How to Get Motivated!


“Oh! Come in! I can’t really talk right now though because I just started watching another episode of ABC’s Lost!  Ok, ok, I lied. I’ve watched maybe four already. Alright, 10.  Wow, that sounds like a lot when I say it outloud.  But you don’t understand! It’s so good! It’s like…”

This mantra could go on and on but you get the point.  No matter how much justify “time-wasters” to yourself, they’re still time-wasters.  Now, bear in mind, I am all for relaxation and even wrote a blog about it!  But sometimes it’s just super difficult to motivate ourselves to actually do something.  Whether you’re the student who comes home after school and just flops on the couch (not doing homework, of course) or the one who has to set 10 alarms on their cellphone 5 minutes apart just to wake up, there is a way you can crank up your motivation!

Thanks to the work of Daniel Pink and others, we’ve diseccted the vague meaning of “motivation,” and found the three elements in life that really do motivate us.

1) Autonomy – This is just a big word meaning you have a choice and control.  Control over how you get it done, where, and with whom.  This moves the focus of “what is the teacher saying to me” to “what am I hearing the teacher say.”  A small mental shift but with profound results.  Take control of your learning and look for what you are “understanding” rather than what the teacher is “saying.”

2) Purpose – With the overnight success of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life,”  it’s obvious that people care about having a purpose to do something.  Do you want to be a doctor?  Mathematics have a higher percentage of getting into med school than even pre-med majors.  So use that as an incentive to buckle down and, no matter what, do well in math.  Art majors rely heavily on creativity but they gotta be business savvy too.  So pay attention in your economics class.  Find a purpose behind your studies.  At the very least realize that it’ll help you get a big, fat scholarship.

3) Mastery – We all want to do something we’re good at.  We also want to do something that we can get better at.  Psychologists refer to this as being in “flow” – where the level of difficulty isn’t too above or too below your level of ability.  The problem is that many students underestimate their ability.  They had one bad year of math (possibly because of a bad teacher) and they then slide down the hole of “I’m not good at math.”  And this could be said for any subject from Anatomy to Zoology!  Hey! Swiss cheese may have some holes in it but it’s still cheese!    So turn your thinking around and realize that it’s not that you’re dumb, but that you simply need to work a little harder than others.  At Launch Academy, we have a specific way we find what those holes are and if you want to know more about that, you’re welcome to call us at 918-853-5243.

Autonomy. Purpose. and Mastery.  If you can find these three things in any area of you’re life, from school to work to hobbies, I guarantee you’ll be able to motivate yourself to finish what you started.


Stay Smart.

Dominick Cooper, Director and Lead Creative Tutor of Launch Academy, Winner of the Davinci Scholar Award, and University Guest Speaker

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