In my most recent blog posting I shared with you a story of a jail program in which incarcerated young men are released once they gain their GRE. I shared with you that until these young men had a reason for getting their GRE, a reason by which getting their GRE was valuable to them, they had no interest in the work necessary to accomplish this important (to society, anyway) task.In today’s posting I would like to share how you can use that example in your life to maximize your motivation.
Many of us have something that we want to accomplish but we haven’t yet gotten around to it. If this sounds familiar to you, then probably you are just like those incarcerated young men, in that the change isn’t really valuable to you. You may think you have more sense than these young men, but the reality is, they are more similar you than dissimilar to you. We are all human, the incarcerated young men, you, the blog reader, and even me, the blog writer. This means we all suffer from human nature.
That may sound like a bad thing, but it’s also a good thing. Because if we understand human nature we can put it to work for us.
And so that is what we do in motivating ourselves.
The model for self motivation shows a process involving human nature, how people get motivated. And once we understand the process, we can use the model to implement the process to motivate ourselves and keep ourselves motivated.
MOTIVATION = ƒ (VISION, SUCCESSABILITY, ENVIRONMENT).
This means that your motivation is related to your vision (that special change you want to make in your life), your successability (your confidence in your competence, that is, your ability to make the change) and your environment, both your physical environment (where you will do the work necessary to make the change) and your social environment (the people and organizations available to you).
The model for self motivation tells us that any positive steps you take to impact your vision, successability or environment will automatically positively impact your self motivation.
As it relates to the incarcerated young men, this program increases their motivation by impacting more than just one factor.
First let’s look at the vision. Before and after the jail program, the vision for these young men would be attaining the GRE. One way to make a vision more motivating is to make it more valuable to you. This was discussed in my recent posting. But there were several other ways this program effectively used the model for self motivation. It changed the environment of these young men. Instead of trying to learn in a rowdy class room – more than likely their physical environment was hanging out with their friends – an easy opportunity was presented to them. This was a change in their physical environment. Further, they was surrounded by people exactly like them, people who suddenly became willing to put in the effort to achieve this now worthwhile goal. This was a positive change in their social environment.
What we can learn from these young men is that if we want to achieve a goal that is going to require some work, we better make sure it is valuable to us. If it isn’t at first blush, maybe we need to do some serious thinking about whether we really want to accomplish this. If we do, then we need to do some serious thinking about why is is valuable to us.
The second lesson we can learn is to harness the power of our social environment. Granted it might be easier having it forced on us by forces outside ourselves like it is with these young men, but I think most of us are grateful that a change in our social environment will not require us to be incarcerated. It will only take a bit of intention.
What’s stopping you from making your dreams come true? Maybe understanding and applying the model for self motivation is exactly what will make the difference.