You Can Control Your Motivations

As we noted last week

Everybody has both internal and external motivators.

Recognize Your Motivators

Children and young people (even some adults) must be taught how to cultivate acceptable Inner Voices and how to weaken and disable the unacceptable ones.

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I have strong Inner Voices that compel me to act.

It had been ten days since I last mowed the yard. Yesterday was the time to tackle it again.

We are in the clutches of a heat wave. Heat index over 100. Rain was forecast.

I delayed past the 8 o’clock best-time-to-start.

My “Get the job done” voice would not shut up. Sometimes I regret that I have trained it so well.

It cooled off a little about mid-afternoon.

To still the Motivation Voice that continued to remind me of the job-not-done, I sallied forth.

When my endurance was exhausted, I went inside to recuperate and cool down.

I encouraged an Inner Voice to say, “Good job! The rest can wait.”

It was an artificial voice, not one I have trusted very often. I discovered that I could not trust it this time, either.

Again I entered the outdoor oven (the weather had turned the temperature back up) and mowed all but a little around the shrubbery.

This morning I awoke to a familiar Inner Voice, “The job isn’t finished!”

I fixed a bowl of cereal and turned on “Perry Mason.”

It was an episode I had not seen.

I struggled to focus on the plot. Voice would not be quiet. “The job isn’t finished!”

I soon gave up on the show and headed to the shed for the mower and the edger.

End of Story

Exercise of your known motivators will strengthen them, and some of that strength will attach to weaker areas of your life-tasks motivations.

Inner Voice

It is possible to train your Inner Voice to lie to you. Be careful!

Your Inner Voice and your Conscience must work together.

Hypnosis and yoga/meditation are dangerous.

Evil spirits are real and are looking for homes in peoples’ minds.

Meditation should be done only on Bible-approved ideas.

Develop your Motivations

Be conscious of your first impulse when you have to do a task – at work or home.

If it is negative, use self-talk to confront the problem and change your thinking.

Teach your Inner Voice what to say. Teaching is not a one-time event. Keep at it until the Inner Voice is pushing you to do the work at the best level.

Do this to develop a Stick-to-it attitude for less-than-favorite work.

Work on developing your ability to see opportunities that will strengthen your motivation. Self-talk until the task is complete. Dig into your brain to establish an itch to do your best no matter what.

Setbacks can be viewed as opportunities – you get to evaluate and rework your plan.

In your life you will be presented with only two types of tasks:

1) You love what you do and who you work with.

2) You have to do a task that you would rather not, but you do it because your job or the boss says so.

Controlled Changes

Your attitude toward Have-to Tasks can be changed.

Take charge of your motivation factors and develop them so that both types of tasks are accomplished, and done well.

Take the thoughts and feelings about a task that you love, and speak those into the task that you don’t love. “This is fun!” “I like doing this.” Then take action to make it true. You are in control of your feelings and attitudes.

Your children and co-workers will reflect your attitudes.

New attitudes and behaviors can be worked into your life, no matter what your age is.

Set Goals. Write them on paper and place them where you’ll see them often.

Take Risks. Carefully and with your supervisor’s (or spouse’s) knowledge.

Get Feedback. A Coach or trusted friend. Keep a Journal. Be Honest with yourself and your coach.

Be Persistent. With that attribute you can accomplish anything. Back up and start again. Learn from your efforts, both successes and failures.


Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Let me know how you use the information in this article.

Understanding Your Motivations

Nothing gets done until you Act.

Actions without goals yield unplanned progress or accidental failure.

Goals without understanding your motivations results in misdirected and uncompleted tasks.

Life is filled with opportunities to get better at some part of work or life.

Planned change or improvement works best when you understand a little more about motivation.

In particular, where your motivation comes from.

Opportunities bounce around in your life every day.

>Some people choose to float in a pool.

>Others paddle through the rapids.

>Some people are happy in an entry-level position.

>Others set their sights on the Executive Office.

The difference often is Motivation.

Dictionary definition = the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Motivation originates in two places:

>Inside yourself – a natural desire to do, to learn new things, to help significant others.

>Outside influences – someone or something that pushes you to take action.

It’s not an either-or event.

Both are working at the same time, sometimes in opposition to each other.

Inside Forces Examples

Habits and Attitudes that began when you were a small child;

Feelings that you had as you faced expectations, success, and failure;

Memories of encouragement and support as you faced life’s changes;

Patterns of successes that you have achieved;

An Inner Voice that you hear and feel inside you when you have a job to do or a goal to reach.

Outside Forces Examples

Parental behaviors and expectations;

School – teachers, routines, and classmates;

Church and Spiritual influences;

Supervisor approaches to work assignments.

Inside and Outside influences work in combination and either push us to achieve more, or hold us back from excellent results.

Reflect & Make a List

Spend some time discovering your motivations.

-Recall achievements you have made in your life. What pushed you to achieve?

-Recall a workplace event in which you were asked to take on a new responsibility. How did you react? Describe your success (or lack of) in the responsibility.

-Who is your role model? Why?

Recall a difficult chore or task from your growing-up years that you either did or did not complete. Evaluate the task, the motivator, your response, your effort to comply. How were you rewarded for a job well done?

If you did not complete it, what prevented you?

Parents, work through this about your child(ren).

What motivates them? What are they naturally inclined to do?

Children often mirror their parents’ motivations and behaviors.

Reflect about your home chores: why and how you do the work.

Focus on this while you are doing the chore.

Then take the time to write your discoveries.

Involve your children in household chores. Assign age-appropriate tasks to be done on a schedule.

Start early with your children if you can. Even as you are carrying your infant. Yes! That early!

Children should always help with home chores.

Begin by having them assist you.

Talk about the importance of the task. How it is important to the family.

How it will be appreciated that it was done and done well.

Then make sure the family notices and expresses appreciation for a job well-done.

For older children and adults, it is often good to have a tangible reward for a job well done – when it is done with no complaining or delay.

Everybody has both internal and external motivators.

Exercise of your known motivators will strengthen them.

Your internal motivations can propel you into leadership positions.

If you don’t know why you do something or why you feel a certain way about tasks and life events, you are not in control of you.

Generally, out-of-control is not a nice feeling.

You can change that.


Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Let me know how you have used the information in this article.

Attitude to Action

(I have been absent from my EldonUp Blog work for a few months. Brief Explanation: Cancer – Treatment – Surgery – Recovery – Taking on a blog for my church – Refining my focus for my personal writing.)

Now, to Dig In.

What does it take to achieve all that you are capable of?

The title of this post summarizes the answer.

It all begins with Attitude.

Attitudes originate in your mind.

A sad fact is that many times they never make it out of your mind. Into the real world.

Another sad fact is that some people have an attitude that prevents them from achieving their ‘Best Me.’ (Help with Attitude Adjustments will be in a later post.)

All The Things You Don’t Need

To achieve Your Best you don’t have to be a Genius.

You don’t have to be wealthy.

You don’t have to be famous.

You don’t have to be popular.

You don’t have to be handsome or beautiful.

You don’t have to be an athlete.

You don’t have to have a six-pack or an hour-glass figure.

What You Do Need

The BestYou begins in your mind.

You need a Goal. That’s the first requirement.

You also need an Attitude about your Goal.

I think the Goal comes first. At least it did for me. –My attitude was, “If they can do it, so can I!”

I had the Goal. I developed the Attitude.

It all begins in your Mind, but it will remain a whispy dream unless you apply some Muscle.


  • Goal
  • Attitude
  • Action

You have to Begin. You have to Do.

How do you go about taking an Idea and turning it into a Goal?

(I will be providing step-by-step guidance each week here in my blog. Subscribe and follow along.)

Actions to Begin

Ideas travel through our minds at supersonic speeds. It is easy to have an idea and forget it within a matter of minutes. Maybe that’s my problem, but not yours. Pretend that it is also your experience for now.

Write things on paper. –Paper seldom forgets. –I also write with pen so that fading is not a problem.

I am a strong advocate for Composition Notebooks as daily companions.

1) The are inexpensive. I can usually find them for less than 50 cents each. Back to School time is the ideal time to stock up. Even at full price they are only $1 each.

2) They have stiff covers. Which provides some support for writing anywhere you may be when an idea hits you.

3) Wide or College Rule. I began with wide rule, but have converted to College. I can fit more on a page.

4) No wire binding. The wire on those other notebooks will catch on something and stretch the coil out of shape. Or it will get crushed and prevent the pages from turning well.

5) Compact size. They fit easily into my sling bag, into file folders for cabinet storage, or onto my book shelves.

6) Marking Big Ideas. I fold the page diagonally so the top piece sticks up above the page edges.

Personal Qualities Checklist

Be Determined to hit your Goal. –Determination can be learned.

Be Consistent in your Actions. —–Consistency can be developed

Be a Learner. —–Patterns for Learning can be acquired.

Identify Supporters. –Everyone needs encouragement, —-pats on the back, —-to be pushed back onto the field, —-honest feedback.

The Pattern: Do – – – Feedback – – – Adjust – – – Do

Result: #BestYou


Please leave comments and suggestions: Such as Your Experiences in reaching goals, achieving your best.

Why You Need A Vision

She stood there in front of me at my desk. Sixth grade math begins the change to Algebra. She had just failed a timed quiz on Addition.
“I’m not good at math,” she said. “I’ve always gotten bad grades in the subject.”
Then she added, “I wish it would change.”

“Wishing isn’t going to change anything,” I replied. “For your grade to change, you must change!”

We then worked together to develop a plan of action for her to create the change she needed and wanted. She had the potential for excellence in math all along.
But she hadn’t seen it in herself. And she didn’t have a plan to create the change she wished for.

In order to hit a target, you must first see the target.

Her vision for herself became the target.
I won’t give the details of the plan, because the story is just to illustrate.
Over the first semester of that year she mastered the foundations of all four operations.

If your Vision of Your Best Self is unclear, out of focus, incomplete, then it is difficult to hit that target.
You might even say that it would be an accident if you did.
Maybe it would be more comfortable to use the word ‘lucky.’

Do people realize their dreams just out of luck? Maybe. But the odds would be millions to one.
But wishing is not going to produce in real life the results seen in Fairy Tales.

What about if I work hard? Isn’t that likely to get me to my goal?
That would depend on the connection between your work and your goal.

You see, often we mistake rewards for the goal. “I have this reward, so I must have reached a goal.”

The commercials and shows on TV, movies, music, entertainment – you might generalize and say Society Today – is focused on rewarding yourself just because ‘You deserve it.’

If you already deserve it, you don’t have to work for it. Just being You qualifies you for everything you can dream.
Does Life work that way for you? It doesn’t for me.

Rewards are easy to get. A few credit cards, a loan or two, good credit – those make it possible to give yourself rewards without actually reaching Your Potential – without attaining The Vision that you have for yourself.
But –
Rewards without effort quickly lose their allure.
Rewards without effort result in boredom, even in the midst of abundance.
And Boredom results in depression, when it is allowed to live in your mind.

Shape Your Vision

It is easy to focus on the rewards that you associate with Reaching Your Potential.
But, as shown above, a reward that is not earned becomes a trap that distracts you from working toward your real target.
There’s nothing wrong with motivating yourself with pictures and dreams of a beautiful home, cars, boat, travel.
But, attach the reward to a level of achievement.
What has to happen in You in order to earn a reward.

“When I master Chinese I will travel to walk the Great Wall.”

This way you are focused on reaching personal growth goals.
You will have a clear, focused vision in which you see yourself achieving your potential, at the top of your game, acknowledged by those who are important to you.

Shaping your vision should not be viewed as an easy task, one that you can sculpt with little effort.
Just thinking about your future achievements while driving or playing golf or sleeping will not be sufficient to create a detailed vision in which you are the star.

Wishing for change will never achieve change. Change takes work. Hard work.

Question 1
What will reaching my Vision look like?

You will need some paper to write on. Lots of it.
I know how easy it is to believe that “I won’t forget, so I don’t need to write it down.”
I know how easy it is to lose scraps of paper that I used to scribble my thoughts on in a moment of inspiration.

So- I recommend a Notebook.

First, write out what your Vision will look like when you have Reached Your Goal.
This will maybe take many pages to get the picture just right.
Write, edit, rewrite.

An Example Vision
“I will be standing on the stage before an audience of thousands detailing my discovery of the sequencing and interconnections among the components of literacy that will make the classroom teacher more effective and the students more successful.”

Getting your Vision into just-right words may take more work than you first think. But keep working. Keep tweaking.
You are worth it!

Shape Your Vision.

How To Reach Best You

I have used the #BestYou on my blog for some time now – more than a year. It’s time to look carefully at what my intended meaning is, and what it might mean for you.

First, My Best is not to be the measure you use for yourself.
We each have capabilities and talents.
The level I am capable of attaining in some areas may not be your Best.
And, my Best in some efforts may be paltry when compared to your achievements.

Rule: Don’t compare yourself to others.

Second, there are only two acceptable comparisons:
1. With yourself from where you started;
2. Jesus to where He wants us to be.

I realize that you probably have already accumulated many accomplishments.
But let’s work through a couple exercises.

An inventory to determine where you are starting is important.
1. What are your inherent aptitudes?
Things that you had a natural liking for and easily acquired skills in?
What skills or interests did your parents model for you?
Teachers or others that were role models to you that inspired you to learn something?

What have you done with these abilities, knowledge, and skills?
What are you doing to encourage yourself to continue developing things on this list?

2. What are your ‘dream abilities’?
Maybe you have thought or said “If only I could…”
Write a list.

What have you done to pursue these abilities, knowledge, and skills?
What are you doing to encourage yourself to pursue things on this list?

3. What are your developed abilities and achievements?

You probably read through those lines without getting paper and pen and ‘doing’ the exercise.
That’s okay.
Let me stir the soup a little more.

Focus your thoughts on one category at a time and write what comes into your mind.

Categories in which you may have skills and abilities:
Mind – mental abilities – thinking – learning
Hands – manual abilities to make things and do things – touching that soothes and heals – draw – paint – sew – cook – garden – musical
Body – exercise – balance – dance – movement – rhythms

Spiritual, Creative, Academic (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral degrees)
Physical, Recreational, Musical, Artistic

Attitudes: persistence, consistency, never quit, positive outlook, encouraging, resolution


At an early age I determined that I wanted to become a teacher.
My mother was my first teacher. I found that I learned well from her methods of instruction.
I also had two or three excellent teachers in my formal school experiences.
I applied the methods they used that were effective with me. I found that I could successfully tutor fellow students that where struggling.

I read every book on teaching that I could get my hands on. Then I applied what I had read to my classrooms.
I observed other teachers whenever possible.
I assembled ideas of my own – amalgams and hybrids of reading, listening, and trying.
I asked mentors to observe and coach me.
I built successes into my regular performances in the classroom.
On the ride home and in the quiet of working in my gardens, I reflected on the work of the day – noting successes and failures. Planning for the next time that would avoid the failure.

That is the operant word.
The key to all learning is Repetition.
Repetition is the Mother of Learning.
Mastery of the basics makes it possible for Genius to Achieve.
Whether it is manual or mental skills, they are honed through practice – Repetition.

I know that there are exceptions – savants who seem to be born with a special ability.
One of my students could tell which day of the week any date was – past or future. No practice involved.
My wife has piano lessons with a first grade boy. He is able to create original compositions. He has finger dexterity that is beyond most children his age. His musical thinking is amazing.
But he spends hours practicing in between lessons. Because he wants to do more.

Now – – –
Go back and do the 3-Part Inventory.
Put in the effort.
Be confident that you are “The Best You” right now, but you are working toward the future “Best You.”

Tomorrow will probably require some more effort so you can stay “The Best You.”
It’s an on-going effort.
Be willing to Repeat the effort daily.

Everyone has the responsibility to become their Best Self.