The Fascinating Research About How To Truly Motivate Yourself

By Daniel Schmitz, Legends Report Contributor

Have you ever wondered how you can become better at motivating yourself and how you can improve your ability to learn?

Our previous article on 'The Biggest Problem With Self Motivation' addressed common problems with self-motivation and why it's important for you and for society to be motivated by more than just 'self' goals.

The following extract from, 'The Upside Of Stress' by Kelly McGonigal shared recently by personal development expert Brian Johnson reinforces this. It contains some fascinating research about how your level of self-motivation and your performance grows if you develop goals which are bigger than your own self goals. Having goals like making a positive difference to the world or knowing which person you want to become in the future has a huge impact on your self-motivation:

“Crocker isn’t the only researcher who has investigated the benefits of taking a tend-and-befriend approach to achieving personal goals. Dave Yeager... has shown that helping students find their bigger-than-self goals improves academic motivation and performance. In one study, college students were given a twenty-minute ‘beyond-the-self’ mindset intervention that included this exercise:

Take a moment to think about what kind of person you want to be in the future. Also think about what kind of positive impact you want to have on the people around you or society in general. . . . In the space below, write a few sentences that answer this question: How will learning in school help you be the kind of person you want to be, or help you make the kind of impact you want on the people around you or society in general?

Students were then given a series of both boring and difficult math problems. The students who had completed the beyond-the-self reflection persisted longer and ended up finishing more problems correctly. The same brief mindset intervention in high school students not only boosted short-term motivation, but also led to higher end-of-the-semester GPAs. Yeager and his colleagues found that when students thought about their bigger-than-self goals, it changed the meaning of both boring work and academic struggles. The new meaning—that persevering at their studies would help them make a difference in the world—motivated them to engage with, rather than avoid, the stress of challenging themselves.”

True legends know that real motivation comes when your success is not about yourself but when it also involves people you care about. That could be your family, your friends, your local community or the world as a whole. You can be motivated to a certain level to achieve goals just for yourself, but to take it to the next level, make it about something bigger than you...

Take a moment to think about the person you would like to be in the future?

Which positive impact do you want to make in society?

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