I love reading articles about people making their dreams come true, especially when they relate how the person motivated themselves to keep moving forward on their path. Someone referred one such article to me that was printed in the Wall Street Journal a while back, about Liz Pagliarini. Ms. PagliarinI started a company called OriginOne, which offers a line of clothing promoting racial unity. You can find her clothes at www.originone.com.
I especially like this article because much of it corroborates what I teach in my model for self motivation.
Ms. Pagliarini, a new mother, working full time at a high pressure job, spent her nights and weekends starting her business, working around her baby daughter’s naps.
Changing careers, she found, requires a large amount of self discipline, and focus. Her key to self discipline is creating a strict schedule and sticking to it. This is a great way to avoid the myriad distractions that can rob us of our effectiveness and our motivation.
The article then goes on to quote Liz Straus, a social media guru, (@lizstrauss) who presents three strategies for someone facing a career change:
1) break it down.
“Changing a career is a complicated process; you want to break it down into small, more manageable tasks.”
This is a great strategy for any change you want to make, not just for changing a career. The results of breaking a change down into its component parts is many:
a) It increases your successability, your confidence in your competence. You will naturally feel more capable that you can achieve that one task as compared to achieving the whole, possibly overwhelming change. The more confident you are, the more motivated you will be to pursue your dreams.
b) It gives you “success experiences.” As you complete each component part, your successes will send your motivation soaring.
c) It gives you clarity. Clarity, knowing exactly what is expected of you (or of what you expect of yourself), increases your motivation.
2) enjoy what you are doing
“You will be more motivated when you enjoy what you are doing.”
Enjoying what you are doing will certainly motivate you, because it is an indication that what you are doing is valuable to you. The model for self motivation teaches that a pursuit that is valuable or worthwhile to you will always motivate you.
3) acknowledge your accomplishments
“No matter how pressed for time you are, don’t forget to reward yourself when you finish each task.”
I’m not so sure about the need to reward yourself after each task is completed. Research on intrinsic motivation (motivation from within) versus external motivation (motivation from outside of you) tends to show intrinsic motivation being the stronger of the two. Consequently, I do believe, that it is important to acknowledge your successful completion of a task, maybe even celebrate it, and celebrate yourself. (I will actually reach my arm up over my opposite shoulder and pat myself on the back.) This acknowledgement increases your confidence in your capabilities and thereby increases your motivation to take on your next task, and the next one, until your desired change has occurred.
Motivating yourself is a science with rules. Learn the rules of self motivation and you will achieve your dreams.