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Motivation to study PDF Print E-mail

Motivation to study

Motivation is the impulse or drive that makes you do something.  As the word implies, it refers to the motives or reasons why you decide to do something.  In the case of studying, sometimes it is difficult to find the will or motivation to study instead of doing other more pleasant or fun things.

So, what can you do to motivate yourselves to study? 

In order to motivate yourself, you need to analyze the reasons why you would want to study.

There are two types of motivation:

1.    Intrinsic motivation.  This is motivation that comes from inside.  It is a response to your desire for self-realization or personal improvement.  It stems from the reasons why you want to learn — from your goals, personal interests and values.  This motivation is long-lasting.  It is permanent.

Think about your interests; your personal values; and your short, medium and long term goals.  What would you like to learn in these areas?   How do these things relate to your studies?   Ask yourself how you would benefit if you continue your studies?  Why do you think learning and studying is important?

Some examples of intrinsic motivation are:
a.    I want to graduate from high school so I can get into college and become a doctor. (That is a goal.)
b.    I love animals, my dream is to be a veterinarian and I love biology. (This is an interest.)
c.    One of my personal values is self-improvement.  This is why I decided that all my grades will be above 90. (This is a personal value.)

Identify your intrinsic motivations!  Write them on a piece of paper and put it somewhere where you will see it often and be reminded.

Studies have demonstrated that intrinsic motivations are more persistent, more long-lasting.  They are what will have you put forth greater effort and make you try different ways to learn more.

2.    Extrinsic motivation.  This motivation comes from the outside.  It is external and relates to the goals, desires or interests of other people.  For example:  you study to avoid a punishment from your parents, or because your mother wants you to graduate, or to satisfy a teacher.  This type of motivation is not bad, but it is not as effective as intrinsic motivation.

As a teenager, at this point in your life, you can find a number of things that will motivate you to study — like getting answers.  However, you do not have to passively accept what others say.  You want to make your own decisions.  Studying can satisfy your curiosity, help you understand the causes and consequences of things and give you what you need to make your own decisions.

In addition, studying and learning will enhance your self-worth, help you to understand others, increase your ability to find and make friends and, overall, increase your understanding of yourself and your life.

You are not a little kid anymore.  Maybe when you were younger you might have been willing to study hard just to get a good grade and be the first in the class.  But, this may not motivate you anymore.  Because you are older now and your interests have changed, you need to identify your intrinsic motivation; those deeply felt goals and values that are more effective and decisive. 

There will be times when your motivation weakens. That is when you will need to appeal to those intrinsic values that will remind you of your commitment to study even when you do not feel like it.  Reinforce your will.

If you need more information on how to set up goals, we invite you to read the Health Topic on Goals.


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