Isn’t it funny how sometimes we find we are highly motivated to do something and other times we’re not. Maybe we always feel motivated to do particular task and not others. Perhaps your motivation varies and sometimes your motivated to do a task and another time you find your motivation has vanished. Maybe you’re motivated by a deadline (and so often burn the midnight oil), or perhaps it’s something else that get’s you moving like making strides towards a compelling goal, the possibility of getting promotion or clinching that deal …..
Motivation is a personal thing …
What motivates one person may not motivate someone else – the trap that leaders in the workplace often fall into is that they think that what motivates them will motivate someone else (e.g. if they are motivated by money, they assume everyone will be and then get disappointed when it doesn’t always work). As they say, you want a team of self-motivated people – but they are still motivated my something.
Some say motivation depends on the context or situation. Motivation is a very personal thing. Richard Bandler suggests that most people need a more precise plan or goal in their mind in order to become more motivated – so they can feel better about what they’ve done towards their goal, rather than feeling bad about how much they haven’t done. For me it rests of how compelling your goal is to you – if it’s something you can get really excited about, naturally you’re going to be able to find the energy and motivation to strive for it – because you want to and most likely you’ll get a great sense of achievement about ticking off steps towards your goal and become even more motivated. If you’re motivated towards your goal you’ll most likely feel ok about being flexible to the changing context and adapting in order to achieve it – rather than getting frustrated by it (behavioural flexibility is one of the keys to success that we teach within NLP).
At Masters NLP Practitioner level we talk about Values – they are what ultimately motivates us and if you align your values behind a goal it’s like turbo charging it. The reality is that your Values are held at the unconscious level – so unless you go through the values elicitation process you are unlikely to know what they really are (if you gave me a list, they’d probably be your aspirational values at this stage).
Refrain from should’ing all over yourself!
Many people fall into the trap of telling themselves or others that they ‘have to’ do something or they ‘should’ do something – this is not a particularly effective way to motivate ourselves and if you find yourself trying to motivate yourself or others in this way you may find you/they may have an increased tendency to procrastinate around what needs to be done (finding anything else you would rather be doing, leaving the ‘must do’ task until further down the to do list – I’m sure you can relate to this scenario!).
Some people say they can’t get motivated. My challenge to that is that you go out and get motivated about other stuff, right? – so you can be motivated – you’ve just not worked out what motivates you the most around the task you ‘must do’ – what’s your ‘why’ for doing it? what will you get out of completing it? what will it enable you to do? what will you see, hear and feel when you’ve achieve your task?
NLP Goal Setting aids motivation …
Often it comes back to better goal setting, making it more compelling (to both the conscious and unconscious mind), being clearer about why you want to do something and what completing it will get you (skills that we and many NLP Trainers teach at NLP Practitioner level). Richard Bandler says that for him motivation is all about the connection between the Internal Representations you have in your mind (e.g. the pictures, sounds etc), the link to your thinking, and also feelings – as we know from the NLP communication model all these things are linked and lead to the behaviour we display or don’t display.
3 Tips to help you become more motivated …
- Imagine what it would be like: Close your eyes and imagine what life will be like when you’ve achieved your goal. What will you have, who will be around you, what will you be doing, what will you see, hear and/or feel. You can then imagine 3 months down the line – how would life be different – just imagine how great it would be to have achieved what it is that you want to achieve. This visualisation really helps get your clarity around your goal.
- Work out what motivates you & take action: in NLP we talk about being motivated towards something or away from something else – work out what motivates you the most and use that to push/pull yourself forward. Then take action – act now!
- Be ‘at Cause’: in NLP we talk about the cause and effect equation (one of the 4 themes of NLP). If you’re at the effect side of the equation you are about reasons, excuses and wanting to blame others – it’s exhausting! Being at the cause side means your are empowered and get results – “if you are not at cause, you will miss the mark by the % you are misaligned”. So take responsibility, take ownership and be at cause (as with the 2 tips above no formal NLP training is needed to be able to do this and get some benefit).