Self-motivation is the ability to do what needs to be done without something from other people or situations. Self-motivated people find a reason and the strength needed to complete a task, even when challenging, without giving up or needing another to encourage them.
Through Ubuntu, we have talked a great deal about our connectedness, our reliance on each other for support and motivation. Our managers have worked hard on developing ways to help recognize and reward the people on our teams doing very good work. We also all likely work to motivate our children, give them praise and correction where needed, remind them of the incentives of hard work and perseverance and yet at some point, we hope that a degree of self-motivation will take root.
Interdependence is essential, we are after all social creatures who look for approval and direction from our fellow humans. So where does self-motivation fit in? Sure your managers may recognize your contribution to things, tell you that you are doing a good job but this doesn’t happen that often. We are all busy and the reality is that problems tend to get our attention first simply because they demand it.
Unfortunately, there is no one following you around during your day like a personal cheer leading squad cheering you on. That might be nice, who couldn’t use a ‘rah rah rah, you can do it!’ once in awhile? But at a certain point in life, if you want to be successful, you have to figure out how to be your own cheerleader, your own manager, your own coach.
So how do you become self-motivated? If I knew the answer to that, I could probably retire and just enjoy my big pile of money! We all struggle to stay motivated, to find what it is that will push us to keep striving. It’s a personal process because what motivates me may not motivate you. But I think it does come down to what do you care about? Figure that out first and then figure out how to tie that into your life and work responsibilities. Do you care about giving your kids a good work ethic? That can be a powerful motivator to get you up and out the door each day. You are instilling them with good habits just by watching you do it. Do you care about having a nice car? Look at your paycheck and figure out how much you can save each check to get you closer to the car you want. Find the things that excite you and motivate you and then use them to help you continue to move forward. How can you be your own manager and use rewards and incentives to keep you moving towards your goal? Figure this out and you are one step ahead of most people.