Motivation and the Blue Zone!

The good that autonomous motivation can do

When we operate fully in the blue zone we are autonomously motivated, we do things because they interest us, or we enjoy them or because the activity is connected to a deeply held value. 

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If we feel moments of hesitation or reluctance then it is the red zone, fostered under controlled motivation, that is trying to intrude and control our behaviour through how we have been controlled in the past.  Our mind fills with “shoulds” and “can’ts” and other limiting thoughts. 

The future is about autonomous motivation, therefore, we need to spend more time in the blue zone and minimise the red zone and its effects.  Only once the red zone has fully faded away can we be completely free. 

Most personal – and even professional – development programs are about how we can do this, manage the red zone and increase the proportion of our time when we are operating at our best, in the blue zone. 

To save our children this trouble, we really do want to avoid creating the red zone in the first place.  To be an adult operating at their best from day one is the ideal.  May be we cannot reach that now but developing young adults with a stronger blue zone and a weaker red zone gives them the best possible chance to fully develop in the future. 

As leaders and teachers, we need to support the development of autonomous motivation in others at every opportunity through operating in the blue zone ourselves, whatever the circumstances. 

Encounter is the key to this. 


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.  Earlier blogs can be found here

John Corrigan