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Created By N. Zimmermann

Motivation is vital to self-directed learning, the intrinsic joy in doing well - when we want to achieve something for the resulting personal satisfaction alone. Participants that are able to feel and experience their power for having an impact on their society have to be in touch with their own intrinsic motivations. A person’s motivation corresponds to available resources and to his or her own personal needs: The key to intrinsic motivation is the achievement of self-actualization. What motivates a person depends on his or her personality, the other people involved, and the context.

FLOW: Dynamic Balance of Challenges and Abilities

When Self-actualization relates directly to learning this is an incredible feeling. In some situations people encounter great excitement when they leave their comfort zones and face new challenges - a flow.

Learning Zone Model

Becoming an active individual is an intense emotional process. On the one hand, it’s playful and inspiring; on the other it’s connected to feelings such as uncertainty, anxiety, disappointment, and sometimes frustration. Empowerment prepares learners for facing the positive and negative aspects of becoming active, self-responsible, or exposing themselves toward the public.

Motivational Style

Facilitators and their participants have personal preferences that influence their motivation. Michael J. Apter has identified specific motivational profiles and advocates for consciously experiencing a big variety of different motivations which makes people become more resilient against de-motivation.


Teachers and facilitators already have the potential and capacity to inspire others without needing to make much additional effort or start new projects. Let’s take a closer look at the various possibilities.

Start with "Why"

The way that we talk about our initiatives or projects is another way to be inspirational and motivational without being explicit. When people talk about their work, they usually start by answering the question, “What do I do?” and “How am I different from others?” More important ist to get to the core question, “Why am I doing this?”

A joint project of the Competendo Community. Implemented with financial assistance of the European Union