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Keeping Yourself Inspired and Motivated

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“I’m not motivated by money or power or fame. In the end, it doesn’t bring much happiness. The only thing that is driving me is self-satisfaction, self-validation.”

~William Clay Ford, Jr.

Motivation is described as a state that energizes, directs and sustains behavior. Motivation involves goals and requires activity. Goals provide the impetus for and the direction of action, while action entails effort: persistence in order to sustain an activity for a long period of time.

Why do we fail?

Most of the time we procrastinate. We often, if not always give into temptation. For some, we work hard at the wrong things. Similarly, we waste resources, make excuses, keep doing the same thing, expecting different results and of course, we don’t know what we want.

While being motivated  can be a difficult task, the rewards are more than worth it. Motivated students are more excited to learn and participate. Simply put: Teaching a class full of motivated students is enjoyable for teacher and student alike. Some students are self-motivated, with a natural love of learning. But even with the students who do not have this natural drive, a great teacher can make learning fun and inspire them to reach their full potential.

Here are some of the ways that might help you become excited in learning:

Just be encouraged.

Most of the students I have met have a very negative view about their abilities.

Your English is better than you imagined! There is still room for improvement, that means that you already have good English skills. And I can understand what you are trying to convey. That is already an achievement.

Eliminate negativity and focus on what you can do and, not on what you can’t do for now.

Remember that you are already good.

When you are feeling lazy, do something small.

English often times is difficult. There are moments wherein we just want to get away from it all. We get discouraged and become really lazy! Just do something tiny.

I’ll learn only 5 new words for today.

I’ll learn 5 idiomatic expressions.

I’ll read for only 5 minutes.

I’ll just listen to my favorite English song.


After a few minutes, you’ll get motivated and perhaps, continue to study longer.

You must regain your motivation after this process.

Use English whenever you can.

Probably the most important way to improve your motivation is to use English.

Using English is fun. It is simply very enjoyable to use your English to read a good book, understand a song, watch an interesting movie, get an answer to a computer problem, exchange e-mails with a native speaker, etc. The more you use English, the more you will want to use it.

Never compare.

One reason that many English learners have a low opinion of their skills is that they’re comparing themselves to native English speakers or other learners who have reached fluency. If you observe that your English is not as good as other peoples’, you start to bad about yourself – imperfect, inferior, etc.

You should also avoid comparing yourself to other English learners. The fact is that everyone is different – some people naturally learn faster, some people naturally learn more slowly. Some people have invested more time in studying, other people have studied “on and off.” Some learners have had excellent teachers, other learners have had trouble finding a good teacher or method.

Don’t compare your English skills to anyone else’s. Just focus on your individual progress.

Find a friend who is learning English

If you can find a friend who is learning English and is on a similar level of skill, you will be in an excellent situation:

  • you will have someone to talk about English with. These conversations will increase your interest in English.
  • learning English will be easier, because you will be able to discuss your problems with your friend.
  • you will study English more, because you will want to be better than your friend. 🙂

You should meet your friend regularly. Ideally, he/she should live near you, or go to the same school as you. If you absolutely can’t find anybody willing to learn English with you, you can try to find somebody by e-mail. This is a worse solution: your conversations will probably be less frequent, and it is difficult to compete with someone who you don’t know well.

You have to remember that learning English requires action.

Yes, we know it is very hard to do things, even if they are good for us. We humans are lazy creatures. That is why not many people speak English well.

You will be successful only if you change something about your life.

Don’t put it off. Begin now.

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Mary Jane

Mary Jane Go has been teaching English for over 13 years. She believes that it is very important to learn English and learn it by heart. For her, it's always the right time for a dance party and that hanging out with friends is indispensable.

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