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Motivation is a Myth ?

Learning from book by Jeff Haden

· Motivation

"Motivation" as we know it is a myth. ... In fact, motivation is a result of process, not a cause. Understanding this will change the way you approach any obstacle or big goal. Haden shows us how to reframe our thinking about the relationship of motivation to success. An amazing book which opens up new thinking, I seldom get motivated by reading a book, and it had to be this one which says Motivation is a myth :) how bad is that ! so lets get to few interesting points.

Motivation is a temporary thing, like a drug, the more you take it the more you want more. Don't seek motivation, seek and build discipline instead. And to build discipline all you have to do just start. Ask yourself, what if you could re-frame the idea and structure your life in a way where you'd never need to worry about motivation ever again? yes, it is possible. Motivation is something you can create yourself. You don,t need to waste time looking for it daily, instead it is time to work on processes and success.

Things I took out from the book - you will find this interesting

  • Why Motivation is not the spark 
  • Put Processes over Goals 
  • Why being a jack of all trades is the best way to live life

Motivation is not the spark

Motivation is like a sugar rush that never lasts. There is only one recipe for gaining motivation - success i.e. the dopamine hit we get when we observe ourselves making progress. • Motivation doesn't lead to action. • Action is what really leads to success, which leads to motivation, which prompts action, which generates more success and more motivation, and this creates a positive dopamine-driven feedback loop. • Tiny doses of success give us the motivation that we need to continue. • Motivation isn't a spark, but the fire that starts burning after you manually, painfully, coax it into existence, and it feeds on the satisfaction of seeing yourself make progress.

Put Processes over Goals

How do we start making that progress in the first place? We're often told that to get the motivation to do something, we should set some kind of goal. The common wisdom is that when we have an end goal, we'll have something to concentrate on, a motivating force to get us started. This theory is misguided. Having a goal isn't enough. Having a goal to run a marathon is not actually gonna get me across the finish line. Instead, success depends on our process. Focus on the process, to build the foundations for our success, and therefore you generate the momentum and the positive feedback loop that maintains the sustainable fire of motivation. "If you dedicate yourself to working your process, you will make progress and then success is inevitable."

Goal : Run a marathon.

Process : Run a certain amount of Km/miles. Make it easy.

Use the power of language

One way of keeping ourselves on track, and one thing that I found very helpful is by changing our language, moving from I can't to I don't. I can't is a decision that we've made based on external processes, like I can't afford a Tesla Model S. It is outside of my control, I can't do it. But there are lot of areas in life where we say "I can't" when we actually do have it in our control. Replace "I can't" with "I don't", because "I don't" is much more a personal, lifestyle, identity type decision, rather than an external forces type decision. If you say, "I don't eat unhealthy meals." You are reinforcing to yourself that you are a healthy person, therefore, you don't eat unhealthy meals. If you say, "I don't drink." That is reinforcing that this is your identity. If you said, "I can't drink." It's sort of, "I can't drink 'cause I'm driving tonight. It's an external force, it's not an identity-based thing.

Why Being a Jack of All Trades is the best way to live life

The conventional wisdom is that we should try and be specialized and get like really good at like one thing. Instead, start thinking like generalists, rather than specialists. There are so many different skills that we can learn that will synergize with each other. Innovation comes from combining multiple different fields. If you are a generalist, you can then combine these things in interesting ways. Example: Venus Williams' being an absolute legend at tennis, she's been really successful as an entrepreneur with her activewear brand. We should all try and be learning all these different skills and stacking up all these different kinds of bits of our identity.

You don't have to do all of this at once. You can get pretty good, at almost anything in something like 5 to 7 years. Becoming this multifaceted, absolute legend, it doesn't just help us in our professional lives, it also helps us like personally. Professionally, it means that we're not necessarily restricted to any one career. Personally, people who are the happiest, in his estimation, are the people who have got different facets of their identity into their lives, they're not overly reliant on any one thing to be going well.

"Let your past inform your future, but don't let it define your future." Think about what you want to become, set your goals, both personal and professional, and start focusing on the process of achieving them.

"Your dreams are important, but your plan is what will allow you to achieve your goals and live out your dreams."

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