Monday, November 5, 2007

The Myth of Motivation

After a trip to the local library I came across this wonderful book “What To Say When You Talk To Yourself” by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. I was instantly inspired and became a fan. Helmstetter’s perspective on motivation and the definition of responsibility are quite enriching.

The term “The Motivation Myth” intrigued me and it answered my long nagging question “Why don’t motivational speeches and classes work for me?”

There are different kinds of motivation and different kinds of motivators. The most familiar type of motivation consists of an audience of anxious listeners, sitting entranced while a dynamic enthusiastic speaker weaves a web of pure magic, the spun gold of riches and success. For an hour or two (and in some cases days) the listeners are shown a new destiny, a grand new vision of their unlimited potential. All they have to do is believe. They leave the conference with new and uplifting, life-changing self-esteem. Tomorrow they will break all the barriers of defeat.

If you have ever attended a motivational meeting or conference, you have felt the contagious spirit a popular and experienced speaker can compel you to embrace. These speakers are like pied pipers and for the most part they do their job… They motivate, but it is temporary. It is external. External motivation works against us.

We may believe this external motivation for a time but the Motivator goes home and we face the next day alone, again. Our poorly fed internal motivator waits patiently for us to come down to earth and believe what we have fed it for years. “No! cannot (insert word).

How about being your own motivator? Take charge and put yourself back into control. You can do this by learning that the only kind of motivation you can depend on is internal motivation. Imagine being able to rely on yourself and never again need anyone else to prod or push you into activating your own best efforts.

Read about self-motivation. Then write about it.

One of Helmstetter’s self-talk mantras is “I accept the responsibility for living my life in a way which creates my strengths, my happiness, my positive, healthy beliefs, and for my past, my present and my future.”

If this is a little too lofty try “I like how I feel, and I like how I think and I like how I do things. I approve of me and I approve of who I am.”

Write it down,