Friday, January 01, 2010

How to Get Motivated

I cannot take credit for the words written below – Daniel H. Pink, the guy who turned Oprah onto the power of right brain thinking, wrote an article entitled ‘How to Get Motivated’ which I thoroughly enjoyed and would like to share with you today – he believes that you need to develop three things: a sense of mastery, autonomy and purpose.

A Sense of Mastery
The thirst for mastery is akin to the thirst for water. It keeps the soul alive. So what is the best way to cultivate a sense of accomplishment? An interesting answer recently came from a group of researchers studying new cadets at West Point to understand why some students dropped out. All the new recruits were talented, but the successful students shared a certain quality: grit. Everyone has a reservoir of grit, though you can’t tap into it for a random endeavor. To figure out where your reservoir of grit is, ask yourself: “What would I do for free?”

We came into this world curious and self directed – just look at any toddler – but we can become passive and inert in mundane situations. Two business school professors, however, found that people in the least empowered positions can develop a sense of autonomy. They studied the performance of hospital cleaners, and found that those who went beyond doing the minimum job requirements reported increases in satisfaction. By reframing their duties, the janitors helped make their work more fully their own - take control (even if only in a small way) of your time, efforts and responsibilities.

Seeking purpose is part of how we’re wired – by doing something that endures; we prove that we were here, that we mattered. Clare Booth Luce once told John F. Kennedy, ‘A great man is one sentence.’ What’s yours? If you can’t seem to access your purpose in life, start with Luce’s question.

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