Getting Motivated To Study Is As Easy As AMP

Imagine waking up full of energy and enthusiasm for the day ahead. Imagine feeling truly driven to take massive action and get stuff done. Well guess what, many people do feel that way! But my guess is that you don't. Why? Because you're reading this article! The answer for you may well lie in understanding "if then" motivation, why everyone uses it, and why it doesn't really work.

"If then" rewards and punishments are simple to understand. If something happens, then something else happens as a result. For example, if you don't go to school, then your parents will ground you. If you help clean the backyard, then your parents will end the grounding. Makes sense doesn't it? There are punishments for "bad" behavior and "rewards" for good behavior. It's motivation 101!

"If then" establishes clear rewards or punishments for action or inaction. However, it also has a tendency to create less than desirable outcomes. How so you may ask? Well, if you only do things because you know you will be either rewarded or punished, what happens where there is no reward or punishment? Aren't you simply responding to external danger or pleasure rather than to your internal calling?

"If then" also has a tendency to promote harmful behavior. Behavior such as seeking only to achieve the objectives set out without worrying about how it will be achieved or how that may impact others (for example, you may need to cheat or lie to achieve the outcome), or taking action only based on being rewarded or punished with bigger and bigger items each time (which creates a loop of rewards or punishments that can't be sustained).

This is not what motivation is really all about. Motivation is something that should come from within you and drives you to action based on a desire to achieve something. If someone has to reward you or punish you in order for you to do something, you are not actually motivated. Instead, you're just responding to an external stimulus (i.e. you take action in response to the belief that something good or bad may happen as a result).

Motivation is actually about the combination of three elements: autonomy, mastery and purpose (this was established by behavioral scientists Harlow and Deci).

Harlow and Deci found that if you want to be high performer you need to be in an environment that promotes all three elements (or be striving to achieve it). The desire to be in charge and decide what you do and how you do it (autonomy), the desire to constantly improve our skills, abilities and knowledge (mastery), and the desire to act towards a project bigger than our own basic needs (purpose) are what gives us the feeling of true motivation. This is the environment where real motivation occurs.

Understanding these elements is vital if you want to feel the power of true motivation. To develop into a truly motivated person you must create an environment where you are in charge and in control, where you are always improving and developing and working towards something you really and truly want, and where what you are working towards is something that inspires you and calls you to action. Take what you are doing now and twist it within this framework (or finding something else to do if you can't) and you will become a highly energized and motivated person. Good luck!

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