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Keys to Self Motivation

This week I was involved in presenting a seminar on “self motivation” to a group of trainees who are either not yet on course or who have been taken off course for a variety of reasons. As a group they are often left to their own devises, sometimes with disastrous results, so this seemed like a pertinent topic.

However, as I reflected on it, it became increasingly apparent that we all need to be reminded of the need to not just go with the flow, but to get passionate about who we are and where we are going!

In effect, we need to motivate ourselves if we are going to achieve anything worthwhile! Are you going to be content to be a thermometer, which just reflects its environment and adjusts to the situation or are you going to be a thermostat which actually controls the environment?

It seems to me that we all want to be thermostats, we want to be able to make a difference, but we get stuck because we are waiting for someone to tell us we need to be hotter or colder, so we do nothing!

As military members we have been taught all this stuff, but we get lazy and fail to see that even though we are part of a chain of command the best motivation always comes from within! So, here are a few handy hints on how to ramp up your self-motivation.


As every recruit has been instructed, Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. In other words you need to first understand your current situation, your resources and your limitations. You need to accept responsibility for the mess you are in, before you begin to fix it.


Who have been the positive influences in your life and who have been the negative ones? To kick start your motivation, spend more time with the positive influencers and avoid the negative ones.

Smart Goal!

To be motivated you need to know what you are aiming for, so make sure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic, and Time framed.

Inspire yourself!

Make sure that you are continually reading positive, inspiring books which give you insight into yourself and help you to laugh and not take yourself so seriously. Get passionate about your goal.

Take action!

Don’t just talk about it get started – even if you don’t feel ready. Don’t allow feelings to stop you, for the journey of a 1000 miles begins with just one step, so take it!

Include others!

Yes, this is about self motivation but all the great goals in life will require you to work with others to achieve them, so let your passion infect those around you.

Visualise the end result!

See it, talk about it, let it permeate everything that you do. Focus on the fine details, the sight, texture, the colour, the smell and the feeling of seeing your goal fulfilled.

Examine your motives!

Finally, ask yourself why? Is this just an ego trip or is this goal for the benefit of others? The right motivation IS important, though sadly it is often the last thing we think about.

One of the quotes we shared was from an unknown source that said:

“In the absence of clearly defined goals,

we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.”

Don’t let that happen to you, start work now on becoming self motivated – nobody can do it for you! Get positive!

Chaplain Ian S Whitley

1 comment to Keys to Self Motivation

  • JL

    Well said. Excellent post. I really feel like you’ve summed up the key points that everyone should know in terms of self motivation. It’s somewhat of a mix between Napolean Hill and Zig Ziglar… two of the greatest resources on self motivation that I’ve found.

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