Jun 4, 2018
Does motivation - or the lack of motivation - have to stop us from achieving our goals?
On this podcast, I talk with Jeff Haden. Jeff runs Blackbird Media, is a top a LinkedIn Influencer--making him a part of an exclusive, invitation-only, global collective of 500+ of the world’s foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators--a contributing editor to Inc., and the author of his latest book, The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win.
When it comes to motivation, we are going to address two broad bucket applications: you have a desirable goal / task you want to achieve OR you have an undesirable goal / task you need (have to) to achieve.
It doesn’t matter which bucket your goal falls into, the truth is, whether we want to do something or not, many of us have a hard time starting, or, once we start, a harder time completing it.
Many of you set new year’s resolutions that you haven't even attempted to reach.
According to Jeff, the reason has to do with how we prioritize a goal. Most of us keep our eyes firmly fixed on the “prize”: the sixty pounds to lose, the 26 miles of a marathon, the 50,000 word novel we’ll have finished writing. We become fixated on the dream of what we'll earn at the end of the climb, and compare each day’s results to that big payoff.
Annie Duke, in her book "Thinking In Bets" has a name for this: Outcome Junkie.
Jeff advocates for process orientation and redefining achievement to be more inclusive, so that even if you don't reach the end goal, that process, if you’ve work it, will have still benefited you by providing takeaways you didn’t have when you began. You will meet people you would have never met. You'll make connections that you'd never would have made. You might find some other interests that you never knew you would have.
Jeff has not only met with great people who have achieved their dreams, such as tennis star Venus Williams, but has spent untold hours applying his motivational principles to himself. What did he learn?
A goal isn’t worth a hill of beans if it doesn’t inform one’s process.
“...started me thinking ok, if that's how successful people do it, how do you create a process for basically anyone to follow to achieve anything that they would like to achieve?” - Jeff Haden
While many people ascribe to the “dream it, believe it, do it,” goal achievement philosophy, Jeff opts instead for creating cycles of motivation fulfillment.
Priming the pump
In our conversation Jeff goes into detail on how an emphasis on action brings about a result, which in turn breeds motivation for more action and thus more results. He goes into detail to show how strategic, action-based planning can help someone struggling to achieve results in both areas described above: those who have tasks they want to complete and tasks they don’t want to be doing, but need to get done nonetheless.
Jeff also gives some great tips on how to find a dream or goal if you’re drawing up blank when asked the question, “What would you do if you could do anything?”
Jeff emphasizes that his motivation techniques can help anyone, no matter what their starting place might be. Having spoken to numerous high achievers like Richard Branson, he realizes that they are all merely humans like us, who used planned motivational strategies to push themselves far. Therefore, Jeff asserts, we can do the same.
Oh and by the way, Jeff gives some super good advice on how to reinvent yourself. Want to break into an industry you have no experience in? Listen to Jeff's backstory, he walks me through how he did it.
So, tired of starting and then giving up for lack of motivation?
Ready to get those new year's resolutions back on track?
Click on the podcast above to access Jeff’s tips for beating procrastination and other motivation sappers, so that you can finally cross items off your to-do list.