Hear motivation expert Susan Fowler describe the three basic needs that are essential to optimal motivation: choice, connection, and competence. She explains we all need to create these three needs in our lives in order to thrive.
- Creating the basic need of choice can be as simple as recognizing that we have a choice. Have you ever wished you didn’t have to go to work in the morning? That is a choice point. When that happens, ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t go to work—what would you lose? Then ask yourself what you would learn and contribute if you did go to work. Thinking about those things will help you plan and understand that you do have a choice. Fowler recommends that at the end of each day we ask ourselves which choices made us happy and which ones didn’t. This simple process makes us more aware that we do have choices, and it helps us look at consequences to ensure we make better decisions in the future.
- The need of connection is tied closely to values. If you say family is your number one value but you spend 80 hours a week working and missing family events, or if you say health is a value but you don’t eat right or exercise, you might need to take a closer look at your values. The choices we make are true indicators of our values—so if we don’t know what your values are, we’ll have trouble creating connection in our lives. Defining our values is the first step toward creating connection.
- The third basic need is competence. This isn’t necessarily about mastery; it’s about learning and growing every day. Everyone wants to feel effective at managing professional and personal activities, but mastery doesn’t happen overnight. Developing competence is about making progress.
The most important takeaway is that we can control the quality of our lives by controlling the quality of our motivation through the creation of choice, connection, and competence.
For more about Susan Fowler, go to www.susanfowler.com.
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