Passage to the next level: The power of self-motivation to get more done and prosper

Self-motivation (2)
It always seems impossible until it’s done. (Nelson Mandela)

The two bags were heavy.  Really heavy, and I kept wondering to myself, as I tried to load them on to the van, what I had packed, since we were only going for three nights.

“Please help me with my bags,” I said to the gentleman who was talking to someone, and had his back facing me.

From my bent position, I could only see his legs and right hand stretched out towards me—to reach for my bags—and when I slowly lifted my head for eye contact with him, I realized that he looked familiar.  I could also tell that he seemed to have recognized me as well.

When all the bags were loaded and we were on the way to our three-hour drive, I happened to be seated next to the driver, the gentleman who had helped me with my bags.  Since I wasn’t in a talking mood, I thanked him again for helping me, and quickly turned to face the other side, as I curved the upper part of my body into a semi-circle, to get comfortable to sleep.

After an hour or so, I woke up feeling refreshed and started chatting with the driver, as we tried to remember where we had met before. At some point he asked me where I used to live during my college years, and when I told him, like a striking flash, I remembered him.

“Mato!” I screamed with excitement.  “I remember you.  You used to be the smartest mini bus conductor on my route, always wearing a full suit and tie, and looking like a serious CEO.”  Hahahaha! 

Clearly, for someone working as a mini bus conductor, he was overdressed.  So, I asked him why he used to dress up in a suit and tie, including a pocket square, and his response was that, he didn’t want to get too comfortable in a job that he did not like.

Overdressing was symbolic to Mato, in that it reminded him that he needed to work hard towards attaining his goal of becoming a tour guide and driver.  In other words, it was self-motivation.

Motivation is inconstant.  Like a Yoyo, sometimes our motivation is up, and sometimes it is down. Up-down-up-down!  However, with some effort, self-motivation can be boosted to the level that we want.

Self-motivation has many benefits.  It gives us energy to achieve our goals, and helps to develop our skills.  Good.  Without it, we feel inadequate, and/or overwhelmed, and our body and mind shuts down.  Not good.

From my discussion with Mato, I learned that it is possible to boost the flow of self-motivation in the following ways:

  • Mindset. Be realistic and manage your expectations, by doing some research before embarking on your goal or project.  This will give you a hint of what difficulties lie ahead, and how to overcome them.  Mato did his research and found out that the only way he could be a tour guide and driver was to go to college, and if he really wanted to excel, he had to learn one or two foreign languages.  Today he speaks three foreign languages.
  • Habits. Stop wishing and start doing.  Focus on what you need to do today.  The things that matter and are important to you, that will lead to your personal growth and development.  Remember, we don’t have all the time in the world.  Mato was so determined to be a tour guide and driver, that he saved money and borrowed from family members, to enrol in a college.
  • Social support. Get a trusted friend or relative to talk to, for support and encouragement.  Talking about your goals will motivate you to keep going. Go-go-go! Mato engaged with people working within the tourism industry, and because of this, when he completed his course, it was easy for him to get a job with one of the best tour firms in the country.

Self-motivation is doing what we know we need to do—without being influenced by others or circumstances—because we believe what we are doing will improve our life.  We engage in the activity because we know the outcome will be rewarding.

Self-motivation gives us the power to nurture positive thoughts—which leads us to become more persistent, productive, and confident.  May your efforts of increasing self-motivation bring out the best in you!  Much love and all the best!