Part 3: Increasing Your Motivation For Learning New Skills

Legacee’s Skill Learning Model
Legacee’s Skill Learning Model


To learn new skills, you will have to understand the secrets of motivation. For if we can’t motivate ourselves, we will surely give up.

By Murray Johannsen, First Published, October 14, 2017.  Comments? Feel free to connect with the author via this website, Linkedin profile,  or by  email.

  1. Motivational Quotes

Source of Motivation

2.  The Ego

3. The Unconscious

3. Willpower

4. Feedback and Consequences

5. Self-Talk

Motivational Quotes

“Invisible doesn’t mean unimportant.” — Seth Godin

“Kites rise against, not with the wind. No man has ever worked his passage anywhere in a dead calm.” — John Neal; Source: The Forbes Book of Business Quotations

“Tis easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows like a song. But the man worthwhile is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.” — Ella Wheeler Wilcox; Source: Treasury of Women’s Quotations

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.; Source:The Book of Positive Quotations

“A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.” — 
English proverb; Source: The Forbes Book of Business Quotations

“A backwoods farmer, sitting on the steps of his tumbledown shack, was approached by a stranger who stopped for a drink of water. “How’s your wheat coming along?” asked the stranger. “Didn’t plant none.” “Really? I thought this was good wheat country.” “Afraid it wouldn’t rain.” “Oh. Well, how’s your corn crop?” “Ain’t got none,” said the farmer. “Didn’t you plant any corn, either?” “Nope. Afraid of corn blight.” “For heaven’s sake,” said the stranger. “What did you plant?” “Nothin’,” said the farmer. “I just played it safe.” —The Best of Bits & Pieces, The Economics Press, Fairfield, NJ

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” —Vince Lombardi.

We Cannot Learn Skills Without Motivation

“Skill is nil without will.”— Judah ibn Tibbon, c. 1120-c.1190 Spanish physician and translator, A Father’s Admonition to His Son



Have you ever known really intelligent people who are just plain lazy? The first one I ever ran across was a college roommate who simply couldn’t motivate himself to study. He would turn the television on as soon as he got back to the room and keep it on until he went to sleep. In his case, television addiction crowded out study time. Today, Facebook addicts and extreme gamers do pretty much the same thing. Sloth everywhere.

A person serious about learning skills must find the motivation to perfect their new skills. It is unrealistic to expect any teacher or coach to motivate you if you are apathetic or lazy.

What to do? You can change consequences, shift your self-talk and try tapping into willpower.

5 Major Sources of  Your Motivation To Master New Skills

Essentially, motivation means that we are driven from the inside. There are five major drivers of this. The first is Ego.

Motivation Source 1: Your Ego

One may be driven due to In English, the language is driven by the word self—self-motivated, self-achiever, self-driven and so on.

In English, there descriptions of the Ego are typically preceded by the word self. This image lists twenty-six, but there really are hundreds of these types of words such as: self-motivated, self-achiever, self-driven and so on.


And nowhere does this get more heated, than the issue of pay. Do people primarily work because they are getting paid or do to intrinsic factors such as recognition or challenge? The simple answer might be that some don’t care that much about money and others care a great deal about it.

Another variable is hard work. Some people believe in the relationship between hard work and success. But not all.

Should You be a Slacker? There is always tension between the employee and the employer. The employer expects you to work 60 hours and pays you for 40; while you might prefer a job where you get paid for 40 but work 20. So how do you get ahead with minimal effort? Check out these must know dodgy techniques from theEconomist.

Motivation Source 2: Your Unconscious

Painting by: Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836–1912): Unconscious Rivals
Painting by: Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836–1912): Unconscious Rivals

What most people don’t realize is that the unconscious has motivational force. It influences your behavior without you knowing that you have been influenced. Many psychologists believe that most behaviors actually run automatically, without conscious awareness.

After all, where did that impulse to have another piece of pie come from? What stopped you from doing what you know you must do. Procrastinating again? What caused that? Most would say, “ I don’t know.” Indeed the Ego does not know but it should know. Worrying huh.

Of course, unconscious motivation can work in our favor as well. And that what makes it sooo interesting. You can set up motivational tendencies to do positive things as well. Essentially, that is what a hypnotist do, they plant a suggestion into the unconscious, one that has motivational force. After all, where did that love of learning come from? The drive to shop until you drop. The need to do you personal best?

View An Overview of Unconscious Motivation on a  Slide Desk

Actually, this overview overview on unconscious motivation tends to be a bit Freudian, though, so be prepared. This is appropriate sense Freud was the person who “discovered” the unconscious.

3. Willpower: A Skill Element Powering Skills

Some skills just require an immense amount of motivation.

Willpower is another key component to the motivational puzzle. Some have an extreme amount of it. Others don’t. Where it comes from is a bit of a mystery, but it seems like its energy the Ego puts out. We are all familiar with lifting weights, an activity that surely requires this type of energy. So does learning any skill.

Some behaviors are driven primarily because the person who will just succeed, it seems that willpower is associated with the ego  and just closely related to the idea of overcoming problems, adversity and showing perseverance or resilience in the face of adversity. This related to your ability to overcome your own doubts and is related to the old saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going. “

Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was Governor of California

Someone who exemplifies the idea of use of Will would be the former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not only was he a well thought of politician, but he also has made quite a lot of money with the movies he started. However, prior to the movies he was a bodybuilder. Every day he had to spend many hours lifting weights most likely hundreds of hours ultimately, this dedication resulting in him winning the Mr. Universe title at the age of 20. (Wikipedia, ND)

Ego Depletion. It is often true, that we don’t have as much will power as we might wish. In other words, we lack self-control. The term in play in psychology is Ego depletion. In effect, you don’t have enough. It’s like you are in a can’t resist that impulse, the urge even though you know you shouldn’t.

Let’s assume that you feel hungry. This is a big assumption in most of the developed world given the fact that you are socialized into eating three or four big meals a day whether you are hungry of not. But let’s assume that a feeling of being hungry come up. You could eat that snack sitting on the counter but you are also carrying a bit to much weight. How many of us can resist? The fact that you cannot is partly explained by the concept of Ego depletion, where you cannot marshall the motivation force to resist an impulse

4. Feedback and Consequences

For example, you can tie a psychological, tangible or symbolic reward to progress. But if something was not learned or you did not practice, you deny yourself that reward.

Let’s say you set on objective to get on it for five hours of practice next week. If you make it, you will reward yourself with your favorite desert. Yup, so delicious you start to salivate as you see it in your minds eye. Yummy. But let’s say you only practice 4.5 hours. Be self-disciplined enough to deny yourself that desert. Can you do it?

5. Self-Talk

Great athletes talk about “psyching themselves up” by using self-talk and guided imagery to attain peak performance. Actually, our ability to use self-talk to give us a few “attaboys” or “attagirls” is even more important than the deserts of life.

Leadership Skill Development