Self-motivation in the simplest form.

Motivation and drive to succeed that is crucial for our optimal performance. Self-motivation is no joke; several academicians, researchers and learning and training professionals, dedicate their life’s work to this topic. Anyone interested in personal development needs to strategically understand what motivates them, what drives them to stay hungry and strive harder for success. Motivation is an important part of emotional intelligence, which drives us at work and in life. My guest blogger today, Urbie Delgado, shares a wonderful story about self-motivation that’s sure to get you thinking about your drive and self-motivation.


Urbie is an instructional and learning experience designer. urbieHis experience includes teaching animation and programming with Estrella Mountain Community College and course production in the corporate, K-12, and government market segments. He currently works for the federal government developing transformational training for healthcare providers. Urbie holds a BA degree in behavioral science from Western International University and an Ms Ed. degree in instructional design from Capella University. He has certificates in multimedia production and continuous improvement through the UC Santa Cruz Extension. Prior to his work in teaching and learning he worked in high technology manufacturing for companies like Intel and Motorola maintaining semiconductor production equipment.

His long standing experience, and an excellent approach to his work and life makes the right person to talk about motivation. Here’s what he has to say, read on..


I interviewed with a prospective client the other day. It was a panel sort of affair. You know, the one with the long narrow tables arranged in a U-shape with the division manager, a subject matter expert (SME) or two and that dude from contracting seated on each side and you in the middle. Anyway, we were moving along splendidly when I got The Question.

Who What Where on Blackboard
Who What Where on Blackboard


Like any good contractor worth her or his salt I had given this some thought. Not that much, though. But some. Faced with not much time to come up with The Thing that set me apart from the horde of instructional designers whom surely had so recently occupied the hard plastic and shiny steel chair I found myself in, I went immediately with Plan B. I began to spin a tale.

I led with how I got into instructional design. About how, as an Intel basic skills program manager I had this one loss control course, a face-to-face thing taught by an engineer. About how it was boring, as evidenced by innumerable Level One evaluations with the scrawled, “It was boring.” in the comments section.

I looked up at the panel. Scanning their faces I wondered, as they stared blankly back at me, if they were identifying with my oft-told tale of woe. Death by PowerPoint. Or maybe, hopefully not, they, like the manufacturing technician trainees in my story, they were wondering why this person was taking up so much of their time. Anyway, casting caution and good interviewing practice to the wind I continued. I described how I got with the engineer later and asked her the 24 Questions. You know, “What do you want the learners to take away from the class?” and so on. I described how each question dove a little deeper into the need and towards the solution. It was at this precise moment I noticed one SMEs glance at her Apple Watch. I was losing her. All of them, probably.

Pin-the-tale-on-the-donkey.” I said, referring to that game kids at birthday parties play where they pin a paper tail on a paper donkey taped to a wall. “That was the 15 minute learning activity that replaced the boring lecture.”

In the end I answered them by saying that many of my instructional design projects include BOOS (Butts Out Of Seats) activities where learners involve their holistic selves. I get there by asking the learners what they feel and how they like to learn.

I’m the instructional designer you want to bring in because I design for humans.”


No Idea. That panel interview was yesterday afternoon. It’s four a.m. the next morning. I’m awake much too early on a Friday because, deep in sleep in my hotel room, I heard a doorbell ring. It wasn’t a real doorbell though. The room I’m in doesn’t have a doorbell. I can’t think of a hotel or motel or hostel I’ve ever stayed in that had a doorbell. So it must have been a dream.

I’ve got a lot on my mind. I’ve been having a tough time learning something new at work. It’s going on a few months now that I’ve been trying to assimilate some new tasks. It occurs to me at this moment the dreamy “ding-dong” doorbell was my wake up call. “Ding-dong” is my self saying to me, “How might I turn the job I have into the job I want?” The stuff I’m learning, the tasks I’m learning, aren’t new tasks. Not really. They’re just arranged in a way I haven’t seen before.


At this point it really comes down to motivation. And forgetting. I’d started looking externally for the job I want instead of considering how I might adapt to do the job I have. I have to forget old habits. Forgetting is hard.


Now you tell us, what drives you and motivates you to perform your best everyday? Share it in the comments below! Also, tell us what strategies do you use to stay motivated at work and in life?

Urbie has contributed this post towards 30 Days of Awesome Learning.


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