Self Motivation & Positive Attitude

Success Mantra

Topics for this lesson are as follows:

  • What is motivation?
  • The pain and gain principle
  • External motivation
  • Internal motivation
  • Case study
  • The greatest motivator of all
  • The importance of attitude
  • Points to take home

What is Motivation?

Motivation is the critical difference between a performer and a non-performer. If you aren’t motivated in what you do, you’re probably bored. Life is bland, without a spark. The only thing you look forward to at work is getting home in the evening. Besides a bland existence, you also miss out on a lot of other things by leading a demotivated life. And he has an infectious energy about him that attracts people. Inspiration is changing thinking.

Motivation is changing action. We cannot afford ignore this key life skill.


Tips for you

Motivation can turn even a marginal player into a top performer

Believe that you are in control of your life not other people. Your choices matter and make a difference


We are all motivated in some way or another– even a bum is motivated to do nothing. Every behavior comes from the pain or gain principle. If the gain is greater than the pain, that is a motivator. If the pain is greater than the gain, then that is a warning.

External Motivation

External motivation comes from outside. “It is important to know what are the foundations of external motivation?”

External Motivation could stem from money, societal approval, fame, incentives, bonuses, commissions and recognition. External motivation can work very well if the incentive is strong enough


Think of a donkey with a carrot dangling in front and with a cart behind. But incentive motivation will work only if the donkey is hungry enough, the carrot is sweet enough and the load is light enough. From time to time, you will have to let the donkey take a taste of the carrot otherwise it will get discouraged.

You’ll see a lot of this in our business environment. The moment salespeople meet their quota they stop working. In other words, you take away the motivator, and the motivation is gone. That is one of the problems with external motivation

Think about the prey running for its life against a predator – sure, it’ll run fast. One is running for its food, the other for its life.

Fear can be a great motivator too. Fear of getting fired, fear of getting into trouble. Motivation by fear does have its advantages: it gets the job done quickly and fast, and in the short run may even improve the person’s performance. Although motivation by fear may boost productivity in the short-term, in the long run, it will cause stress, destroy creativity and bring down performance.

A customer asked an employee, “When did you start working here?” He replied, “Ever since they threatened to fire me.”


Internal Motivation is fuelled by pride, a sense of achievement, a sense of personal responsibility and a deep belief in yourself. Internal motivation is not just about winning or success, but the fulfillment that comes from having done a job well. Internal motivation is lasting because it comes from within and is dependent only on yourself, not on others. That’s the kind to go for.


You want to change your profession and you’ve got an offer. But your best friend, who plays a very important part in your life, doesn’t think it’s a right decision. What would you do in such a situation?

You can give your friend a good hearing, mull on his advice and then take your decision. Ultimately, you have to have faith in your decision-making power because no one will be a better judge of yourself than you! Your decision to change should be led by your inner motivation—by what will give you lasting fulfillment.