There’s always a way—if you’re committed. – Colin Powell
“I Can” suggests potential possibility. “I Will” suggests commitment. A combination of the two—“I Can I Will”—becomes a source of self-motivation.
Motivation is the fuel for growth and getting out of plateau. You have to develop the eternal power and skill to motivate yourself. When you take action for achievement of a goal, there are times when you are ‘unsuccessful’ that may de-motivate you. Two things will provide support to your power of motivation:
Your Vision, Mission and Goals,
Your Realization of the Vast Unexplored Potential Within You. Can you read the word ‘motivation’ as a combination of two words: motiv(e) and a(c)tion—Motive and Action! Yes, it is that simple. Motivation is nothing but action with a motive. So, if you have a purpose, an objective, a goal together with action, you will be motivated.
Let us understand a little more about motivation and needs that motivate people. As understood until now, hierarchy of basic needs, that seem to be universal motivators of human behaviour, are: Physical or Biological, Safety or Security, Social or Love, Ego or Esteem, and Self-actualization or Self-Fulfilment.
PHYSICAL OR BIOLOGICAL. It is considered as the lowest level need that includes food, appearance and health. Physical needs are satisfied quickly. Very often, higher level needs are attempted only when the physical needs are reasonably satisfied.
SAFETY OR SECURITY. Safety or security needs such as shelter, work and assets are at the next level of needs. Many people feel quite insecure. Their security lies in building and possession of assets.
You will have to understand that your real security is in you within your control. It is in your values, confidence, competencies and potential. Relationship, business, job and movable or immovable assets are only symbols of security. You may have all of these things and still feel insecure. On the other side, you may lack these and still feel secure. It all depends on your perception. You have the power to see half-full and be secure and contented. You also have the power to see half-empty as unexplored potential in you.
SOCIAL OR LOVE. The next level of human needs is the thirst for social acceptance and love. These needs are temporarily fulfilled through having all that symbolizes them. Remember that usually the need for social acceptance is rooted in a deeper need of selfacceptance. You will experience that your self-acceptance will grow by using more of your unexplored potential for purpose in your mind. Comparing your achievements, position and possessions with those of others will become of little relevance then.
EGO OR ESTEEM. The next higher-level need is of ego and selfesteem that demands you to prove your worthiness mostly through public notice and recognition. With clarity of your vision and purpose of your living, present position and vast unexplored potential, your ego needs will get satisfied in doing what challenges you and in using more of your potential for the purpose.
SELF-ACTUALIZATION OR SELF-FULFILMENT. Self-actualization or self-fulfilment needs are a movement towards being a “fulfilled person”. In this state, there is a constant urge to think and do better than the previous best.
Life is a process of evolution and self-actualization. Understanding this helps you attain higher levels of physical, mental and spiritual development.
Since time management is nothing but an exercise in selfmanagement, it’s useful to look at some of the ways you can use motivation.
The prime driver of human endeavour is a combination of two factors:
“hope of gain”,
“fear of loss”.
We experience these from an early age. The underlying principle governing these motivators is trade-off.
Your understanding of the trade-off principle is necessary before you attempt to motivate yourself. Trade-off implies that nothing is free. You exchange; you get something by paying the price for it. There is always a trade-off between the expectation and the payable price. The expectation includes the benefit to be achieved or loss to be avoided while the payable price may be in terms of a combination of money, effort and time. Both—fear of loss or hope of gain—are, however, not powerful for self-motivation. Moreover, these are external and temporary in nature. Let us discuss both these in a little more detail.
MOTIVATION BY FEAR OF LOSS
Popularly known as “X” or “stick”, this is the most familiar and used type of motivation that drives people to act for fear of some loss or undesirable consequences.
Though fear motivation is negative and damaging in nature, it does give immediate results. Comparatively speaking, the fear of loss is more powerful and instantaneous than the hope of gain. You have to experience that over a period, people develop tolerance to the punishment and find way out in psychological defenses. They resort to blaming others or circumstances. Thus, any benefits of fear motivation are momentary and temporary.
MOTIVATION BY HOPE OF GAIN
Popularly known as “Y” or “carrot” or “incentive”, this type of motivation makes people act for tangible or intangible rewards as a trade-off.
With the passage of time, incentive motivation becomes less attractive as people get used to the rewards. People have a tendency to view the reward as their right or entitlement. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be rewarded, this type of motivation does not satisfy the highest need of a person—to explore more of their potential for achievement. Incentive motivation does not inspire you to be as great as you can be.
MOTIVATION “I CAN I WILL”
Motivation by a combination of “Fear” or “Hope” has limitations. This may work for a short duration for some situations. Effective time management demands that you do not get unduly
influenced by fear or hope. You develop the skill of self-motivation captured in “I Can” (potential) and “I Will” (commitment).
Your self-management is an exercise in “I CAN I WILL” motivation that begins with your realization that you have vast potential that can be explored and you are committed for achieving your dreams. “I CAN I WILL” motivation becomes an exercise to develop an attitude of commitment to surpass your own achievements continuously based on your realization that human potential is unlimited and the world is abundant with opportunities. It makes you commit to your dreams and isolates you from what you think others are thinking; it makes you invulnerable to what others say or do.
Trade-off principle is valid in “I CAN I WILL” motivation too but with a difference. The commitment to review your perception, examine your attitudes, and challenge your habits will have to take place NOW. The hope of gain or fear of loss may be intangible and time consuming. Thus, the motivation “I CAN I WILL” grows on you slowly with a belief that you are not trading-off something for nothing. You follow the law of nature: sow now, reap later. Once in you, you will find no challenge big enough to stop you from moving towards your dreams.
Humans are endowed with vast potential. We all are full of possibilities. For myriad reasons, people hardly use a very small amount of the potential they have. The greatest waste on the earth is the untapped, unexplored and unutilized potential. People with success frame of mind always think of possibilities and explore their potential. They think “I Can”.
If you think you are a success, you are;
If you think you can, you will.
Success is not achieved by a trick or a skill;
Ultimately, successful is the one who thinks “I Will”.
If you think you are a failure, you are;
If you think you can’t, you can’t.
Success is not always achieved by the stronger woman or man;
Sooner or later, one who succeeds is the one who thinks “I Can”.
Believe in yourself and your potential. Think and expect positive. It is inspiring to be in the company of people who are clear of their goals, who think positive and have a success frame of mind. At the same time, it is important to keep away from people who live on moment-to-moment basis and have no clear purpose of living their life. Success and failure are contagious; choose the company of successful and stay away from the failure.
Look at the possibility rather than problem; see opportunities not crises; change your perception from seeing a stumbling block to a stepping stone. By this, you will see the world differently. Every crisis has a built-in opportunity. You have to shift your perception to spot it. It is all in you, in your mind.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Men often become what they believe to be. If I believe I can’t do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. When I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning”.
Success needs making and keeping commitments. Large number of people have big plans and a long wish list in their mind. Unfortunately, their resolve to commit themselves to the actions that will make them reach their goals, is feeble for most people. They neither make written list, nor a plan in writing for reaching their target. Such people have to understand that there is a difference between taking a decision and making a commitment. Decision is in setting the alarm to get up early; commitment is in getting up. Look at the wheel of life. Commit to develop the three areas under your direct control, namely Body, Mind and Soul.
Similarly, commitment of upgradation of knowledge and skills required at the professional front and relationship with important people need commitment of higher order. To keep these commitments, you have to be a master in managing your time. You will certainly need clarity of your goals and priorities.