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Self motivation part 4

Luck and practice

Many believe that luck will play a good part in their behaviour for good or bad.
If fortune doesn’t seem to favour them they may show little motivation for a task.

Others deride luck.
Gary Player, the golfer, once said, as a retort to a comment, “The more I practice the luckier I get.”

Practice is good. The more you do the better you get.
This is not necessarily the case. If your practice is not controlled it may be devalued.
If you believe your practice is good but in fact it’s poor it can easily lead to poor performance.

Video of any performance may help you to see parts that can be improved with more specific and focussed practice.


Others will only feel comfortable when they are in possession of a mascot or token which they perceive will give them good fortune. This probably arises owing to a previous good experience with a particular mascot.
Many people including sports stars use lucky mascots.

It doesn’t really matter whether they believe they are lucky or not but if they generate a feeling of confidence and well being people are then more able to perform at a higher level.


You can ‘practice’ an activity by going over all aspects of the task in your mind.
A common example of this is making the big putt at golf but can work just as well for giving a presentation.

In the case of the golf putt on the green you can focus your entire attention on watching the ball leaving the face of the putter and following its path through every contour until it reaches the hole and drops in at exactly the right pace.
This visualisation can be enhanced by noticing peripheral aspects, for example, the sunshine, the smell of the grass or the roar of the crowd when the putt drops.

Naturally, all of this has to be done rather quickly as you assess the putt.
It may give you a slight edge in confidence when you come to actually strike the ball to make the putt.
This sort of visualisation is used a lot by sports stars in many areas of sport.

If you were giving a presentation but were getting very nervous this technique may help your motivation.
You could practice entering the auditorium, going up some stairs, reaching the stage and preparing to start.
Then introduce yourself, go over the talk and imagine the applause at the end.
If you do this enough times, when it comes to the real thing, all of the minor details will become second nature and you will be able to focus more clearly on the presentation itself.

You can create a vision for your major goals in life. This can give you the motivation to make the most of your day.
Children are often asked in schools to ‘imagine’ or ‘dream’ of what they may want to be when they grow up.
It may be a King, soldier or footballer. Many of the ideas are biased towards exciting role models they see around them.
This is a good way of getting children to think about goals in life.

A lot of people will spend much of their time worrying about things instead of using their minds to be creative.
The ability to be creative is nothing to do with intelligence. You can have a high IQ and still worry.
Use your creative ability to visualise what you want and generate new ideas.

Problems are not solved by knowledge alone but the ability to be creative leading to the use of that knowledge as well as gaining skills.

Simply put, if you can’t form a picture of what you want to do it is unlikely you will be able to do it.

Self talk and affirmation

These are designed to raise your self esteem.
An affirmation if said allowed and is meant to convince yourself and others that what you say is absolutely true.
Self talk is similar in intent but kept private as inner thoughts.

A good example of an affirmation would be someone saying, “I’m the greatest” all the time to give them the belief to improve and really become the best. This was used over many years by Mohammed Ali and it worked in his case.

In the same way that positive comments are meant to improve your confidence, negative ones can harm you.

In a team situation try to boost the self esteem of the members.

Watch out for those trying to be too laid back. This may not be a sign of confidence but a lack of enthusiasm.

People tend to support those that say they’re going to win rather than say they think they might.

Fiction and fact

This is similar to the above. If you think about something for long enough it might actually happen.

This might be the case if you smile. The idea being that if you smile often enough you will actually make yourself happy.
There is opinion that this may be a chicken or the egg situation.
That is, emotions that we experience such as, smiling, crying etc are not the result of happiness or sadness but the cause of it.
This was put forward by Carl Georg Lange (1834 - 1900).

He was a Danish physician and psychologist.
He and William James independently developed the James-Lange theory of emotion, which posits that all emotions are developed from, and can be reduced to, physiological reactions to stimuli.

The James-Lange theory refers to a hypothesis on the origin and nature of emotions developed independently by two 19th-century scholars, William James and Carl Lange. The theory states that within human beings, as a response to experiences in the world, the autonomic nervous system creates physiological events such as muscular tension, a rise in heart rate, perspiration, and dryness of the mouth.

Emotions, then, are feelings which come about as a result of these physiological changes, rather than being their cause.
James and Lange arrived at the theory independently.
Lange specifically stated that vasomotor (Pertaining to the muscles and nerves that control blood vessel diameter, thereby regulating or modulating blood pressure) changes are emotions.

This technique must have some basis in reality. If you keep telling yourself that a stranger will give you one million pounds it is extremely unlikely to happen.