Tag Archives: extrinsic motivation

YOU Are Your Best Motivator

20 Apr

mountain-climbing-accidents-deaths-on-lhotse-person[1]Any endeavor requires motivation in order to make it a success.  Typically, we begin the pursuit of a goal with lots of energy and enthusiasm.  Unfortunately, many of us abandon our dreams, in part because we fail to realize that this high energy won’t last forever.

We may feel highly motivated to begin a new diet or exercise plan, or perhaps a new job or other project.  We are excited about the possibilities.  Then, after a while, we become tired and our initial enthusiasm fades.

That’s when self-motivation becomes important.  That’s when we need to push ourselves.

We shouldn’t allow our motivation to be too dependent on what the scale or mirror says, or what other people say or think.  There’s nothing wrong with external (extrinsic) motivation — sometimes it can be effective — but we need to work on developing our internal (intrinsic) motivation.

Being motivated doesn’t mean we won’t have to struggle with adversity along the way.  There will always be demands on our lives and our time.  There will be obstacles and temptation to derail our efforts.  Things are rarely as easy as they initially seem.  Remember that even when your motivation is low, you are still able to accomplish something.  Low motivation doesn’t have to mean paralysis.

Conversely, when your motivation is high, take advantage of it by taking on more (or more difficult) tasks.

Occasionally, there will be a “bad” day.  There are times in all of our lives when we find it challenging to stay motivated and on course.  Don’t allow yourself to focus on the negative.  Focus instead on what really matters and learn from a negative situation in order to create a better outcome next time.

We can improve our self-motivation when we acknowledge and embrace the realization that we own our thoughts, feelings, behavior, and choices.  We are in control of what we think, feel, and do.  Reflect upon times when your motivation was high and try to determine what you did to feel that way.

Your motivation will be much stronger and consistent when you focus on making conscious choices about what you can do consistently to achieve all of your dreams and goals.

Be accountable when looking at how you define problems and situations.  Think about what you can do — given what is reasonably and realistically within your power — and do it.  Be open-minded and willing to try different things.

Preparation — and the effort you put into preparation — will make it easier for you to follow through, even when taking on more difficult tasks.  Advance planning and forethought can help you to be less dependent on extra motivation.

Focus on progress, rather than perfection.  Incremental change is the key.  Avoid alternating bouts of productivity and inactivity.  Be consistent — do what you can — on a daily basis, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve over time.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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It’s Gotta Come From Inside

30 Mar

horsewater[1]You can lead a horse to water…

Can passion, enthusiasm, and desire be taught?  How about aggressiveness and confidence?  Can these traits be coached and developed?

Without some seed of inner motivation and desire… I don’t think so.

If you don’t want something as much as someone wants it for you, it’s probably not going to happen.

If you’re not self-motivated, it’s unlikely that anyone else will be able to motivate you.

You’ve got to believe in yourself before you can expect someone else to believe in you.

You’ve got to want to make it happen before someone else can help you make it happen.

Basically, there are two types of motivation that are important for achievement and success:

  • Intrinsic motivation is important for any athlete.  The athlete who is intrinsically motivated is self-motivated because he or she loves the game.  The intrinsically motivated athlete wants to be there.  Coaching team sports can be much more effective when athletes are self-motivated.
  • Achievement motivation is fueled by an athlete’s competitiveness.  All things being equal between two athletes, the one with greater achievement motivation will be the better athlete because of his or her “appetite” for competition.

Keep in mind, intrinsic and achievement motivation are not limited to athletic achievement and success.  Both apply to academics, career, and every other aspect of our lives.

Conversely, extrinsic motivation, as the name implies, come from “outside” and usually involves changing behavior through reinforcement and/or punishment.  I’ve come to believe that this is ineffective, especially long-term.  Reinforcement and punishment can be effective, but only if the individual on the receiving end is motivated.

  • Positive reinforcement involves the use of rewards – praise, helmet decals, prizes, and awards – to increase the probability that a particular behavior will be repeated.
  • Negative reinforcement also increases the probability that a behavior will be repeated, by removing an event that is perceived to be unappealing or undesirable.  For example, if a team has a productive practice, the coach could announce that no sprints will be run at the end of the session.
  • Positive punishment describes an action that is presented after a behavior, that could decrease the behavior’s recurrence.  Reprimanding a basketball player after a turnover is an example of positive punishment.
  • Negative punishment is the removal of something valued.  Loss of privileges or playing time (benching) are examples of negative punishment.

Carpe Diem! Believe in you! Push yourself! Make it happen!

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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