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carrot on a stickA lot of readers tell me their biggest hurdle in getting organized is motivation.  (Yes, I actually did a poll). 

Do you feel like your motivation is something that’s out of your control?  I know exactly how you feel.  But I have to keep telling myself that it’s not true. 

You can control your own motivation, and all it takes is increasing your level of interest and awareness in what affects it.  If you care about improving your motivation, you can.  And I’m not talking about listening to some ra ra motivational hype.

External motivation won’t stick.

Motivation is not going to come from outside of you.  Not the right kind anyway.  Nobody can give it to you.  Sure, when you’re exposed to people who are very positive and inspiring, you will feel a temporary lift.  And certainly being around people who are positive and inspiring will do you good.  But it won’t last unless you learn how to create it yourself, the right way.

Negative motivation

We tend to be motivated by negative consequences like losing face, being embarrassed, or being judged.  We’re also motivated to do things that are easy, that will give us instant gratification, that are fun.

But who wants to be swaying in the wind like that, not in control of their own motivation?  Do you think that’s going to get you what you want?  We can do so much better than that.  This kind of motivation is passive and unconscious.


The things in life that are the most fun and bring us the most pleasure, are often not quick, easy or instantly gratifying, but well worth the effort.  You’re not born knowing how to read and write, ride a bike, play an instrument and so on, but there’s a lot of pleasure to be gained from these skills, and the ability to do something that is of value to others, which is a pleasure in itself.

The best possible motivation

The best possible motivation, in my opinion, in conscious motivation, a conscious recognition that something is in your best interest, and for the greater good, two things which should naturally go together.

When you consciously make decisions which are in your best interest, decisions worth believing in, you’ve got the basis for the only kind of motivation that will really stick.

Does it sound too simple?  Well, I honestly believe that’s where motivation is to be found, conscious, positive, strong and useful motivation - in the conscious recognition that something is in your best interest.

Think it over, and I bet you’ll find you already know that.

For the greater good

And the part about it being also for the greater good?  Well, if something is good for you and bad for the world, is it really good for you?  On the other hand, if something is good for the world and bad for you, is it really good for the world?  This is like nature’s checking system for making decisions.

Decision making is required

For it to be possible to be consciously motivated, we need to make decisions about how we want our life to be, what our values are, what our goals are, what our priorities are.  Decision making is not always easy, and is something I’ll be writing about more on this site.

Stay in charge

When things happen that make you want to give up, that bring you down, and seem to suck the motivation out of you, you have a choice to make.

Will you let yourself sway in the wind and be at the mercy of whatever happens, or will you stay in charge of your own choices, decisions, feelings and actions?

Having an annoyance or obstacle occur, and making the decision to stay responsible for yourself and not let it take control of your motivation, is an extremely powerful thing to do, even over little things. 

Try applying it to one little thing in your life today and see how it makes you feel.



#2 Yvette Langmaid-Butt 2013-10-28 13:06
Thanks Cherie.
#1 cherie 2013-10-28 12:56
What a fabulous article. Thank you for the reminder of what true motivation really is.


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