The trouble with technique
When it comes to issues of motivation, we always seem to want techniques for motivating or managing ourselves. The front covers of most self-help books emphasise that they can provide "The five steps to motivating yourself," or "Techniques that really work!"
When we believe that techniques alone are the way to change, we are expressing a belief in an external cause rather than an internal one, that being controlled rather than being autonomous is the way to bring about meaningful, personal change.
To be clear, there are no techniques that will motivate you or make you autonomous. Motivation must come from within.
A deep personal desire to change must come first. Then perhaps, a technique can give some help.
When we are truly ready to change for our own personal reasons, and when we are willing to face up to and cope with the many feelings - anxiety, inadequacy, rage, dread or loneliness - that underlie our currently maladaptive behaviours, then we will have the motivation for change.
Once that has happened, adopting helpful techniques may be a good next step, but without true determination, without reasons for change that are personally important, techniques alone will not help.
This courage to change develops when we engage with people who genuinely care about us.
One of the most powerful things we can do as teachers and leaders is to stimulate this courage in others through the practice of encounter.
John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter.