Posts tagged ‘intrinsic motivation’

April 29, 2012

Responding to Life Events

One of the most influential equations that I have learned in my life has been:
E + R = O
For this equation;

  • E = Events
  • R = Your chosen response to an Event
  • O = The overall outcome

In the model, the “Event” is neutral. It is not “good” or “bad”, it is just a life circumstance. It is our Response to an event that will shape how we label or perceive the event in our minds. How we choose to respond to an event directly affects the overall outcome.

For example, imagine you are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You choose to respond by calling the other kid a worse name. The outcome is that the other kid hits you.

Imagine this scenario with a different response. You are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You ignore the other kid and move to the other side of the playground to be with a group of your friends. The outcome is that you have moved on with your day without conflict.

Let us look at this equation from an “Influence versus Control” perspective

  • E = Events – These are things that you typically can’t control. You may be able to influence factors leading up to events, but the event would have happened without you. Life events can be the small events such as being cut off in traffic or misplacing your house keys to major life events such as your house burning down or losing a family member.
  • R = Response – This is where you have some control. You can choose your response. When a life event happens, you can remember that there are multiple ways to respond to any situation and you can practice taking the time needed to evaluate your response. Since your response has a strong influence on the outcome, it is important to take personal responsibility for your responses to all life events.
  • O = Outcomes- This is an areas where we have influence. If we react “positively” to a situation, we are more likely to experience a “positive” outcome.

One Saturday, I experienced an opportunity to reflect on my responses to a common life situation. While playing with my children at the beach, I noticed that I no longer had my car keys. I could not use my phone to call my wife since my phone was locked in my car. My kids had just come out of the water and they were cold. There was a storm coming and rain was just minutes away.

In the past, this situation would have freaked me out. I would have become extremely frustrated and my blood pressure would have risen. Most likely, I would have started using expletives at an increasingly frequent level.

When I reflected on the fact that the only thing that I could control in this situation was my response to this situation, I was in a much better place for problem solving. I knew that there were just a limited amount of possible actions. First I unpacked all of our stuff to look for the key. Then I backtracked everywhere that we had been at the beach that day. Once I felt that I had just about exhausted all my options. I asked a fellow beach goer to barrow their cell phone. I called my wife to see if she could come pick us up. My wife’s phone went straight to voicemail, so the option of being “rescued” appeared off the table. While the kids played on a play structure, I went back to an area of the play area  that we had been playing before the key was lost and I started a grid search of the sand area looking for the key. After a while of searching,I found the key.

In this scenario, if had chosen to respond with anger, I could have “ruined” the day for my children and myself. By remaining calm, our family fun day continued on without incident. The next time “life happens”, remember you have the ability evaluate your response before you take action. When we chose to remain calm in a problematic situation, we are more likely to consider all of our options and problem solve effectively.

February 2, 2012

Summary of Main Points

 

In this blog, we have reviewed some Psychological concepts important to the discussion of what we can personally control and what factors we can only influence.

 

In “The First Step” we discussed that you will experience more success in attaining your live goals if you take full responsibility for where you are in your life. This concept is supported by research in Intrinsic Locus of Control that people who feel that the have the ability to control their lives tend to be happier.

 

When discussing locus of control, we also stated that there are some elements of life that we cannot control such as the economy or weather and for these factors we should adopt an external locus of control. Although there are elements of life that we cannot control, we are in control on how we choose to respond to these situations. In the blog post E+R=O we discussed that our chosen response to a given situation has a direct impact on the overall outcome.

 

If “The First Step” is accepting full responsibility for your life, the second step should be “Find your Passion”. The research suggests that for situations that require problem solving and creativity, people do better when they are intrinsically motivated.

 

If we have identified some life goals that are challenging for us, we may benefit from extrinsic rewards to help get us motivated.

 

Once we have reflected on our passions and considered what activities help us “go with the flow”, it is beneficial to reflect on our belief systems. In the blog post “Icebergs Ahead” we discussed that many of our beliefs are unconscious, yet still have a significant impact on our internal dialogue. In “Identity” we discussed that what we typically think of as ourselves is the voice in our head. Once we realize that a “me is a story I tell myself”, we can start to evaluate which recurring thoughts are serving us and which thoughts bring us down. In Judgment – Part 2 we discussed that there is a difference between the processes of evaluation (“does this serve my interests”) versus devaluation (finding something or someone to be “inferior” to us). In reviewing our beliefs, it is valuable to evaluate if a belief serves us and to “root out” beliefs that devalue our selves or the humanity of others.  Similarly, in “Appreciation” we discussed that it is helpful to review our beliefs to see if we are appreciating the world around us as well as our own value.

 

In future blogs, we will be exploring emotions in more depth and considerations for turning around our emotional perspective.

 

For the topic of actions, we reviewed how to set goals.

 

In future blogs, we will explore some pragmatic action plans in the areas of weight loss as well as finances.

 

So far, this blog has been posted daily. To ensure quality of writing and to tackle topics in greater detail, I have decided to start posting weekly. If you prefer the daily posts please let me know.

 

If you have any feedback about the content so far, please feel free to contact me at otbikesurf@yahoo.com

 

Thank you for your time and attention!

 

Andrew Gilbert

January 30, 2012

Patience, Practice and Persistence

Patience, Practice and Persistence

“Losing is just Learning to Win…” – Robert J Bautista

“Dont mistake slow progress for failure” – Mazemangriot

“There is no failure, only feedback” – Jay Rando

One of the reasons that intrinsic motivation is important for us to achieve our long-term life goals our complete a major project is that it may take a long time to achiever our goals. There are so many examples of people working for years for their “overnight success to happen.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote two different books that speak to this point. In “The Tipping Point”, we learned that for many new ideas, there is a point at which an idea goes “viral”. In “Outliers”, we learned that Bill Gates and the Beatles spent about 10,000 hours practicing the skills that made them famous.

If we love what we do, we are not dependant on success being just around the corner. If we quit, we have lost. If we practice, we learned from any feedback that we receive along the way to achieving our goals.

Success is enjoying the journey and experiencing gratitude everyday.

Practice what you love. Persist in your actions. Be patient for the possible rewards for your actions.

We can control our actions, our responses and what we choose to experience as success.

January 27, 2012

An example of intrinsic motivation

I feel that a great example of intrinsic motivation is the book that my son has started. He is 8 years old and he is excited by reading fantastic stories of kids in Elementary school. Once I stated that it was possible to be an author, he started his own blog. In his first day,  he wrote six chapters of this own book before noon. He started writing since writing was fun and exciting! We did not have to promise to reward him.

His book is called “Hillside Elementary”. The book is posted at http://hillsideelementary.wordpress.com/

Tomorrow, we will discuss possible examples of extrinsic motivation.

January 24, 2012

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Yesterday we discussed internal and external locus of control. In summary, it was suggested that it is best to own what we can control such as our actions, beliefs, thoughts, feelings and our reactions to what we cannot control. We also discussed that there are some circumstances where we need to “give it up to fate” such as circumstances we can’t control such as the weather, the stock market and people driving recklessly.

Another related topic is that of  “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from within such as doing things we love or have an interest in. Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside environment such as getting paid to do a job we are not that excited about or by the fear of being yelled at by our boss for coming in to work late.

Most often we experience intrinsic motivation when performing those things we choose to do on our spare time. As a surfer, I am intrinsically motivated to get up a dawn and drive to the beach before the wind textures the surf. As a runner, my wife gets up early every day to ensure that she gets her run in.

The most common experience of extrinsic motivation is that of working for a paycheck. If you do not intrinsically love what you do, then the only way that you are going to drag yourself to work is for the promise of tangible reimbursement.

Tomorrow we will discuss the benefits of intrinsic motivation.