April Tip 2010: Find Your Inner Motivation

Find Your Inner Motivation, Your Personal Key to Both Success and Happiness

For years, business has used the “carrots and sticks” style of motivating others. Reward behavior you want and punish behavior you don’t want. These extrinsic motivators can work well for routine, non-creative work that just needs to be churned out.

But our 21st century world now is far more complex and challenging. And we desperately need the best and the brightest ideas and solutions. Luckily, that’s what most of us also want. We yearn to be doing interesting, creative work that makes a difference.

So, here’s the challenge.

Look at your work schedule for this coming week. What responsibilities, projects and tasks are coming up for you? Now, think about what excites you, what gets your energy going, what do you think is well-worth your time. You are very likely most motivated when doing those activities because they satisfy our deep human need for autonomy, mastery and purpose. These intrinsic motivators are:

  • To direct our own lives (autonomy)
  • To learn & create new things (mastery)
  • To do better by ourselves & our world (purpose)

Now ask yourself, “How could I bring more of what really motivates me into my work week?” Start by making small shifts. Keep up the momentum by acknowledging your progress each night. When you hop into bed, ask yourself, “Was I better today than yesterday?” Try it. It works!

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