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The Magic of Self-Motivation
by Barbara Garro

In the car today, I drove behind someone I would bet on to be in readiness to make what's important happen in 2015? How would I know? My intuition came from the license plate: “PLAN AHEAD.” Every single time that person gets into and out of the car, there is his or her license plate motivator. That's a great example of the magic of self-motivation. And the importance of that daily motivator makes the annual cost of the vanity plate worth the price. Are you asking yourself, “Isn’t all motivation ‘self-motivation’?” While that may be a natural conclusion, go down a layer. All kinds of stimuli can motivate you to do something.

Consider, an employee comes in agitated with an obvious problem. Don’t you stop what you are doing and give that employee your attention? Would you call that self-motivation?

My focus here is to ask: Fresh in the beginning of 2015, how have you motivated yourself to shape up your year for success? How much time have you actually taken to plan out:

• What do you want most to happen for you in 2015?

• Have you thought out what you must do to make that happen?

• Are you willing to dig in and do the work?

• Will you commit yourself day after day to do what it takes?

• Are you up to investing in the outcome you want?

Consider, individual insight and perspective gets shaped minute by minute by:

• Where We Stand

• What We See

• What We Don’t See

Certainly, none of us make things happen for ourselves totally in a vacuum. Others are everywhere, influencing, distracting, empowering, motivating, de-motivating, stressing, energizing and all take away some part of our daily time allotment.

Clearly, how well you do achieving your 2015 goals depends on your interactions with yourself and others. Your attitude influences your understanding, again, minute by minute. Your understanding leads to the meaning you make out of your interactions. In planning to make good interactions with others, your need to understand your perspective and your Habits of Communication.

How often do you think about your Habits of Communication? For example, do you Move Toward what you want or do you Move Away from what you don't want? These are opposite motivations and you need to learn yours, because it drives how you look at both people and opportunities. Equally important, you need to understand whether others tend to move toward or move away most of the time.

Remember with a bit of awe, that some of motivation, yours and others, to do something is automatic and some motivation is unconscious. Are you remembering last month’s Secret Code article, realizing that some have the skills to read automatic and unconscious responses that can help get a bead on the motivations of others?

Driving your motivation needs to include keeping a pulse on Outcomes and Results. Staying positively motivated depends solidly on a No Failures concept. Wondering where I am going here? Seeding ideas that lead to success sometimes produce unwanted outcomes and results. Not everything works. Thomas Edison seeded literally thousands of ideas until one sparked electricity. You’ve heard that before, but have you adopted Edison's attitude that each idea seed that did not work helped him learn more and more until he achieved success?

What kind of a thinker are you? Convergent Thinking draws things together, while Divergent Thinking has you going out into many possibilities. Think about how a planning session would go with one person a convergent thinker and the other person a divergent thinker. Can you imagine yourself exploring the thinking style not natural for you?

How do you discover how you are doing in any given situation? Do you get your success and failure cues from Outside of Yourself by what people say, do, how they react? Or, do you get your success cues from Inside of Yourself where you know when you do well and when you do not? An example, as an author, when I am finished with a new book, I know I have done my absolute best by the time I give it to the publisher, so I have a strong inside of myself barometer. Still, when I received notification in December 2014 from the EPIC Book Award Judges that my latest book, “Living the Call of God,” got nominated for a Non-Fiction EPIC Book Award, the outside barometer sure felt good.

Your Habits of Mind & How You Spend Your Time Also Shape You

• Are you aware of what you give your attention to at any given time?

• At full attention, what do you notice?

• Do you intend to keep widening your horizon of understanding?

• How often do you inhabit other standpoints?

How Curious Are You?

• What do you read regularly, if you are a reader? If you are not a reader, how are you learning new things?

• What do you watch regularly, if you watch television? If you don't watch much television, how do you learn new things and entertain yourself?

• What do you listen to while driving? Does it relax you and energize you for what’s next? Or, does it build stress?

The magic that brings success from active self-motivation results from your ability to keep track of yourself as you move through each day. Rote won't cut it. Failing to finish what you start can't get you there. Refusing to continue to self-develop as long as you live stales you.

Remember Charles Dubois’ wisdom, “We must be prepared, at any moment, to sacrifice who we are for who we are capable of becoming.”