In his book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink, he posits that there are three essential elements of successful intrinsic motivation (motivation that comes from within, not from “without”). The three are:
And, although he is high on all three, he seems to especially emphasize Autonomy, and the quality of SELF-DIRECTION.
What are the options;
Others direct you
Self-direction – you direct yourself.
I think the challenge of self-direction is this: you are so busy that you don’t stop to ask: “am I doing what I should be doing right now; and thinking about, and planning, my next moves?”
In other words, the person who is self-directed has to rely on herself/himself for the steps to follow now, and later.
Intrinsic motivation is hard; demanding. But is it more fulfilling, more rewarding. And in this modern workplace, being good at motivating yourself is pretty much a survival skill necessity.
How are you doing at your own self-direction?