Maintaining personal motivation is something essential as an important member of a team, particularly in the case where you are responsible for the motivation of others. As a team leader or manager you will be looked to for reassurance and guidance in a job, and if you give the impression that you are merely going through the motions, your lack of motivation can become contagious. Even if you are responsible solely for yourself, personal motivation remains vitally important. Motivation is what keeps us from giving up and refusing to get out of bed in the morning. Any way we can improve on our level of personal motivation is valuable.
Identifying Personal Motivators
What constitutes a motivation for one person may not be the same for others. Personal motivators are different between people, because the very definition of personal requires that you see things differently from the next person. The importance of identifying your own personal motivators is clear. Without a clear, identifiable set of personal motivating factors, it can be easy to fall into either an unmotivated condition or to rely on other people’s motivations to keep you going forward. There are times when we cannot rely on other people to give us the motivation we feel we need, and when you are on your own you need to motivate yourself.
Identifying your own personal motivators is something that takes some self-knowledge and some thinking time. What is it that you want to take from your job? Are you happy to keep cashing the paychecks, or do you wish to advance further in the company? Why did you apply for the job in the first place – and are you close to satisfying that goal? Ask as many questions as you can ask yourself, and as many answers as you can give to those questions, the better your own personal motivation.
One motivation that works well for a number of people is surpassing themselves. Keeping a record of personal achievements attained while in your current job and attempting to do better every month is a challenge that is never completed. If this fails to motivate you, then look at other things which reward performance. Often, people are most motivated by the recognition of their achievements by others, and by setting an example to other members of staff. Whatever works for you is a valid means of self-motivation. Make sure that you have as many motivating factors as you can think of, because the more things you want to achieve, the more you will achieve.
Maximizing Your Motivators
As far as motivation in a job is concerned, it is a matter which requires regular evaluation and frequent updating. There are countless potential motivators for individuals, and as long as they work for you they are valid. What some people struggle with is ensuring that they continue to work. Particularly if you have been in the same job for a long time, it can be easy to lose the urgency and motivation that drove you to your best results when you started. Think of yourself ten years ago and the principles you held which you believed to be as solid as a rock. Do you still feel the same way now, or has life given you a different outlook?
Constantly giving some thought to what motivates you and why will enable you to get the best out of your motivators. When you started in the job, it may have been about the money, but maybe you have enough money now. In this case, it can help to think of something that you want to do which will require more money – taking a break to travel for a while, building a new house, or whatever suits your means. This is a way of maximizing an old motivator which may have ceased to be that effective. Maybe one of your motivations has been recognition. In this case, seeking to mentor a newer member of staff can be beneficial. While you may have achieved almost all there is to achieve in this job, someone else could maybe do with the benefit of your experience.
Taking the factors which have motivated you in the past and updating them for the future is one way to maximize your motivational factors. In addition, it helps to look at your home life as it relates to your work life. If there is something you really need or really want in your home life, and your job can help you achieve it, then this may be all the motivation you need. Pushing yourself to achieve as much as possible will eventually pay off, especially when other people have ceased to push you because they know how good you are.
Evaluating and Adapting
We all have things which motivate us – when we are kids, when we are young adults and when we are mature adults – and all that changes is the nature of our motivations. Even once we have retired, we will often find that there are things that we need to do and need to achieve before we can truly rest. In fact, one thing that motivates a lot of people is the need to keep their minds active. Research has proven that people who remain active through their middle and early old age keep syndromes such as dementia at bay for longer than those who do not. This makes it all the more important to remain motivated.
It is sometimes too easy to just let things pass you by through complacency, especially when you have already achieved enough to make you more or less immune from being fired. While it may be nice to remain in a job even when on auto-pilot, there is no denying that it is disadvantageous for keeping the challenge in a job and for motivation. Should you want to make a move into another part of the company or another job, it is always useful to have a results sheet which shows continuing improvement and achievement. To this end it always helps to have a record of achievement and keep testing yourself against it
In the end, the person who can best judge how well you are doing is you. Any manager to whom you answer will probably have other people to manage as well, who may require more careful handling than you. The only way you can ensure you remain motivated is to motivate yourself – so if you find that your motivation is beginning to wane, look at other reasons to stay in the job and work harder. There are always reasons to push yourself, and it is a matter of finding the one which does it for you, no matter how often that changes.