As you consider the various components of academic self-management, you may find that you have no difficulty managing your motivation. You may exhibit a great deal of effort on tasks, persist even under difficult situations, and maintain positive beliefs about your academic abilities. If this is the case, this chapter will simply help you understand why you are motivated to succeed. However, if you have some difficulty managing your motivation, this chapter provides important background information to help you change.
Many of my students frequently state in class or in written assignments: "I have no motivation" or "I need to get motivated." Unfortunately, I find that many students do not understand the meaning of these statements. Actually, everyone is motivated. Educational researchers have found that many different patterns of beliefs and behaviors can limit academic success. Therefore, many different types of motivational problems can be identified in any group of students. Let's look at five students who have diverse motivational problems (adapted from Stipek, 1998): Defensive Dimitri, Safe Susan, Hopeless Henry, Satisfied Sheila, and Anxious Alberto.
Dimitri is having difficulty in his first term in college and is beginning to doubt his ability to compete with other students in his classes. As a result, he puts his