Motivating Kids: Myths & Truths #5

29 04 2010

This is the last of our 5-part series on Motivation Myths:

Motivational Myth #1: Kids need to be motivated. (See 4/7/10 blog entry)

Motivational Myth #2: Rewards are what motivate kids. (See 4/8/10 blog entry)

Motivational Myth #3: Lectures motivate kids. (See 4/14/10 blog entry)

Motivational Myth #4: Hype motivates kids. (See 4/26/10 blog entry)

Motivation Myth #5: Simply suck it up!

This is the last of our five motivation myths. The fifth myth is that motivation is a requirement for success. Although, many would probably argue with me on this one I believe motivation is not required. In many ways one of the important skills of life is knowing how to dig deep when motivation supplies are low. Very few people would say that they have an abundance of motivation. Most of us have to develop strong skills in discipline as well as strength of mind to overcome our propensity to stay comfortable and lazy.

How a person manages their responsibilities when their motivation source appears dry maybe says more about a person then when the motivation is abundant. With that I offer these basic tips for when your motivational energy is depleted.

  1. Break responsibilities into small pieces.  The thought of biting off the whole task can be overwhelming, but often, if one smaller step can be taken a new surge of energy is experienced.
  2. Keep your thinking in the here and now. When you are tired it is not uncommon for thinking to be loose and undisciplined. When this happens everything can easily take on a dark and pessimistic tint.
  3. Wherever you are, be there. Many people have a difficult time taking breaks because of the sheer number of things on their plate. My advice to you is when you are involved in family time, or a pleasurable hobby, be fully present in it so you can be fully present in the task when you get back to it.

Sometimes, you simply have to persevere through difficult times. You have to use the power of your mind and will to act in responsible ways and do the uncomfortable things it takes to accomplish your goals. We, unfortunately, are living in a time where we have become slaves to comfort and make all sorts of excuses for acting in non-responsible ways. Next time you are facing a moment where you need to do something and do not want to, remember you don’t always have to want to do something for it to be productive.

Living in the here and now,
Shaun

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