Motivation - What works?
Motivation. There are days when we all need a little -- or a LOT. But what' the best way to find it -- and how can we motivate others, who either look to us for guidance -- or -- who we need motivated to perform?
I am always on the prowl for the latest research on what makes people tick. My books on respect and gratitude were really consumer friendly compliations on the social psychology research on the topics -- and there is some interesting data to share on motivation. I confess, I tend to research the areas in which I am trying to improve and there are some days when I just find it a challenge to get going. As we say down South, 'the get up and go ...got up and went!'
A recent article I came across points out that often times the best motivation might not be the most "lucrative" incentive. Bribing a kid to get A's on her report card CAN work -- but is generally not as effective as rewarding behaviors that would lead to the better grades. Harvard's Roland Freyer Jr. found incenting kids to read, go to class, etc. DID result in better grades, test scores, etc. more than just paying a kid to get good grades.
When my son was potty training, I used Matchbox cars as an incentive. 10 consecutive potty trips without an accident was rewarded with a car. Wish motivating were that easy today!?
What motivates you? What do YOU know feels 'right' but sometimes it's hard to get going to do it? The other day I was in a bit of a funk and just forced myself NOT to worry about the 'stuff' that needed doing and instead read a long ignored book for a while and then picked up my knitting. Both pasttimes were totally 'centering' -- enabling me to clearly think about where I should best be focussing my energies. In the rush of daily life, it's easy to become consumed by the 'must do's' and the 'gotta get dones.'
What are your 'I would likes?' How do you feel when you've had a chance to do them? Are you more energetic, more clear headed? I bet the answer is yes.
Put those activities a bit higher on your 'to do' list -- and see if by putting those "want to" activites in a priority position, you aren't more effective in tackling those "must do" jobs.
Why, just writing this, I am feeling so upbeat -- I may just go get on the treadmill! Now THAT'S being motivated!