Achieving Success Through Self Motivation - Malta Business School
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Achieving Success Through Self Motivation

Self-motivation plays a critical role in making things happen through the development of one’s own internal locus on control.

It is said that all motivation is self-motivation. Joseph T. Straub defines self-motivation as the “innate capability to summon without outside influence the willpower to tackle assignments and do them to the best of your ability”. Indeed your family, your boss, or your co-workers can try to get your engine going, but until you decide what to accomplish, nothing will happen. The ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them every day, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor.

The tendency among individuals is to attribute events to either their own actions – through an ‘internal’ locus of control (e.g. taking credit for success or accepting blame for failure) or else through external forces (destiny, luck, etc) – known as an ‘external’ locus of control.

People with internal locus of control exhibit greater work (and not only work-related) motivation and initiative. When Sir Edmund Hilary climbed the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, he became the first human to stand at an altitude of 29,028 feet. He personified the adventurer who overcome a childhood of frailty and shyness. Later on he said, “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”

Somebody once said ….

There are three kinds of people:

  • Those who make thing happen
  • Those who watch things happen
  • Those who wondered what happened.

People with an internal locus of control make things happen and focus their energies on achieving …through ‘using the moment’. Using the moment means taking control of your life in the moment-right -now, today. It means not blaming the past or worrying about the future. As strategist Jeff Olson puts it, “the only time you have is the present, because the past is gone and the future hasn’t happened yet.”

To make things happen you need to have… Intent; Desire and Commitment.  It doesn’t matter where you are coming from; all that really matters is where you are going.

Self-motivation applies to our relationship with ourselves… and we need an inventory of techniques and ‘tricks of the trade’ that we can employ to move ourselves off dead-center for the sake of our own future. When it comes to self-improvement and success, self-motivation is the nucleus of it all.

When is self-motivation important?

Perhaps when you are confronted with a task that seems so massive, complex or overwhelming, that you have trouble putting it into focus, and forming a plan of action… you need to know how to motivate yourself. Do anything that gets the ball rolling since actions breeds more action. The longer you procrastinate or ponder over an unpleasant job, the harder it is to overcome inertia.

Declare a deadline. This is one of the most powerful motivating practices you can use. When you create a deadline, you will find that your attention is more sharply focused. Get Organised… Plan; Prioritise; Manage time; Be disciplined; Be proactive. Lead yourself well.

The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying: “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.   I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them they make them.”

Self motivation isn’t merely important; it’s essential for your survival.  This ability can easily make the difference between excellence and mediocrity. Be recognised as someone who is self motivated and motivates people. Be seen as someone who wants to accomplish something, to try new things, to have the courage to take risks, to challenge the status quo, to truly achieve and to excel.

In conclusion, one may assert that our goal is not just to make a living, but also to make a great life. Our goal is to fulfill our potential as a person, in every area, and to become everything that we are capable of becoming over the course of our lives and careers. I conclude with an apt quote from Steve Jobs, who emphatically stated that “what separates the successful from the unsuccessful is perseverance.”

Fix the future…Make it happen or…Make it possible !