How to Strengthen and Keep Motivation

The story that will motivate you today.

Some people think motivation comes from outside
Some people think motivation comes from desire to reach something…

This story could happen to anybody – you, your friends, your children, your colleagues… 

“I am not motivated. How can I keep my motivation?” Andrea, my client, told me once after an English session. She looked discouraged.

How to keep motivation? It was a good question which needed more than just an answer.       

Andrea started an English course with a lot of energy and enthusiasm – as so many other learners do –two months ago. Her goal was to pass the BEC (business English) exam and she showed determination to reach this goal. This positive approach helped her to stimulate her interest during the course.

But as we know, the process of learning involves not only pleasure but also difficulties. Learners often face problems while learning new grammar and vocabulary. They can feel disappointed and dissatisfied when they make mistakes.
This was exactly what happened to my client. Andrea began lamenting that she was not motivated when English grammar and vocabulary became more and more difficult. I remember that each time when she complained she looked discouraged.  

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn,” Benjamin Franklin said.   
“Stop complaining. Talk to your friends. Show your involvement, fascination and passion when you speak about English”, I said to her. Actually, I recommended her to become active and open, communicate, and look at her concerns from the perspective of her peer group.

We spoke about Andrea’s motivation some days later. She told me that it was a good idea to talk with her good colleagues and friends.  She explained why: “They showed huge interest – I didn’t expect that! They think preparation for the exam is fascinating and ambitious. Ann, my best friend, is ready to help me a bit.”
Andrea went on talking …  
It was great Andrea’s friends could help her to strengthen her interest in English. This was what she needed.  

How to strengthen and keep motivation? The answer is:
- Be passionate about what you are doing
- Set achievable goals
- Find support in your peer group if necessary
- Keep on moving  

“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do this.”  Dwight D. Eisenhower

What advice would you give Andrea?
How do you strengthen and keep your motivation? 

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Copyright © 2015 Olga Henggi, All Rights Reserved


  1. Well, there is motivation that comes from oneself and motivation coming from others. Since no one person is like any other, people need different types of motivation. Some need pushing and challenging and others need positive encouragement and daily repetition of the goals ahead. "The carrot on a stick". Others again are "driven" and motivate and challenge themselves. And there is a group, that can not be motivated at all. They are satisfied with living in the permanent state of a vegetable.
    Vince Lombardi once said: " It does not matter how often you get knocked down, but how often you get up afterwards". I would tell Andrea to remember the reasons why she studied English and clearly recognize the advantages that will exist after she completes the program. If she does not realize the benefits, she will not motivate herself and can only be tagged along with the "carrot on a stick". Or may be, her studies were just an idea and she needs to quit and find new goals that will better suit her. I do recommend she reads English newspapers and magazines. She'll learn on the fly and has fun while doing it.

    1. Dear Hans, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Indeed, having goals are extremely important if you want to reach them. I think doing something without setting exact goals can be just wasting your time.
      The other important point is that it’s also reasonable to have objectives that help you to reach your goals step by step. Unfortunately, some people have no goals at all, some people want to invest little time and reach the maximum, some people don’t check their goals from time to time…
      Last but not least: I could recommend the golden rule in learning: understand why and what you want to learn, set goals, and attain them… Always finish what you’ve started.
      Would you agree?
      Best wishes,