How to Motivate Specifically Part 1

I was thinking about this article “Motivation Merely Mystifies” on the way to work today. The writer, Adrian Savage says:

Buzzwords block our ability to think and communicate clearly, so people are left confused and frustrated. The buzzword “motivation” is a prime example. Though it sounds precise, it has that typical characteristic of all buzzwords: a vague cluster of meanings lumped within a single word. My dictionary defines is as “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” You can’t get much vaguer than that.

In NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) we call the word ‘motivation’ a nominalization. It means that motivation is a real-world process that has been turned into a thing through imprecise language. You don’t have motivation, like a car or watch, you do motivation, which is an abstract idea (you can’t hold, see, or hear motivation physically).

All this is the backdrop. Now what can you do?

Well, turn the object back into a process, using the NLP Meta Model. Ask for specifics, artfully. For example, you could:

Go after the end result
“What do you want to be more motivated to do…?”

Go after the proof
“How would you know if you were motivated? What would you see, hear, feel or do?”

Go after the obstacle
“What’s stopping you from being motivated?”

Go for past successes
“What was it like the last time you were really motivated? What were you doing differently that you could do now?”

Totally mess with his mind
“What wouldn’t it be like if you didn’t not motivate yourself?”

(Sorry, I’m just being naughty with the last one!)

Any of these could lead to an even more specific action or task that brings you closer to the process of being motivated. Let me say more on that in the next post, in the meantime, if anyone around you (including yourself!) needs a jolt of motivation, feel free to stretch yourself and test these questions out. And do post your experiences or questions if any.

5 Responses to “Secrets of Changing Minds: Travel Through Time”

  1. Alvin
    October 17 2006 at 10:28 am #

    I’m an awesome read! Cool :D

  2. Tony
    July 31 2007 at 6:54 am #

    Nice one!

    Confusion is the mist to clear before the dawning of understanding…


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