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Getting Motivated

By Anne Keckler | January 31, 2008

I’ve been reading  NLP: The New Technology of Achievement . The chapter on Getting Motivated really made me think about what motivates people, and why. This book reminds me a bit of Think and Grow Rich, the old classic by Napoleon Hill. It seems to me, though, that NLP: The New Technology of Achievement is a more practical guide.

Are you the kind of person who is motivated by avoiding negative outcomes, or by moving toward positive outcomes?  While the latter is most often highly respected by our society, and sometimes considered almost a necessity for success, you can learn to accept whichever style you have, and use it to your advantage. 

Most articles and books you will read about motivation will tell you to reward  yourself when you have met a goal.  That is an extrinsic reward (as opposed to an intrinsic reward, which I’ll discuss in the future), and a positive outcome.  But if your motivation comes from avoiding negative outcomes, this might not work so well for you. 

There are pros and cons to each type of motivation.  A person who is motivated by positive outcomes is often the kind of person who will rush headlong into a new project, full of enthusiasm and optimism.  He’s likely to run into a lot of problems that he hasn’t considered beforehand, and will learn some hard lessons in life.

 On the other hand, the person who is motivated by avoiding negative outcomes might have a tendency to avoid challenges, or might become complacent and reluctant to make positive changes in his life.  He’s waiting until things get unbearable, and he might be more likely to avoid some of the discomfort that is necessary to succeed in life.

 By realizing and accepting your personal motivation direction, either toward positive outcomes or away from negative ones, you can learn to use it to your advantage. 

Let’s say you’d like to lose some weight.  If you are more motivated toward positive outcomes, you could visualize yourself fitting into new clothes, having more self-confidence, and just feeling better about how you look.  If you are motivated away from negative outcomes you might get better results if you consider where you will end up if you continue as you are, or gain even more weight.  Consider the effects on your health, your energy, or your appearance. 

Which one describes you best?  Which direction will work best for you?  Once you know this, you will likely get much better results from your attempts to get motivated to make the changes in your life you desire.

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Topics: Motivation, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Getting Motivated”

  1. Vicham Says:
    January 31st, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    I find myself motivated via both means. When I started working out at the gym a little over a year ago, I was all positive and enthusiastic about it. I would work out, lose weight, improve my physique, and perhaps catch the eye of some lovely lady somewhere…haha! My motivation worked; I started to lose weight, and I became stronger. Oh, and women have found me to be reasonably attractive at this point…but I don’t have a steady girlfriend/lover still…crud! 😛

    About 6 months after I started working out, my father passed away due to heart failure. I now find myself driven to work out and stay in shape more so that I avoid dying in a manner similar to my father. I feel that I can do something to prevent dying like that, and I will not anything stop me from pursuing the means to do so.

  2. kj Says:
    February 6th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Ms Anne,
    You make things sound so great and Very convinceing but as a demanding business owner and husband and father well you get the point how do You suggest finding the time to get into shape my wife says i’m getting a bit Fluffy and she is worried it can’t be good for me but i barely have time to see them now what would You suggest?



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