Motivation is the amount of effort that an individual is willing to put in to achieve a goal or outcome. It energises, directs and sustains the behaviour that is needed to achieve and be successful.
To manage our movement towards success our coach can help us by exploring with us our:
1. Rational beliefs – that is holding beliefs that are healthy and consistent with what we want in life (and more, do we have a philosophy towards life that is coherent, consistent and congruent with what we aim to achieve?).
2. Emotional resilience – ‘E Motions’ is ‘Energy in Motion’ – in other words do our emotions lead to responses that move or energise us towards our goals? Emotional Intelligence is always useful.
3. Behavioural actions – using what we do and the physical sensations we have in our body to direct us toward our goals (which can sometimes happen sub-consciously as we are a biological as well as a thinking machine).
4. Cognitive processing – does the way we think support our desire to be successful (this works on the premise that if we change our thoughts we change our actions)?
Coaching psychology suggests that where we feel discomfort in those areas of our lives (physical, emotional, mental or spiritual/philosophical) there is a rich source of opportunity to be explored and made use of. It is called learning and it leads to growth.
But often we find ourselves stuck and unable to achieve in ways that are satisfying, and because of this we may find we ‘can’t even get started’. This can be due to lacking meaning in our lives. Meaning is about simply holding a philosophy that leads us to conclude that ‘life generally makes good sense’.
Undoubtedly that means two other things; having a sense of purpose (knowing what it is that adds your value) and being suitably stretched (that is using our energy to keep improving). How effective that is for us depends on the source of our motivation.
The nature of the motivation is normally described as either being:
a. Extrinsic – driven by outside circumstances, such as social expectations, the need to avoid punishment or to achieve rewards.
b. Intrinsic – emerging from internally, what it is that the individual really wants to achieve.
The distinction is vital as external motivation tends to be short term and energy draining, whilst internal motivation tends to be more enduring and energy sustaining. This has importance for our own approach to life and for the systems, like families, organisations and businesses that we are involved in.
It means that if you want a ‘quick fix, someone else does it for me’, you will find a great motivational speaker to do it to you. If you want the ‘silver bullet of all magic’, try ‘The Secret’ – all you have to do is ‘wish for it and click your heels’ and it will be done for you.
On the other hand if you stop and listen you may come to understand that the desire to grow is internal and innate, the answers are within yourself. Bring your desires to meet your internal motivation and you can succeed.
If you, your family and your organisation want to be truly successful, then engage in and promote transformational learning and start to really ‘get what motivation is’. It starts by making sure you address 1 to 4 above and getting motivated, from finding the motivation to change, to building the process for changing, and then making, and sustaining the change. The draft articles below address those issues.