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Self Motivation Uncover Your Motivations

Updated on April 10, 2011

Simon Vics on Self Motivation

Yes, that's me ... Simon Vics
Yes, that's me ... Simon Vics

Why Self Motivation Matters

In the mad scramble to live a better and more fulfilling life, people often embark upon recommended courses of action without a great deal of consideration. They find out about a new self-help bestseller, read its proscriptions, and start following it in hopes of success. Others hear about a method from a trusted friend or relative and adopt it immediately, assuming that if it worked for someone else, it will work for them just as effectively.

These efforts, no matter how well-intended, too often result in little more than frustration. Rarely do they help one get from where he or she is to the personal destination for which they had hoped. More often than not, these plans dead-end.

Why? There are thousands of potential reasons why so many self-improvement strategies work for some and not others. The possibilities are nearly infinite. However, there is one common problem that arises with great frequency. People follow methods that don't comport to their own individual motivations.

Each of us has a unique set of motivations. What "trips one trigger" may do very little in terms of inspiring someone else. Our own personal motivations grow out of our backgrounds, education and experiences. They influence how we see the world, what we want to take from it, and what we want to give to it. These motivation "sets" are so diverse that the idea of "one size fits all" self-improvement plan borders on being laughable. If a strategy doesn't resonate consistently with one's most deeply held personal motivations, it is doomed to fail.

Most of us are looking for a better life. Our focus may be on improving the external trappings of our existence and experiencing luxuries or a stronger sense of security. Some of us may be motivated by more altruistic hopes and dreams of benefiting society as a whole. Most of us actually combine somewhat self-serving motivations with the selfless in a package of inspirations that works for the individual alone. Though we may all be looking for something better, the idea of what "better" means is inevitably determined, in large measure, by our own motivations.

This complicates the use of a predefined self-improvement "system" considerably. Many highly-vaunted solutions, for instance, rely upon regular use of extrinsic motivators in the form of personal rewards that may not be sufficiently sustaining for someone who is more intrinsically motivated. A popular self-help title may recommend taking a series of actions to achieve a certain definition of success. That definition, although seemingly reasonable on its face, may be meaningless in practical terms if the reader's motivations result in a distinct understanding of what constitutes real achievement.

So, does the presence of individual groups of motivations render the search for a systematic approach to self-improvement useless? Not at all. A strong, proven strategy to help people reach their fullest potential can be very valuable. The trick, however, is matching the right system to the motivations of the user.

They say that "what's good for the goose is good for the gander." That may be true in some places, but nothing is further from the truth in terms of self-improvement. What may work for a husband may fail for his wife. The strategy that transformed the life of a friend may do nothing for you other than create disappointment.

One should be on the lookout for guidance as he or she attempts to improve his or her life. However, before utilizing any particular strategy, he or she must take the time to understand it and to consider whether or not the plan fits with their personal motivations.

Motivations are what keep us marching along the path to fulfillment. When motivation lapses, we get sidetracked. In some cases, we give up completely. A great plan that doesn't meet up with an individual's motivations is no more useful than a car without an engine or a bathtub without water. That is why motivations matter and it's also why finding or creating a self-improvement plan that matches our individual motivations is incredibly important.

Uncovering Your Motivations

Before you can tap into the power of your most deeply held motivations, you must uncover them. You'd think it would be easy to rattle off the things that motivate you, but in most cases it actually requires a bit of digging. Our busy lives are so focused on the immediate (getting to the next item on the list, finding a way to pay this month's bills, etc.) that we often lose track of those almost primal urges that can truly help drive us toward our greatest successes.

Here's a great exercise to help you discover your motivations. Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and a pen or in front of a blank word processing document at your PC and answer the following hypothetical question: "If time, money or other resources weren't an issue, what would you like to accomplish?"

Don't spend too much time thinking about your answers. Just let them come naturally and get them out as quickly as possible for several minutes. You'll soon find that you have generated a fairly extensive list of things you would love to do if you weren't limited by outside factors.

After you have your list, go through each individual item and note why each individual objective you brainstormed is so appealing. This allows you to start understanding what really motivates you.

You might discover that a preponderance of your dream accomplishments related to helping others. Or, you might find that they were motivated by a strong desire to provide security for your family. You could be motivated by almost anything, and this simple exercise allows you to find out what your deepest motivations are. By divorcing your dreams from the limitations of reality, you are able to develop a much clearer picture of what "makes you tick."

Knowing your individual motivations is a key to self-improvement. You can't hope to reach your potential if you don't understand why you want to get there in the first place!

Self Motivation HubPages Comments

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    • billybala profile image

      billybala 

      7 years ago from United States

      Excellent Hub. The Article is great. It would be nice to share more ideas about how to uncover my motivations in the future. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Sven Schoene 

      8 years ago

      Hey Simon,

      excellent article! I especially like the exercise you give at the end for people not knowing what motivates them.

      Seeing that you came up with this exercise you probably know what I'm talking about when I'm telling you that I know a lot of people in my life who do actually not really know what truly motivates them or what they are really passionate about. It seems weird for people like you and me but a lot of people actually need help with finding their true source of motivation.

      Anyways, great article, something I could see myself passing on to other people! :)

    • DFW TEEN VOICE profile image

      DFW TEEN VOICE 

      8 years ago from Richardson, Texas

      Excellent Hub. I enjoy reading motivational tips to keep on track. I invite you to become a fan of DFW TEEN VOICE.

      Success!

    • profile image

      JOBE 

      9 years ago

      ACCORDING TO HUMAN NATURE, WE ARE ALLL MASTERS FOR OUR OWN DESTINIES. THE ONLY KEY TO DISCORVER THAT HIDDEN MASTER IS TO RELIE ON AN INTRINSIC MOTIVATION. IN OUR DAILY LIVES WE ARE BEING THREATEN BY A SYNDROME CALLED FAILURE THE WORSE THING ABOUT FAILURE, FAILURE ONLY ATTACT MIND NOT ENTIRE BODY LIKE THE DISEASE. WE ARE AT A LEGACY TO TO CONDITION OUR MINDS IN EVERY DEFINITE PURPOSE WE WANT TO ACHIEVE IN LIFE, THE ONLY KEY FOR THAT IS THE POWER OF MENTAL ATTITUDE. I SAT IT LAST WE NEVER GIVEN DREAMS WTHOUT THE POWER TO PURSUE THEM COME TRUE. LET S EXPLORE THIS WORLD IN A DEEPER NOR DEEP POSITIVE LIGHTS THANK A LOT GUYS KEEP IT UP WITH THE MAINTAINANCE OF SELF HELP MOTIVATION

    • KonaGirl profile image

      KonaGirl 

      10 years ago from Slingerlands

      Good points not only for motivation , but also for procrastinators!

    • profile image

      Chanel R 

      10 years ago

      Great page you have here!

    • Simon Vics profile imageAUTHOR

      Simon Vics 

      11 years ago

      Hi Trish,

      Yep ... it's discovering and trusting our own nature. The challenge can be the discovery and identification of that 'true nature' ...

      Many thanks for your kind comments,

      Simon

    • profile image

      Trish Scott 

      11 years ago

      Good points. The way to find our way is through our own hearts. Whatever we find to nudge us in that direction works. Whatever leads us elsewhere is a wild goose chase. Trish http://scottfree2b.wordpress.com/

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