Motivation – a key to mastery!

In the previous article, you have learned a bit about the force of motivation. Today I will dive deeper into it.

Motive – a reason for doing something, here is A and Ω in your journey. We always have reasons when we do something, but very often, we are not aware of them. We frequently follow our instincts or feelings. That is perfect in everyday routines, but not an excellent recipe for achieving mastery. In this article, I will focus on self-understanding, which is a fundamental part of intrinsic motivation theory. Google’s dictionary defines self-understanding as follows: an awareness of and ability to understand one’s actions*.

Many years ago, I got genuinely interested in the process of achieving mastery. Few questions which nurtured me were: Why some people get so good at something? Why most people never get good at something? Is it a matter of talent or maybe something else? I’ve met many persons that have achieved a superior level in their particular disciplines, and they always seem to be very typical human beings. The most common answer to my questions above is – talent, raw talent, my friend. I’ve never accepted that simple answer – it must be something more. So I started to read. Many books and years working with people later, I know that this is something else. It is self-understanding and perseverance.

Motivation begins with an idea. Then our mind starts to consciously and unconsciously filter information to decide if to commit to that idea and how strong. If the reasons are clear and commitment is strong, then motivation is high. If the reasons are unsure or commitment is little, then motivation is low. So you see that self-understanding plays a crucial role on the way to mastery. Those persons who spent much time on self-reflecting shows high motivation levels, simply because they are truly aware of their goals. They rejected all less important ones and decided to focus on meaningful ones. That clarity helps them to direct their attention on a path that leads directly towards desire destination. It’s like walking to the top of Mt Fuji – you can always see the summit, but you need to focus on the obstacles under your feet. You can easily overcome small barriers(problems), and you always know where you are heading because you can see the summit.

Motivation also means acceptance. Acceptance that we can’t do/achieve/have everything. That is a tricky part – to let go of those less important goals and needs. Society puts a lot of demands on us, and many are “very good” at trying to satisfy them. There is that proverb: if you are trying to do everything, you will accomplish nothing. You need to find out what matters to you and focus primarily on that. Knowing your final summit provides tremendous help – when new requests are coming, you see up at it, and decide if to accept or reject them.

To conclude some practical tips:

  • Work with your self – understanding. You need to understand to the core what you want to achieve. It is inside you – just let it come out by asking questions and answering them many days in a row.
  • Reevaluate your daily routines. Check your schedule – write how much time you spent on things (school/work, phone/tv, family/friends, etc.). Many persons get 30+ hours daily after summarizing their activities – it’s long days 😊.
  • Remove all those activities that are not essentials – they don’t help you get closer to the summit and drain you of energy.
  • Walk along your path with no haste – let the trail to lead you, and stay in the present, just concentrate on your steps.

Further reading:

Suzuki, Shin’ichi. Nurtured by Love. Alfred Music.

Greene, Robert. Mastery. Penguin Publishing Group.

Sterner, Thomas M. The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life. New World Library.

Nilsonne, Åsa. Vem är det som bestämmer i ditt liv? : om medveten närvaro. Kultur och Natur.