When you think of the word motivation, or motivate you often think of it as meaning "to provide motives" or "to provide reasons to do something". This is fine and is something that I do every day. But as we talked I began to realize that motivation by its self can be pretty much pointless. Certain types of motivation will only get you to you immediate goal and then what? For example, when I was in middle school I was one of those students that had the entire alphabet on his report card. During my 7th grade year my parents made a deal with me. They said if I was able to bring my grades up to a respectable level by high school then they would buy me a video game system. Long story short, I did so. However as soon as I got to high school my grades dropped again because I had already completed the task at hand and was no longer motivated. This is why I say it can be pointless. Certain forms of motivation will only get you from A to B. But once you get to B then where do you go? You're stuck in the cycle of needing to find something else to get you to succeed again. Sounds like a drug to me. Chasing a high again and again.
My friend then informed me that the key type of motivation that works is empowerment and "Self Motivation". This way you have a goal but it's broader than just receiving a video game system. Let's remember that goals aren't supposed to be specific. Objectives are. So having a goal like "I want to get better" and really meaning it isn't bad at all, because getting better is infinite. You can always get better at something, and that way your never satisfied.
He also mentioned something about using the word "great", especially in a past context. For example, "hey man, I used to be great at basketball" or "I'm great at singing". He told me that you shouldn't use those words because once you have defined yourself as being great you are pretty much saying you maxed out and have reached your potential. Because what's above great? So if you're a great singer now, how can you ever be any better? And yes I know we can argue on specifics all day but in general I'm just trying to make the point that once "you" call yourself great. You are pretty much settling into a comfort zone. All of the people that "we" call great, probably don't believe they are great. Kobe is a great basketball player, but every time he talks he mentions an aspect of his game that he is trying to improve.
Our conversation went on for probably about an hour, but the key point were don't limit yourself by words or by another's means. If you're going to do something make sure you do it for yourself and because "you" want to reach a goal that "you" made for yourself not because someone else told you to. If that is the case then as soon as you meet those others approval, you will stop and be right back where you started.
The difference between "having" to do something and "wanting" to do something is BIG.