The key to self motivation is being in control of the three factors of motivation from the model for self motivation: the vision, successability and environment. We do this by exercising our intent, that is, by acting intentionally, rather than acting automatically.
Animals other than humans act on instinct. There is a stimulus in the environment, which automatically triggers a reaction. It’s automatic, usually hardwired into the animal. Instinct works very well in the animal kingdom. The rabbit spots the fox (the stimulus) and immediately starts running in a zig zag motion (the reaction). The rabbit doesn’t stop to reflect on how to respond to the stimulus, or consider whether he is in the mood for some exercise; the rabbit just runs, and lives to hop another day.
Humans all too commonly react this way as well. Some stimulus occurs, the waiter brings by the dessert tray, and the diner, without a care to his diet, or his blood sugar, reacts, he picks the cheese cake and starts to eat. Unlike other creatures, however, humans have the capacity to act otherwise, to act with reflection. Reflection occurs in the space between stimulus and action. Rather than two steps, stimulus and action, there are three steps. In step one, there is a stimulus. In step two the person reflects on what action to take. It is not until step three that the person takes the action. It is in this middle step, the reflection step, that motivation occurs.
A person who acts without reflection, without that center step, I refer to as automatic man. He acts automatically, without reflection, without considering the wisdom of his action.
As self motivators, we want to avoid being automatic men. Being automatic men means we are being controlled by things and people outside ourselves; we are being controlled by our environment. Instead we need to stay in touch with that middle step, and stay aware that we have the power to choose the action we take.
Being in control of our actions has two positive impacts on our motivation. One, it lets us takes steps to increase the positive impact of each of the three elements of self motivation, vision, successability, and environment. Two, exercising control or autonomy in our lives automatically increases our motivation.
Utilizing the model for self motivation means exercising your intent to increase the motivational impact of each of the three factors of self motivation. This is how you control your motivation, achieve your goals and make your dreams come true.