Research shows that beliefs are essential for survival

Carmen Micsa

And being self-motivated helps you achieve higher goals
The author at The Rock of Gibraltar saluting the day with joyPhoto taken by Sophia, my daughter
“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” — George Herbert

With thousands of self-motivation TED talks out there, I still think that you need to find out my self-motivation secrets for one simple reason: I was born and raised in communist Romania.

When other children were busy watching Tom and Jerry cartoons on TV, which I also watched and rewatched multiple times, I discovered what teachers called my conscientious superpowers. In other words, when I was about 10 years old, I learned that if I wanted to have a more comfortable and happier life, I had to find my inner drive and self-motivation to accomplish various goals, such as reading about 100 books a year, studying hard to be at the top of my class, writing, and just being the best I could be without anyone having to tell me what I needed to do.

My self-motivation was my inner desire to keep checking off big goals and dreams connected to my education, sports, reading, and writing. My being disciplined and self-motivated was also about avoiding the nagging that could have come from my parents, teachers, and other adults. It was also my way of gaining trust in my eagerness to salute the day with a big smile on my little face, knowing that I could do hard things and that I needed to keep pushing myself towards excellence.

Like Kyra in this TEDxYouth talk, self-motivation was the daily verb that brought me joy and assurance that hard work and dedication pay off.

How Can We Become More Self-Motivated? | Kyra G. | TEDxYouth@LCJSMS — Bing video

1. Believe and be a believer

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” — Norman Vincent Peale

From an early age, I wore my confidence with a big swagger. I walked into any room holding my head high — trying hard to make my petite frame and stature look bigger and more imposing. One might think that I was being a silly girl who thought that she could fool the world, but it was quite the opposite. It was about believing in myself and in my powers to conquer the world due to my self-motivation that trickled, streamed, and gushed out throughout various stages of my life.

For instance, Ralph Lewis, MD says in his article What Actually Is a Belief? And Why Is It So Hard to Change? in Psychology Today that “beliefs are our brain’s way of making sense of and navigating our complex world. They are mental representations of the ways our brains expect things in our environment to behave, and how things should be related to each other — the patterns our brain expects the world to conform to. Beliefs are templates for efficient learning and are often essential for survival.”

Of course, as a child, I never realized that beliefs are quintessential for survival in general. To me, they were the best tools for surviving communism and its web of lies, which is why I was a believer in my own powers that we can all sharpen throughout our lives.

2. Challenging and greater goals

“One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” — Michael Korda

Growing up in communism involved a constant reality check from our parents, teachers, and the regime itself. We didn’t receive medals for just participating and completing an event: we had to earn them, which to me, meant chasing greater goals at all times.

In my quest to conquer as many accolades as possible, I knew that challenges were the sunlight that my soul needed to bloom, for that self-motivated me to do and be more.

In the article The Importance, Benefits, and Value of Goal Setting, Leslie Riopel points out why setting clear, written goals for the future can make us successful. Riopel mentions the Harvard MBA study, supposedly done in 1979.

In the study, the students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?
Of those who were asked, only 3% of the graduates had written goals and plans. 13% of the students had goals, but those goals were not in writing.
84% of students polled had no specific goals at all.
Ten years later the students were supposedly interviewed once again. The findings were astonishing. The 13% of those who had goals, but not written them down, were actually earning twice as much when compared to the 84% who had no goals at all.
The 3% who had written down goals were earning ten times the other 97% put together.
If these results are indeed true, they are astonishing in the fact they clearly show that setting goals, even goals you don’t write down, make a big difference when it comes to success in life.

Although I agree with The Harvard Study about having goals written down, I like to say that my goals and dreams are simply etched in my mind, and writing them down will make them redundant. I make extensive lists of things that I need to do to achieve my goals on a daily basis, but I don’t write down the actual goals.

My self-motivation will propel me toward achieving my goals.

3. Proving people wrong

“Why should you continue going after your dreams? Because seeing the look on the faces of the people who said you couldn’t . . . will be priceless.” — Kevin Ngo

Growing up in communist Romania meant that most people will try to render your dreams as unattainable.

“Just watch me do this, Daddy,” I used to tell my dad if he thought I wasn’t quite ready for my big mission ahead of me.

I did it every time, and my father was my biggest believer and supporter of my self-motivation to be successful and prove people wrong.

Doubters can shake our core beliefs like a broom sweeping a dusty floor, but when we find our intrinsic motivation firmly rooted in our beings, proving people wrong fuels our desire to succeed even more.

Final Takeaways:

  1. Self-motivation needs to start at an early age, but it is easy to develop and polish at any age, as long as one is willing and ready.
  2. Self-motivation is our joyous way to salute the world on a daily basis.
  3. Never stop believing in yourself.
  4. Start with any goals but strive towards accomplishing the big ones.
  5. Show the doubters that they are dead wrong, while you forge ahead on your path towards living your most successful life.

Works Cited

Romania — Wikipedia

What Actually Is a Belief? And Why Is It So Hard to Change? | Psychology Today

The Importance, Benefits, and Value of Goal Setting (

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CEO/Broker of Dynamic Real Estate, Inc., business owner featured in the Forbes magazine for my outstanding service to my clients. Mom, wife, a published author, Medium writer, poet, marathon runner, rapper, and tennis player.

Carmichael, CA

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