The Power of Internal Motivation
Setting goals is considered one of the most powerful, if not most powerful technique to assist you in moving forward in your life. Goals provide focus and direction. You are the one who has to find the motivation to move from where you are to your destination.
If you want to move towards a goal you need a reason why. This is called motivation. The ease with which you reach your goal depends upon where your motivation comes from and your attitude regarding that motivation. Let's talk about two different types of motivation, that which comes from within you and that which is a force from outside of you.
Motivation from Within
When you have an internal drive for accomplishment, you don't need a force from outside of yourself to move you forward. This passion is the fuel of your movement. It could be a deeply held desire you've had for sometime, the love of family, your desire to prove yourself to yourself, or a reason based upon mystical or spiritual experiences. Internal motivation, when it is present, is a force of great strength which can propel you past the difficulties that arise when you move forward in the accomplishment of your goal.
Motivation from Outside
Fear is also a great motivator. Although fear comes from within you, its source comes from outside of you. If you didn't have the external reason moving you into action, you would no longer be afraid. With the fear gone, your motivation is gone leaving no energy to move you forward. Fear of getting in trouble with the IRS definitely moves me forward in paying my taxes and doing so on time. The problem with something external moving you to action is if it isn't present you won't act.
Let's say you want to succeed to prove to your parents you can do it. You can do this because you love your parents and you want to succeed as a sign of your appreciation for the role they played in your life. That's a positive motivation that can move you forward even if your parents die before you succeed.
But, what if your internal reason is that you want to prove them wrong about you, that you want to shove your accomplishments in their face? The fuel for your actions is based upon anger. You have to keep that anger going if you want to succeed. Being angry that long is not fun for you and can drive away those around you.
Your Attitude is Crucial
It's not just the "why" of doing something, it's also the attitudinal "how" that determines whether you are happy or unhappy during the process of accomplishment. Life can be great fun or it can be filled with pain and turmoil. Everyone's life has high points and low points. What is going on with you internally, your feelings, will determine whether life is fun or drudgery.
If you want to prove something to someone because you are angry with them, look for another reason to achieve the same goal. Search within you and find the reason for accomplishment that is based upon positive feelings. This could be as simple as you have always wanted to succeed in this area and you would feel a sense of great accomplishment when you have reached your goal. That is internal motivation.
Many people are aimless in life until they fall in love with someone. Suddenly they find the reason for accomplishment. They move forward out of love for another. This is a positive attitude that can lead to joy in life as long as you stay in the energy of love. What happens, however, if that person is gone or that love is gone? What moves you then? That's why you ultimately have to act upon what you desire and what you want.
Once you are clear on why you want to achieve a particular goal, and you know you want to achieve it for yourself, then you are well on your journey with an internal energy which will sustain you as time goes on.