Last week we delineated between Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation.  This week we use what we learned and apply it to common situations in which we need to motivate ourselves.

Situation 1: Wake up on wrong side of bed.  Sometimes we simply wake up in a bad mood.  If we don’t shake it, we carry our bad mood with us all day long like a backpack full of rotting food.  Bad moods infect productivity, energy levels, and others.

What can I do?  Identify the intrinsic risks (e.g. disappointment in myself) and extrinsic risks (e.g. loss of respect) of staying in a bad mood.  Ask yourself if the risks are worth it.  If the answer is “no”, then pull yourself out of it by focusing on the benefits of being in a good mood.

Situation 2: Conflict. When we are in conflict our judgment can be clouded and our motivation rooted in ego.  It is difficult to achieve resolution if we are more concerned with winning or being right.

What can I do?  Determine what it would mean to you if you were able to achieve resolution. Determine what it would mean to the other person if you were able to achieve resolution.  Once you know, use it as motivation for a peaceful and respectful outcome.

Situation 3: Micromanagement.  I have yet to meet a person who loves to be micromanaged.  Many of us want to fight back by doing things our own way or at a speed we know will drive the other person crazy.

What can I do? Remind yourself that the only person you have control over is yourself!  You have a right to speak up for what you want and need – respectfully.  Determine specifically how more autonomy will help you to be more motivated to do exceptional work.  Once you are clear on your motivation, share it with the micromanager and ask for their support(*This can also work for situations of heavy workloads.) 

Situation 4: Topic isn’t interesting.  Whether it is the topic of the project or of the meeting, boredom correlates with low motivation.  Boredom is difficult to hide and our lack of interest can be perceived as lack of commitment.

What can I do?  In this type of situation, it is important to look at the BIG pictureLook past the now, and think about the long term.  Figure out how your participation in the project or meeting can help you.  If obtaining a leadership role is an extrinsic motivator of yours, know that showing interest can position you as a leader.   If knowledge if an intrinsic motivator of yours, know that every situation is a learning opportunity.

The only way to become motivated and stay motivated is to commit to it! Sure, it will take some work … but just think about the benefits.

Desire is the key to motivation, but it is determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” ~Mario Andretti