What does the term Self Motivation mean? This question has been kicking around in my head more than usual the last few days. I read the term a lot as I review job descriptions. Employers are always looking for self motivated applicants for their open positions. What do they really mean?
I pondered this thought as I rode my bike around Town Lake near downtown Austin this past Sunday in a drizzling rain. I had a difficult time getting up Sunday morning and I was thinking like some actor What is my motivation for getting out of my motel room today? If I was applying for a job where the job description asked for a self motivated individual could I answer honestly that I was such a person? I started thinking about my life and what really motivated me to do anything. I up scaled my thinking and pondered what motivates society in general. I imagined that a lot of people are motivated to do things because they want money for some reason. The want of money or the fear of what will happen if you do not have enough money is what drives most of western civilization I suppose. Is this my motivation? Is the desire for material stuff or the fear of what will happen to my family if I do not have enough money the motivation for what makes me live?
I would have to say that for the past 20 years I have been self-motivated to work for employers because I wanted to buy stuff and I was afraid of what might happen to my family if there was no money at my disposal. During the last 5 years this self-motivation became more of a fear of being perceived by my peers as not being successful. Self-motivation that is driven by fear is not a good thing for me especially when trying to keep up with the peer group that you live around. I always said in my twenties that I would not turn out like this, well surprise, I turned out just like I said I did not want to.
So how do you define Self Motivation ? I suppose an employer thinks that employees will work without being told what to do all the time. Employees that are self motivated will work without prodding and are what employers want. So are these self-motivated employees working for the good of the company or are they just working because they have self-motivated fear? In an ideal world employees would all work for companies doing things that they enjoyed and self-motivation would also be company motivation. How do you find a happy medium so that you can be happy and have self-motivation without fear and still provide for your family? That is what my mission here in Texas is all about.