“You see, in life, lots of people who know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.” Anthony Robbins, motivational speaker
In Singapore, we usually encounter two kinds of people.
Are you a ‘get it done’ type of person? Or,are you guilty of procrastinating, waiting for the right time or right opportunity, or of finding a long list of excuses as to why you can’t or shouldn’t do something?
In order to create a life that is happy and successful, you must act on what you know, and in order to do that, you must cultivate intrinsic motivation.
There are no “shoulds” or “should nots” in life; there are only the things that you want to do and don’t want to do.
Intrinsic motivation is the engine that moves our lives, the force that pushes us forward. It is our internal drive that gives us the desire to achieve and accomplish goals.
Here are several techniques that you can use to get yourself moving in the right direction.
Tip 1: Bring out the best in yourself
When in search of your latent gifts, you must be able to recognize what your special abilities and talents are. Are you cognizant of these ‘possessions’?
We often take for granted the tasks we invest so little effort in but perform extraordinarily well without realizing that it’s one of our gifts. We might not recognize our own innate gifts or talents because they are a part of who we are. It can be so unconscious and hidden from our being.
In his book, Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman stresses the importance of recognizing our “highest personal strengths” and incorporating them into our lives.
Seligman identified 24 strengths that range from humility and humor to love of learning and curiosity — things that many of us would not even look at as being gifts, talents, or strengths.
But according to Seligman, it is those ‘signature strengths’ that, once we own and celebrate them, are the keys to leading happy, successful lives.
A few examples of natural talents that people possess yet often don’t consider as talents or gifts are:
*Being able to easily talk with people — even to strangers
*Having a creative mind
*Being a good listener
*Being very well organized
*Being a good cook
*Having an ability to tell stories
*Having a great sense of humor
*Being able to fix almost anything
*Possessing artistic talents
*Having an ability to write
Once you have identified your gifts and talents, relish them; take time to be proud of who you are, what you can do, and what you bring to the people in your life.
Tip 2: Create your own opportunities
Instead of waiting around for luck to deliver opportunities to your doorstep, you can continue to move your life in the direction you want by creating your own opportunities. Your life is in your hands. Plan out actions of how you can achieve those goals. Give yourself timelines and then stick to them.
*Believe in yourself.
Develop a positive mind-set of ‘everything is possible’ because everything really is. How did they get a huge chunk of metal like an aeroplane to fly high up and carry us around?
*Take the initiative.
Explore the options, make the call, apply for the job, take the class — just take action!
*Network and make connections.
The saying, ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know,’ really applies when it comes to creating opportunities for yourself. Meet and get to know the people who can help you achieve your goals.
*Be prepared, but be flexible.
The opportunity you expect might look just a bit different than you expected. Don’t close the door; instead, walk through it, and see what you find on the other side.
*Be curious, adventurous, and open.
Always be willing to try new things and meet new people. You never know when an opportunity is just around the corner, but you have to turn that corner to find it.
Tip 3: Find mentors
Look around and seek out your role models — people who are working to make things happen in their lives. Set up a time to talk to them to find out what attitudes or choices they have made personally and professionally to help themselves get and stay motivated.
Find role models in emotional intelligence, too. People with amazing social skills, who are able to light up a room wherever they go, or can soothe the distress of others with mastery, diffusing tense situations with aplomb. These are people to emulate and follow.
To conclude, intrinsic motivation is about being driven from within. The motivation to act is reinforced by an inner sense of achievement and is not induced by any external lure of reward of fear of punishment.
When we are able to move from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation, we achieve our creative best when performing a task because we are passionate about it.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Dr. Granville D' Souza DBA, Director, 6 Seconds SEA Pte Ltd, he has extensive training experience in Emotional Intelligence practises as well as conducting coaching and facilitative workshops that deal with team and individual behaviour.