When we think of motivation, we usually think of providing what interests, excites, attracts, or might please ourselves or others. And when we try to keep supplying these external things, we can quickly run out of ideas. What then can be done?
Understanding What Motivates
Being provided with external “things” that motivate creates a dependency on those things and builds the expectation that these external things will solve the problem. As a result, we develop unhealthy beliefs that strip us of the foundation for true motivation – self motivation.
We must understand how humans are designed and the role our beliefs play in motivation. Belief is the great self motivator and motivates our behavior. Notice this:
- Beliefs are thoughts that we accept and act on.
- To believe anything we must first desire it (a feeling) or be convinced of it (reason). We must be convinced of what is right and true.
- Once we are convinced, we develop a strong belief that self-motivates.
- Personal experience reinforces our beliefs.
We Act According to What We Believe:
- We never act differently from our beliefs, and when we think we do, what actually happens is we change our belief at the last moment.
- We often regret such changes.
- Even though we cannot see the belief itself, we can observe actions which reveal whether our beliefs are helpful or damaging.
- Each temperament has different struggles with belief and finds some things harder to believe than others.
SP — Optimistic beliefs come easy and optimism drives their actions
SJ — Belief in proven realities is easier
NT — Belief in what is adequately evidenced seems and feels logical
NF — Belief in what is hopeful and intelligently emotional is most appealing
The Bottom Line
- We are made to act according to our beliefs; and self-motivation arises out of healthy beliefs.
- Healthy beliefs are formed when we understand and function according to our inner design.
- Healthy beliefs are kept by choosing to focus on them and reinforce them through our actions.
How Do We Identify and Change Undesirable Beliefs?
The pattern to discovering unhealthy beliefs starts with observing unhealthy actions and their effects. If it is an action that damages ourselves or others, there is an undesirable belief present. At this point, understand your goal – CHANGE. We must change our thinking and our beliefs to the extent that our actions then change.
The right kind of change results when we become a student of our own unique inner designs and learn to deal with the quality of our thinking. We magnify that upon which we are focused. If our goal is healthy beliefs that result in desirable actions, we must focus on thoughts that are healthy and aligned with our inner design. Specifically, we must focus on the development of our inner strengths. These strengths, or inner powers represent powerful thoughts that propel us toward our purpose and the kind of change that brings real fulfillment.