One of the hardest things to do is to motivate yourself. We often rely on external factors to motivate us – family obligations, societal validation, money – instead of looking to ourselves. These are worthy things to desire and to use as motivators, but self-motivation is more reliable. In the absence of these external factors, self-motivation pushes us to continue working towards what we want.
Self-motivation is connected to many other things – career, success, confidence, status, failure. The 10 quotes we’ve chosen below highlight these connections, and give us a fuller picture of how self-motivation works.
1. “You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – the businessman Henry Ford, reminding us that actions speak the loudest.
2. “You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – the poet Rabindranath Tagore, echoing Ford’s statement and encouraging action towards your goals.
3. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, on the importance of faith in yourself.
4. “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – the scientist Marie Curie, espousing belief and confidence as keys to motivation.
5. "One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation." – the tennis pioneer Arthur Ashe, noting the work that goes into being confident.
6. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” – the writer Maya Angelou, on continued motivation in the face of difficulties.
7. “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – the basketball legend Michael Jordan, on failure as motivation.
8. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” —the physicist Albert Einstein, reorienting our priorities towards usefulness and service.
9. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – the cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, emphasising the role teamwork can play in motivation.
10. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” ― the children’s book writer Dr. Seuss, with a humorous rhyme celebrating self-motivation.
These self-motivation quotes remind us of all the benefits of self-motivation – the ability to take action, to add value to the world, to embrace failure and to persevere. Self-motivation is a powerful skill, very valuable in today’s society. However, staying motivated isn’t always easy. There are motivational tips and tricks, such as regularly reminding yourself of your end goal and engaging in work you consider meaningful, that can help you stay motivated.
Volunteering with the Army Cadet Force is a great way to improve your self-motivation skills. We do meaningful, fulfilling work, developing young people into the best they can be. Find out about some of the benefits of volunteering.
Through teambuilding, drill routines, adventure expeditions, sports games and other activities, our adult volunteers teach young cadets to be confident and to work hard for things they care about. That positivity impacts our adult volunteers too, with the knowledge that they are really making a difference.
Read more about the many opportunities we have for our adult volunteers and consider signing up today.