“Think the highest thought you can think. Feel into it, then expand it. Do this every morning.” ~ Blythe Ayne
Motivation is a process where thoughts influence your emotions and actions in the course of life. It is a challenge to stay motivated all the time, shunning away all the negative thoughts and anxiety, but an important skill that can help you to take control of many aspects of life. There are two types of motivation – intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is the behaviour where an individual is driven by internal rewards and is inclined to act in a certain manner for self-joy. “Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards. We simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials.” ~ Coon & Mitterer, 2010
On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is driven by external rewards; like money, status in society, fame, grades, and praise. Extrinsic motivation is largely related to material happiness, which we all know is short-lived. Research done by psychologists from the University of Rochester showed that extrinsic motivation has a negative effect on will power as it is driven by ego. Another research showed how extrinsic rewards snuff out all self motivation and creativity, regardless of task or age.
If you are feeling low-spirited, nothing in the external world can change that feeling, you have to look within and introspect. It is intrinsic motivation that keeps us glued to our journey of knowing oneself and boosts creativity because you are doing something that you find rewarding and interesting. Here are few ways and requisites to keep you self-motivated and keep the hurdles at the bay.
1) Stay calm
“Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.” ~ Hans Margolius
During turbulent times our mind is capable of becoming our biggest enemy. Our mind is a garden and we get to choose the kind of thoughts we plant in it. By learning how to nurture positive, motivating thoughts, neutralize negative ones, and focus on the task at hand, you can pull yourself out of a slump before it gains momentum.
2) Don’t take life too seriously
Most of the time, we feel demotivated in life, unconsciously or consciously, stems from our unnecessary expectations about ourselves. Expectations limit us and in that limitation we develop the fear of failing. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Reflect, learn and start again. Don’t be embarrassed or disappointed if your life doesn’t go as per your plan, find the valuable lesson(s) in each of your failures.
3) Follow your heart and soul
‘This above all; to your own self be true.” ~ William Shakespeare
Stay true to your heart and you will develop immense courage to face life with an open mind and a fresh perspective. When you follow your heart, you find peace, you ignite your passion, and you discover your purpose. When you find your purpose, it becomes relatively easy to feel motivated. But if you don’t follow your heart, you might spend the rest of your life wishing that you did.
4) Do things which make you feel happy!
When you love what you do, you don’t need to look outside for motivation, it comes from within. Nothing weighs you down, instead you feel uplifted and charged to pursue goals which keeps you happy. If you try to devote your attention forcefully to something which creates tension in your mind and body, you will soon find yourself exhausted and frustrated. Follow your dreams, you have the power to manifest your reality.
5) Loving unconditionally
“Survival is for the human animal; fear the motivation. For the spiritual being survival is irrelevant. Curiosity, compassion and creativity are the name of the game; unconditional love the motivation.” —Peter Shepherd
Loving unconditionally is the greatest source of motivation for any individual as it connects one to an eternal source of bliss. You can throw open the channels between yourself and the universe to give and receive love. This holds the key to self-motivation.
Self-motivation is as necessary as anything else in life. There is a popular quote by Zig Ziglar, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” Once you develop the healthy habit of keeping yourself motivated, you will be in charge of your thoughts, emotions, feelings and ultimately your life. In the process, you will also explore yourself as a human being and constantly expand your consciousness.
Here is an interesting video which talks about psychology of self-motivation in detail.