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Self-Motivation is a quality that some people naturally have while others must work to develop it. It is the inner drive to independently do something. This is without a teacher, parent, spouse, or friend urging and prodding you along. The quality of self-motivation is valuable in the workplace and in our personal lives as well.

Yet, a pressing question for many people in the developed world is why do so many people with all of their daily physical survival needs met lack so greatly in self-motivation? Blame technology, blame society, or blame modernity. The truth of the matter is we have only ourselves to blame that we are not self-motivated. But first, let’s examine the reasons why some people lack motivation.

The trait of self-motivation is supposed to be developed from an early age in school children to prepare them for life. School begins highly-structured and by college is more autonomous. In college, it is completely up to the students themselves to remember to do their work. However, many college students, whose parents pushed them to complete their homework or to study for tests, find themselves in a world of hurt. Here, professors don’t beg students to complete their work on time.


Often, these are the students that drop out and later return to school once they finally develop this self-motivation. In the workplace, it is crucial to be self-motivated without a boss constantly reminding you to do your tasks. And yet, so many adults and students alike complain that they lack this all too important trait. Here is a list of reasons why some estimates state that 62% of people lack this skill:

  • People don’t realize they lack self-motivation
  • They have a lack of will power
  • People expect every chance or opportunity to somehow fall into their laps
  • Negativity and false beliefs tell them that their goals are unattainable

This lack of self-motivation causes depression and feelings of helplessness, telling people that don’t have the power to change their lives.

Luckily, there are many good tips on how to develop this skill. Just a few of the many are listed below:

  • Don’t be so negative. Great people became great because they were willing to dream and do big.
  • Leave your comfort zone. Most people are unwilling to risk embarrassment and possible failure, even at their dreams’ expense. Just remember: Real losers are those that don’t even try.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When all of us were babies, we had to learn to walk. Some learned earlier than others, however, it was a process that took time and a lot of falling down. What if you had never made that first step because you were afraid of falling down? The same thing applies to your goals. No matter what they are, you’re going to make mistakes, big and small. The only important thing is that you learn from them and move on.
  • Don’t think everything’s impossible. Beatles guitarist John Lennon had an Aunt Mimi who famously told him, “The guitar’s all right John, but you’ll never make a living out of it.” While becoming a famous rock star is one in a million, it still is possible. Otherwise we wouldn’t have so many. Whatever your goal is, make all the proper steps to make it happen. Who knows? Your dream could come true.
  • Choose to be happy. Happiness can’t be bought. It’s a choice that each person has to make. 10% of life events happen to you and 90% is your attitude towards them. We’re not talking about blind optimism here. It’s about not walking around as if the world’s on your shoulders and counting your blessings.
  • Spend an hour a day on self-enriching activities and hobbies. This means reading meaningful books, participating in various activities, meditating, etc. Anything that gives you something back after you do them can be included in this category.
  • Finish what you start. Don’t leave that sweater half-knitted, that boat half-built, and don’t buy that Spanish dictionary and then never learn Spanish. When you finish what you start, you leave yourself with a feeling of accomplishment.
  • Live in the moment. You can be here today and gone tomorrow. Every moment is sacred and precious. Enjoy every minute that you have.
  • Don’t miss a chance. Many people think that opportunities will just present themselves. For most people, this is not the case. Get yourself out there and advertise why what you’ve got is so special.

In closing, self-motivation can be learned and can enrich your life in so many ways. What are you waiting for? Go for your dreams and commit to them. You won’t regret your choice.

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Posted by Alex Petryck

By Alex Petryck, form, he got his MBA at Wisconsin International University.

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