WOW Word-Of-the-Week #519: Self-Motivation

July 16, 2014 by  

Self-Motivation personal inspiration and drive.

What is your personal inspiration that drives you? How do you handle set backs or defeats? Do you lose your enthusiasm? Or does that motivate you to be more persistent in achieving your goal?

This is the follow up to last week’s WOW on self-management. In Daniel Goleman’s book on Emotional Intelligence he says, “Consider the role of positive motivation – the marshalling of feelings of enthusiasm, zeal, and confidence – in achievement. Studies of Olympic athletes, world-class musicians, and chess grand masters find their unifying trait is the ability to motivate themselves to pursue relentless training routines.

What seems to set apart those at the very top of competitive pursuits from others of roughly equal ability is the degree to which, beginning early in life, they can pursue an arduous practice routine for years and years. And that doggedness depends on emotional traits – enthusiasm and persistence in the face of setbacks – above all else.”

a self mot

  • Impulse Control. There is perhaps no psychological skill more fundamentals than resisting impulse. It is the root of all emotional self-control, since all emotions, by their very nature, lead to one or another impulse to act. People who are able to resist temptation and delay gratification are more socially competent: personally effective, self-assertive, and better able to cope with the frustrations of life. They embrace challenges and pursue them instead of giving up even in the face of difficulties. They are self-reliant and confident, trustworthy and dependable, and they take initiative and plunge into projects.
  • Foul Mood, Fouled Thinking. If we are preoccupied by worries that we are going to fail at something, we have that much less attention to expend on figuring out how we will succeed at it. Our worries become self-fulfilling prophecies, propelling us toward the very disaster they predict.

Good moods, while they last, enhance the ability to think flexibly and with more complexity, thus making it easier to find solutions to problems, whether intellectual or interpersonal. This suggests that one way to help someone think through a problem is to tell them a joke. Laughing, like elation, seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.

And who doesn’t like to laugh?

This week’s focus is on self-motivation. How do you keep yourself on track to reach your goals? Are you able to resist temptation? Are you preoccupied with worries? Have they become your self-fulfilling prophecies?

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