When you drive yourself from within, you are the master of your destiny
Too often when we want to motivate ourselves or others we focus on external (or 'Extrinsic') forces - rewards, punishment, pressure etc. But extrinsic motivators tend to become hygiene factors after a while, or worse, become de-motivators: Take travel for example: it is a great motivator when one is single, but the same is a serious problem when you are 40, two kids in schools and a spouse in a different job.
Is a different life possible? Think Steve Jobs, for instance. After his umpteenth million dollars or country visited, what made him still be motivated? It really was his inherent curiosity, seeking challenge, and the quest for personal satisfaction.
So, how do we find this intrinsic motivation? Should one be ‘lucky’ to find oneself in a situation where internal drivers get the rewards one wants?
Keep it personal
The really important thing is to always be in touch with the ‘What for?’ question. What is your personal reason for doing something? What does it give you? Knowing that and staying in touch with that reason gives you energy, and equally importantly, tolerance and resilience.
Keep yourself charged
Staying charged up is a matter of personal curiosity, having appropriate level of challenge, feeling you can control what happens to you and knowing that what you are doing is meaningful to you. Find ways to challenge yourself in what you do, and know that no matter what, you always have choices. That helps you stay powerful.
Keep yourself connected
Do remember – nobody is an island. The more we are able to connect and collaborate with the people who matter to us, the more we will feel motivated. Also, strive to get your work visibility and appreciation from those you look up to – a good word from a respected peer is an amazing driver.
Keep yourself committed
There will always be setbacks. Times can be tough. Your commitment to what you are doing matters - after all, no pain, no gain. And finally, the beauty of it is that the extrinsic motivators tend to flow automatically to those who are intrinsically motivated :)
Ajanta, Mahesh and other InnerSight counsellors and guest contributors are happy to share their thoughts here.