also set goals!). Your inspiration comes from within, so we should be looking at how we can nurture this inner person by taking care of ourselves first — by eating right, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and so on. There are many ways we could go about achieving this (and I wrote about another technique in another post), but I would encourage all people reading this article (and probably most people who read this blog) to get themselves physically fit first! The body loves exercise even more than the mind does! You can read more about how fitness affects your productivity here .
I think this is a great question and one that I’ve wrestled with myself. I have the desire to be a good mentor, but I also know that it would be very difficult and not particularly rewarding to be a mentor. So, if I’m going to do it, I’d like to do it because of some internal motivation. It might even be something as simple as wanting to become an expert at something or wanting to help people succeed. In the past, I have thought that being a mentor was the easiest way for me to build the skills needed for my career: by helping people learn and grow, I would only ever need to worry about what my own goals were. But as more time has passed since then, becoming a mentor has become more of an ordeal than anything else: my students are often too young (they should already be learning), and there’s always a million different factors at play that don’t line up with what feels like a great plan. And so, being able to meet people on their own level has gotten harder and harder for me over time. I can see how this can happen: when you first start out in your career you will have all kinds of reasons why you shouldn’t quit your day job—some that seem valid and some that are just wishful thinking—so your motivation is likely pre-determined by these external factors. But over time you will learn what matters most in your life (and maybe even figure out ways in which those factors don’t make sense) and so your motivation will change accordingly (remembering that the important thing isn’t how much money you make or how much prestige you achieve; it’s how much meaning you create). As we get further along in our careers though, we may find ourselves still pre-determined by external factors (our jobs might get easier or we may find ourselves moving into new spaces), while we become motivated by our own goals (we want things beyond just financial stability)… And so we can say, yes, this idea of “self-motivated” works well for me.