Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Knowing how to motivate yourself intrinsically and learning how to sustain your highest level of performance can transform your life and awaken your greatest potential.
We have all been there before—knowing what you need to do or should do to move forward, but just not feeling the motivation to do it. It can be a tough place to be in because you know your goals and desires, but are not feeling motivated to get there. But sustainable motivation isn’t based on how you feel.
The good news is that we do not need to rely only on our feelings to be motivated. Instead, we can use the science of motivation to implement tips that create lasting, effective motivation.
The Root and Physics of Motivation
The root word of motivation is motive. As a noun, a motive is something that causes a person to act. As an adjective, motive is a force or power that causes movement or action. The commonality in both definitions is movement. What we can learn from this is that the essence of being motivated is to move and have motion.
Therefore, to have sustainable motivation, the key is to find something that will propel you to keep moving, even when you don’t feel like it. This is where understanding the science of motivation can work wonders.
Motion is a physics principle with four main components:
Displacement: This is the distance traveled, from where you were to where you want to go. In a career context, displacement refers to analogical displacement, the difference between where you currently are in your career and where you want to be.
Velocity: This is the speed in which you travel to reach your destination. In a career sense, certain things can help you move quickly to your desired goal and position, such as skills, self awareness, industry knowledge, networks, or professional mentorship and coaching.
Acceleration: This refers to increasing the speed at which you are currently traveling so that you can arrive at your destination in less time. In the context of your career, examples of activities that promote acceleration include learning specialized skills, learning to communicate effectively, and having an experienced mentor or coach guide you.
Time: This is the period in question—how long will it take to get to your destination? If you have a sense of the time it will take, you can make wise decisions and careful goals to get there.
Three tips to use the science of motivation
Understanding the science of motivation is essential to become and stay motivated in the career context. Much of the advice that is readily available online about motivation centers around morning routines, inspirational videos or music, or what others say you “should” or “ought to” do. But the reality is that each person has a different journey that they’re on, since what you decide to do and how you perceive things is based on your own highest values.
Achieve sustainable motivation for yourself by understanding the principles of motion: displacement, velocity, acceleration, and time. Keeping these things in mind, consider the following tips to stay motivated.
1. Clarify your desired vision
Getting specific about exactly where you want to go in your career is the first and most important step. It is the step related to displacement and requires you to get clear on your ideal end-point for your career.
Ask yourself the following questions to clarify your desired vision:
Where do you want to be in your career?
How do you want to feel when you are there?
Clarifying your vision removes any confusion from your mind. Confusion is a very demotivating experience, because it’s impossible to take sure action when you are confused. Confusion and motivation cannot coexist, so it is necessary to remove the confusion by getting clear on your desired vision (the displacement).
2. Channel your commitment over time
This next tip is related to velocity—how fast are you moving towards your goal? Consider these two questions:
What does it take to get to where you want to go?
What price are you willing to pay?
A lot of people cringe at the idea of paying a price for their goals, but the reality is that success comes at a cost. You may have heard the old adage, “nothing good in life is free.” There will be a price to pay to reach your goals, whether the price is in the form of investing time or money, or in the form of giving up your comfort in new situations that have a higher degree of uncertainty.
The good news is that the payoff of success is more valuable than the price to get there. Focus on the payoff and channel your commitment over time to reach your goals.
3. Choose your leverage
This last tip is related to acceleration and how to speed up the path to success. The single best way to accelerate your career is with the expert guidance of an experienced coach or mentor. They are able to:
See the steps ahead of you that you are not yet able to see because they have already been through the journey you are about to undertake.
Use their experiences to give you guidance on decisions to make and steps to reach your goal.
Help you master necessary skills that will increase your velocity, through their teaching and training
A common myth is the belief that sustainable motivation to increased performance and career growth can be achieved solely by developing more technical skills. As a result, many choose to go back to school to get additional certifications. The reality is that you can make up in leverage for what you lack in ability. Focusing solely on technical or hard skills may produce growth during your time as an individual contributor, but there is a limitation on how far it will carry you as you desire to move into higher positions of leadership. A mentor or coach can help you “skip” steps and find the quickest path to your desired goals.
Too often we rely on our emotions and whether or not we “feel” motivated. Instead of relying only on emotions, understanding the science of motivation provides transferable skills for greater resilience, self-awareness, and productivity.
Using principles of motion, we should clarify a desired vision, channel commitment over time, and choose leverage. By implementing these tips, you are on your way to lasting motivation and reaching your career goals!
Accountability is the multiplier for success. When we set out to make improvements to ourselves and our lives, transformation is key. Information alone doesn’t transform. My coaching program, Awaken to Vocation, is an empowerment program for educated, career-driven professionals who value making a meaningful contribution as much as they value making a good living. It is designed to help you master your professional destiny, elevate your vocational confidence, and dominate your life purpose. Guard your future.
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With gratitude from your #1 fan,