I would say I am about 50% internally and 50% externally motivated. What’s nice is external motivators are usually consistent. Whether it’s school’s constant deadlines or bills or even the expectations of family and friends, external motivators are always there and sometimes are enough to trudge through tough times. What ebbs and flows is internal motivation. Some days, I can wake at 3am and work till midnight. Other days I can sleep 16 hours and barely conjure up the energy to eat. In school, you can actually get away with that and get back on track quickly. In real life, it’s tough to just not go to work, i.e. the external motivators ramp up. This is a double edged sword because it allows for slack in internal motivation until you are literally being dragged through days and weeks by external motivators with absolutely no internal drive. This can occur at any stage in education or career and is not really dependent on success in life (though it can definitely hinder further progression).
On this topic, I love finding videos talking about motivation and self help guides. I’ve read plenty of books and seen stuff on this topic, and I find Tony Robbins fun. Below is a TED Talk that I enjoyed. Favorite quote:
“Have you ever rented a video film you seen? How many people have done this? Get a f***ing life!”
What influences people
- What’s their target (not goals and desire)
- What map (belief system gets you there)
- Fuel you pick
3 decisions of destiny
- What am I going to focus on?
- What does it mean?
- What are you going to do?
6 human needs
- Certainty/Comfort – We all want comfort. And much of this comfort comes from certainty. Of course there is no ABSOLUTE certainty, but we want certainty the car will start, the water will flow from the tap when we turn it on and the currency we use will hold its value.
- Variety – At the same time we want certainty, we also crave variety. Paradoxically, there needs to be enough UNcertainty to provide spice and adventure in our lives.
- Significance – Deep down, we all want to be important. We want our life to have meaning and significance. I can imagine no worse a death than to think my life didn’t matter.
- Connection/Love – It would be hard to argue against the need for love. We want to feel part of a community. We want to be cared for and cared about.
- Growth – There could be some people who say they don’t want to grow, but I think they’re simply fearful of doing so—or perhaps NOT doing so. To become better, to improve our skills, to stretch and excel may be more evident in some than others, but it’s there.
- Contribution – The desire to contribute something of value—to help others, to make the world a better place than we found it is in all of us.