Do you ever wonder why you reach some goals easily and struggle with others? In her latest book, Master Your Motivation, Susan Fowler explains the three scientific truths behind motivation that will help you achieve your goals. Distilling many years of research, Fowler fashioned a condensed description of three basic needs we must create in our lives in order to master our motivation: choice, connection, and competence.
Creating the basic need of choice can be as simple as recognizing you have a choice and you are in control of your actions. Fowler suggests you ask yourself these questions to help create choice:
- What choices have I made? Consider which of your past choices made you happy and which did not.
- What different choices could I make going forward? Consider how you feel about those choices—or if you feel you don’t have any choices.
- Do I feel goals or situations have been imposed on me? Consider where pressures may be originating and whether your behaviors could have a positive impact on outcomes.
The need for connection is tied closely to values and is created through authentic relationships and a sense of belonging. When it comes to a goal or situation, ask yourself these questions to create connection:
- Can this give me a greater sense of belonging or a genuine connection to others involved? Consider why this goal or situation might give you a greater sense of belonging and whether it potentially could lead to a bigger purpose.
- Is this meaningful to me? Consider how the goal or situation aligns to your values and purpose, and what would happen if you didn’t get involved.
- Do I feel what is being asked of me is fair and just? Analyze your answer to this question to determine the true importance of the goal or situation to you.
Creating competence is not only about mastery, but also about learning, growing, and gaining wisdom from our experiences. Fowler suggests asking yourself these questions to help create competence:
- What skills or experience do I have that might prove helpful to achieving my goal? Consider your core competencies and whether they are important to this situation.
- What new skills could I develop? Consider new skills you may want to develop and why they are important.
- What insights have I gained—or might I gain—that could help me moving forward? Consider why moving forward is important to you and what you can learn from your mistakes.
Motivation is at the heart of everything you do—as well as everything you don’t do yet, but want to do. The most important thing to understand is that you can control the quality of your life by controlling the quality of your motivation. Fowler’s motivation philosophies are proven through her research and real-world examples of people who have experienced breakthroughs by putting her tips into practice.