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.

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.