What would it do for your life if you could be twice as motivational for yourself and others? We’ll start with more brain science behind motivation. Our motivation level goes way up or down depending on which aspects of our brains are activated. Many find the actual names of parts of the brain hard to remember and confusing. I’ll explain some of the brain science of motivation in usable and fun terms. Imagine that we each have an A.C.T. team in our heads. The team is made up of three characters: the Artist, Caveman, and Thinker (see the Introduction for the background story). These are the parts of our brain that motivate us, give us energy, and help us think intelligently.
When the A.C.T. team works well together, we have creative energy to perform at our best. It’s important to know that the inner movie has a profound effect on these parts of our brain and how well they interact with each other. Here’s how it all works. As you might recall, inner movies are stories that play in our heads that motivate us for good or bad results. These three brain characters react to what plays in our inner movies. Their reactions affect our brain chemistry. That brain chemistry affects our motivation. Our motivation (or lack thereof) is what causes us to act in a way that can get us those good or bad results.
For those interested in the brain science of it all: The Thinker is the prefrontal cortex part of our brain. The Caveman is the limbic system. The Artist is really a frame of mind that occurs when we are in the mental state of “Flow.” Flow, as the psychology professor Mihály Csíkszentmihályi describes, is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. To keep the concept of the inner movie simple and more enjoyable, we’ll simply use the characters to describe how to use what we know about the brain, for motivation and positive change.
Self-awareness is one of the most precious keys to self-motivation and to motivating others. Gain as much self-awareness as you can by understanding how our brains are influenced by words and tone of voice, and where you find yourself being motivational or bringing people down. I’ve worked on motivating myself and others for decades, and I continue to deepen my self-awareness all the time. It’s critical for motivational mastery.
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