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I am blogging you from Thailand and I am taking this opportunity to share with you what impresses me the most about Thai people: their smile.

I was lying awake last night and started to formulate a scholastic blog with research data, inspirational quotes and all to share with you about the power of a smile. However, it quickly occurred to me that I was totally transforming a genuine, generous, accepting and openhearted gift into a sterile analysis of muscle motion and self-image generated behavior. Quite a defeating exercise where I only want to remind us all about the lovely changes a smile, two smiles, lots of smiles can induce in our daily life.

Smile to the stars, smile to the birds, smile to the trees

Smile to yourself, smile with yourself, smile at yourself

Smile to a child, smile to your neighbor, smile!

Today, motivation is declined around the concept of self-determination. Self-determination implies the principles of self-efficacy and responsibility. Motivation, therefore, is no longer understood as a reaction to simple stimuli such as hunger or pain. It is not only a “drive” corresponding to physiological needs but it is a process using psychological components including self-worth, self-esteem and self-efficiency.

These psychological components are determined in part by our character traits but also and for a large part by our education, environment and experiences. Each one of us develops overtime a personal relationship to motivation. We may acquire an intrinsic motivational orientation or an extrinsic motivational orientation. We may also navigate happily between the two extremes.

An intrinsic motivational orientation is one that is mainly concerned by a sense of mastery. It is doing something for our own satisfaction, just for the pleasure of accomplishing a task as well as we can without outside (external) recognition. Of course, we all like accolades but the satisfaction here comes from our inner sense of achievement. Artists and athletes, for instance, who practice individually have a heightened intrinsic motivational orientation.

Athletes who practice team sports and/or are regimented by a strict scoring system have a stronger extrinsic motivational orientation. Their sense of self-efficacy and achievement is directly impacted by others recognition. A musician will find energy and inspiration in his/her public ovation. Research has shown, overall, that success results from a healthy balance of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational style.

It would be interesting to examine our own motivational style to assess our own strengths and our potential psychological issues such as procrastination, self-defeating behaviors, or deflated self-esteem. Where do you situate yourself? What motivates you the most? Do you feel like you have choices to make? Would you like to share your experiences with me?

Have you ever felt demotivated or are you always driven?

Are you ever dissatisfied with the accomplishment of a task, a job, a physical activity or even a hobby?
How do you work best: with a reward or a punishment?

Do you sometimes feel like doing nothing? You’re tired, down, blasé or depressed and you procrastinate because there is always another day!

Are you telling yourself that you will never be able to succeed? Or are you able to take up any challenge?
Is your hyperactivity an obstacle to your motivation?

Are you experiencing a “burn out” at work for instance? You want to work but you cannot bring yourself to get into it.
How do you motivate your children to learn?

Motivation is the focus of our life as parents, teachers, educators, managers, health providers, economists and of course individuals. Theories and strategies abound, yet, we recurrently face the issue of motivation and its multiple facets.

My list of questions to you is far from being exhaustive so let us start with your questions and your comments as a guide to our conversation on this fascinating subject. I am really looking forward to interact with you so please come forward!

It is great to know that so many of you read the posts titled “Letting go”. Thank you!

For the following two weeks, I would like to engage you in a discussion about your interpretation of the following sentence “Live in the moment” otherwise known as “Carpe Diem” the Latin aphorism attributed to the poet Horace in 23 BC.

What does it mean for you? How do you apply it, if you do? How does it change your life, short term and long term? Do you find that living the moment may have some prerequisite? Can you apply this life principle to every aspect of your daily life?

And then, you may have more questions or a larger scope of reflection. Please share with us and remember that this open forum is focused on psychological issues. Please use your better judgment when entering the discussion.

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