Turning Mirrors into Windows

Another important aspect of intrinsic motivation is when you are motivated by inner things like purpose, passion and mission. People who are motivated intrinsically do not quit very easily. They stick. Religions show how important intrinsic interest is. They don’t pay you a penny( (Higgins, 1994 ). But the intrinsic motivation, the sense of purpose, is why so many people stay the course. Whatever the topic, linking it to the learner’s personal experience will almost always increase the interest on the spot. Even though it’s been only three weeks at TVU, I’m starting to see the sense of purpose of studying the required modules.
In the Map module specifically, we are asked to research, complete exercises, have discussions and relate them to the HR field in some way. I see the purpose of this but the very first class shocked me. We learnt about Ontology, Epistemology and Methodology. Sad to say, I had never taken a philosophy course in school or university and had never come across these terms before. We were asked to judge things not from what we had learnt from years of schooling but to keep an ‘open mind’ and to criticise on not ‘what things are’ but ‘how they are’. One in-class experiment comes to mind.
The tutor put a chair on the table and asked us to define it. Well this got the class thinking out loud and the experiment went on a while before we realised what the tutor was really asking,”Instead of asking what it is, ask how it is a chair”. I’ll never forget the feeling I had as I walked home that evening. What a fascinating and intellectually challenging class that was, I thought. All my life, I had been taught to accept things the way they had been taught to me. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that I had never questioned the way things had been drummed into me all my life.

I went home and looked over the notes, in the cool of the shade in my garden. Over the next few days, I thought over the relevance of the material that was taught to us from the first ‘MAP’ lesson. Did it make any sense to learn this? ‘The bulb flashed again’. The whole emphasise of doing the first class was to teach us to look at things ‘not the way they are’ but ‘how they are’ and to teach us that there may be other solutions to problems that we will face in HR and not to mention, our lives in the future. Very stimulating!
I feel more and more passionate about learning things that will help me to think about things more closely. This has in away been like a revelation and this can only help me in the future. I’ll question things and try to think how things are instead of what they are. This brings me on to self-esteem… the definitions vary in their breadth and sophistication but all agree that high self-esteem means that we appreciate our personal worth and ourselves. More specifically, it means we have a positive attitude, we evaluate ourselves highly, and we are convinced of our own abilities.
From my journal, I realised I was setting goals that concentrated more on achieving the whole task instead of achieving short term tasks within the task. Breaking up the whole task into smaller ones not only reduced levels of anxiety but also psychologically put me in a positive frame of mind. It might have had a damaging effect on me if I hadn’t noticed it through diary. It could be said that I was being un-realistic on my approach. ‘Goals that we can’t reach tomorrow can have a negative effect on our attitude today, but goals that we can work toward and reach, promote a positive attitude.
Instead, set useful goals that are challenging and most of all, realistic'(Skinner, B. F. 1953). Now I plan my readings and writings and challenge myself on what I have to accomplish on a given day instead of trying to do it all at once. This realistic approach gives me a sense of achievement. It had to be realistic so that I can accomplish it with some effort. The high position of esteem needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs reflects the importance accorded by him to self-esteem in our quality of life. Without high self-esteem, we cannot, according to Maslow, proceed to realise our full potential (‘self-actualisation’ In the future).
This sense of accomplishment motivates me further to finish the small tasks and in turn the overall task. It will help in the future with my studies in respect to what I have focused on, the small objectives rather than the whole. To increase my Motivation, it helps me to celebrate my strengths and achievements. I have done this in order to feel competent … in control of my own life and able to do what I want. Thus a person whose self-esteem is low will tend to feel that what happens to them is beyond their control, even any successes they have ( Harpaz, I. 1990).
The important point is that I am IN CONTROL. I improve performance in much of my life by the simple choice of attributing results to controllable factors. I don’t blame factors over which I have no control. I take responsibility for my learning and this creates my own motivation for succeeding in University. While my head may still be unsure of how to arrange what I know about my learning process, it has made me really understand the point of focusing on what and how I think through self analysis. I am now at a point in my academic career where I can no longer sit on the fence.
Learning not to repeat past mistakes requires effort by way of reflection and self-adjustment. Reflection is therefore appropriate when I am unsure how to proceed in any given situation. I feel I must stop whatever I am doing, and think about how (or whether) I should continue. A useful strategy is to have constant questions throughout my studies, some that I may disregard later, but for now are invaluable in formulating knowledge. In a nut shell, I have come to decide that it is the ability to ‘turn mirrors into windows’ and that is best done through reflecting on oneself, a definition quite fitting for this essay.

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