There are a few things in life that are impossible to learn from anyone. You can observe, listen, emulate others, but ultimately, the turning point, that golden moment of wisdom must come from within yourself.
Self-motivation is (at least for me) one of those things. It's certainly not something you learn in school, for instance. School is all about structured learning - someone is always telling you what to do. The same is often true at work - your manager, someone above you is always directing you, guiding you, or at the very least, holding you accountable.
Within these walls of course, we see flashes of self motivation. When you learn a subject in school at it's so interesting to you that you buy and read five books about it - that's self motivation. When you spend time learning what OTHER people in your company do out of sheer curiosity, that's self motivation. The PROBLEM is with all of these...is that there's something inside you compelling you to do them. You don't HAVE to, but you WANT to.
The biggest challenge then, when we're out on our own is teaching ourselves how to do the things that we DON'T necessarily WANT to do, but somehow inwardly believe we should (and therefore subtly want to). My examples almost entirely consist of what to do with your free time outside of work. Technically there are no formal rules around this - you can really do whatever you want. What is it then that makes a person get up off the couch, turn off the TV, and sit down with Rosetta Stone to learn a language? What is it that makes someone NOT go out on a Saturday night so that they can wake up early in the morning to help kids paint the walls of their schools?
It's often not hard to observe the world and see what things we SHOULD be doing.
But I suspect the greatest power to our own success (and happiness, quite frankly) lies in discovering what it is within us we can rely on to be the teacher, the parent, the coach - that will NEVER let us surrender.
Still working on this.