How to Stay Motivated?

Motivation is the intense desire to achieve a fixed goal because of the rewards attached to it. Some of the synonyms for motivation are: drive, push, stir, urge, determination, eagerness, keenness, enthusiasm, devotion, intensity, dedication, ardor, passion, zeal etc. Motivation is what makes students do things. In another sense it what makes them put real effort and energy into what they do. It is the will to act. Motivation, in short is ‘Getting students to do willingly and well those things which have to be done.’

Here is a story about a young boy who attended regular soccer practice but always sat in reserve and never made it to the playing eleven. Every day, during practice, his father would sit at the far end of the field, waiting for him to finish.

The matches had started and for four days, he didn’t show up for practice or the quarter or semi-finals. All of a sudden he showed up for the finals, went to the coach and said, “Coach, you’ve always kept me as a reserve and never let me play in the finals…today, please let me play.” The coach said, “Son, I’m sorry, I can’t let you. There are better players than you and besides, it is the finals, the reputation of the school is at stake and I cannot take such a big chance.” The boy pleaded, “Coach, I promise I will not let you down. I beg you, please; let me play.” The coach had never seen the boy plead like this before. He said, “Ok. son, go, play. But remember, I am going against my better judgment and the reputation of the school is at stake. Don’t let me down.”

The game started and the boy played like a spirit possessed. Every time he got possession of the ball, he scored a goal. Needless to say, he was the best player and the star of the game. His team secured a spectacular win!

When the game finished, the coach went up to him and said, “Son, how could I have been so wrong about you. I’ve never seen you play like this before. What happened? What made you play so well?” The boy replied, “Coach, my father is watching me today.” The coach turned around and looked at the place where he was used to seeing the boy’s father sitting. There was no one there. He said, “Son, your father used to sit there when you came for practice, but I don’t see anyone there today.” The boy replied, “Coach, there is something I never told you. My father was blind. Just four days ago, he died. Today is the first day he is watching me from above!”

Motivation is vital in any school if students are to give their best to it. Assuming that students are given opportunity for good performance and have the necessary skills, then effectiveness depends on their motivation. The responsibility of motivating their students is on the Principal, Teachers and Parents. It is they who are placed to create the correct environment in which students will ‘grow’ and give of their best to their work. Therefore, the above mentioned leaders should continually look for opportunities to give positive feedback, praise and encouragement. Students need praise and encouragement like roses need rain and sunshine. Take every opportunity to make the students feel better about themselves and their work.

While some students seem happy to merely dream about great things and a fabulous future, the top performing students busily convert their dreams into reality. These champions, building on the tremendous amount of momentum they have established through their regular regimen of positive conditioning, consistently take their lives to the next level. They have discovered that their motivation grows more forceful the very moment they put their plan into immediate action.

Just about everyone agrees that the biggest part of completing any task and fulfilling any dream is simply getting started. It is easy for the winners to get the ball rolling because they repeatedly envision meaningful goals that compel them to action. They see, touch and feel a super future in their minds and this uncanny ability to vividly visualize a compelling future drives them to action. They can barely wait to convert this sensory laden picture into every day action.

Benjamin Bloom’s research study of 120 superstars from a variety of professions reveal that high achievers are not extraordinary humans. They are not born great, but they become great. They are not geniuses who attain effortless success. They become geniuses by disciplining themselves to learn and use a variety of skills. He further found that the high achievers had a near obsession with the attainment of their goals, a high level of self-image, the courage to attempt the impossible and the tools for rigorous planning of short-term and long-term goals.

If you want to achieve great things in life, then have these points clearly imprinted in your mind:

1. Have a purpose or a worthy goal. The clearer the goal, the more certain of achievement. You must not do things haphazardly. Like the north-star guiding a ship, you should keep all their movement and activities in the correct perspective. No water turns into electric power until it is stored and channeled. You can’t be a success unless your energies are disciplined and focused.

2. The purpose or goal must be fixed in your mind. Before you make up your mind you should weigh the pros and cons of the practicality and the wisdom of attempting such a target. Once you decide on it do not swing like a see-saw.

Tenacity of purpose is extremely essential for success, which is nothing but the will to win. Everything bends before the unflinchingly tenacious man., His is victory who has constancy of purpose. “A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.”

Thinking of the final rewards of your action can fire you with enthusiasm. It may bring better self-confidence, personal growth, improvement in public image, higher job status, financial gains, appreciation and acceptance by colleagues. Keep them ever before you when your energy sags.

3. Have an intense desire. The stronger the desire the more powerful the inner force to fulfill the desire and the easier it will be to overcome the hurdles.

Inner energies can be polarized through slogans like, “Ever more, ever better”, or “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” The repetition of a slogan stimulates the awakening and growth of dormant powers.

How to keep the desire ever burning? You know very well that a lamp is kept burning with oil. What then is the oil that keeps the flame of ambitions ever alive? You must hold before the inner eye of your imagination the power, influence, fame or money or effectiveness that will be yours if you attain your goal. Think of these when the motivation is at low ebb or when you are at a point of frustration or when the odds against you are too heavy.

Finally, motivation is self-generating. It can be generated by one’s effort and determination and one can strive to stay motivated. I recommend to you the six magic words for motivating yourself, “I CAN, I WILL, I MUST”.

I CAN…Believe in yourself, that you can do it. I WILL …Be determined to succeed and to come out a winner. I MUST… Be persevering, which means never give up or give in. Keep repeating to yourself, “I can do it, I will do it, I must do it

About John Parankimalil

John Parankimalil, SDB, M.A. (English), M.Ed, Ph.D (Education), popularly known as P.D. Johny is a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He is presently the Rector and Principal of Don Bosco College, Tura, Meghalaya and Director of Don Bosco College of Teacher Education, Tura. He received the 1st Computer Literacy Excellence Award from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the President of India in August 2002 and the Guruvar Best Teacher Award from Shri Kapil Sibal, HRD Union Minister in 2009. He was formerly Principal of St Anthony's Higher Secondary School, Shillong and National President of All India Association of Catholic Schools (AINACS), New Delhi and the Charter President of Rotary Club of Orchid City, Shillong. He has authored several books. He is an Eduationist, Story-Teller and Leadership Trainer. He conducts seminars for Principals, Teachers, Students and Parents. His popular books include, He Can Who Thinks He Can (Macmillan), An Elocution Manual (Orient Longman), Progressive Parenting (Unicorn), Inspirational Stories for Purposeful Living (Babhani) The Way to Success and Happiness (Savio), How to Win Over Your Problems (Babhani), The Secrets of High Achievers (Babhani).
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