My Metric for Success? Happiness

My Metric for Success? Happiness

John Lennon said: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” I find this sentiment to be so incredibly powerful and true.

Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with. In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.

You might find it odd to learn that some of the toughest times of my life correspond with moments where I have made a lot of money. I will never forget the sorrow I felt when we sold Virgin Records. I ran down Ladbroke Grove in London with tears streaming down my face. We had to sell – just as we’d signed Janet Jackson and the Rolling Stones – so that we could keep Virgin Atlantic afloat. In that moment, despite having a cheque for a billion dollars in my pocket, I felt like very sad. When you build something from scratch and have a wonderful time learning, growing and laughing with the people that have helped you turn that business into something extraordinary, no amount of money can make you feel happy about selling. However, this money can be used to fund exciting new projects, and grow your brand further – something I wrote about in the aftermath of Virgin America’s deal with Alaska Airlines.

It’s a common misconception that money is every entrepreneur’s metric for success. It’s not, and nor should it be. I’ve never gone into business to make money. Every Virgin product and service has been made into a reality to make a positive difference in people’s lives. And by focusing on the happiness of our customers, we have been able to build a successful group of companies. The simple fact is, if you do good and have fun, the money will come.

Likewise, I’ve never felt successful because of my encounters with famous faces and names. While I’m incredibly grateful that I get to meet fascinating people and change makers, there’s nowhere that I feel more content or special then when I’m with my family. My family are my greatest achievement. When they are happy, I am happy, and that make me feel so successful.

I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life – I’ve been knighted, met the most extraordinary people, and attended the most amazing events – but there’s never been a point in my career in which I’ve felt I’ve “made it”.  I’ve never thought as work as work and play as play – to me, it’s all living and learning. The way I see it, life is all about striving and growing. I never want to have made it, I want to continue making it!

One of the things that makes me most happy is being able to give back, which is why we started our not-for-profit foundation, Virgin Unite, to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and create real lasting change in the world. It’s also why my wife Joan and I joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s Giving Pledge, to dedicate the majority of our wealth to good causes.

Happiness isn’t just how I measure my success; it’s also the key to it. Most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But I know I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy. I wholeheartedly believe that happiness should be everyone’s goal.

Life’s too short to waste your time doing things that don’t light your fire. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, or aren’t having a lot of fun – despite the fact that you’re making a lot of money or rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous – then it’s time to move on to the something that does make you happy.

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Richard Branson
Founder at Virgin Group

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What Is Motivation?

What Is Motivation?

Components of Motivation
 

What Is Motivation?

Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes you to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge.

 

Motivation doesn’t just refer to the factors that activate behaviors; it also involves the factors that direct and maintain these goal-directed actions (though such motives are rarely directly observable). As a result, we often have to infer the reasons why people do the things that they do based on observable behaviors.1

What exactly lies behind the motivations for why we act? Psychologists have proposed different theories of motivation, including drive theoryinstinct theory, and humanistic theory (such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). The reality is that there are many different forces that guide and direct our motivations.

 

Types of Motivation

Different types of motivation are frequently described as being either extrinsic or intrinsic:

  • Extrinsic motivations are those that arise from outside of the individual and often involve rewards such as trophies, money, social recognition, or praise.
  • Intrinsic motivations are those that arise from within the individual, such as doing a complicated crossword puzzle purely for the personal gratification of solving a problem.2

Uses

There are many different uses for motivation. It serves as a guiding force for all human behavior, but understanding how it works and the factors that may impact it can be important in a number of ways.

Understanding motivation can:

  • Help improve the efficiency of people as they work toward goals
  • Help people take action
  • Encourage people to engage in health-oriented behaviors
  • Help people avoid unhealthy or maladaptive behaviors such as risk-taking and addiction
  • Help people feel more in control of their lives
  • Improve overall well-being and happiness

Impact

Anyone who has ever had a goal (like wanting to lose 20 pounds or run a marathon) probably immediately realizes that simply having the desire to accomplish something is not enough. Achieving such a goal requires the ability to persist through obstacles and endurance to keep going in spite of difficulties.

 

There are three major components of motivation: activation, persistence, and intensity.3

 
  • Activation involves the decision to initiate a behavior, such as enrolling in a psychology class.
  • Persistence is the continued effort toward a goal even though obstacles may exist. An example of persistence would be taking more psychology courses in order to earn a degree although it requires a significant investment of time, energy, and resources.
  • Intensity can be seen in the concentration and vigor that goes into pursuing a goal.4 For example, one student might coast by without much effort, while another student will study regularly, participate in discussions, and take advantage of research opportunities outside of class. The first student lacks intensity, while the second pursues their educational goals with greater intensity.
 

The degree of each of these components of motivation can impact whether or not you achieve your goal. Strong activation, for example, means that you are more likely to start pursuing a goal. Persistence and intensity will determine if you keep working toward that goal and how much effort you devote to reaching it.

Tips

All people experience fluctuations in their motivation and willpower. Sometimes you might feel fired up and highly driven to reach your goals, while at other times you might feel listless or unsure of what you want or how to achieve it.

 

Even if you’re feeling low on motivation, there are steps you can take that will keep you moving forward. Some things you can do include:

 
  • Adjust your goals to focus on things that really matter to you
  • If you’re tackling something that is just too big or too overwhelming, break it up into smaller steps and try setting your sights on achieving that first step toward progress
  • Improve your confidence
  • Remind yourself about what you achieved in the past and what where your strengths lie
  • If there are things you feel insecure about, try working on making improvements in those areas so that you feel more skilled and capable.

 

Potential Pitfalls

There are a few things you should watch for that might hurt your motivation. These include:

 
  • Quick fixes or all-or-nothing thinking. It’s easy to feel unmotivated if you can’t fix something immediately or if you can’t have it all at once. Remind yourself that reaching your goals takes time.
  • Thinking that one size fits all. Just because an approach or method worked for someone else does not mean that it will work for you. If something isn’t helping you reach your goals or is making you feel unmotivated, look for things that will work better for you.
 

Talk to your doctor if you are feeling symptoms of apathy and low mood that last longer than two weeks. Sometimes a persistent lack of motivation might be tied to a mental health condition such as depression.

 

History of Motivation

What are the things that actually motivate us to act? Throughout history, psychologists have proposed different theories to explain what motivates human behavior. The following are some of the major theories of motivation.

Instincts

The instinct theory of motivation suggests that behaviors are motivated by instincts, which are fixed and inborn patterns of behavior.5 Psychologists including William James, Sigmund Freud, and William McDougal have proposed a number of basic human drives that motivate behavior. Such instincts might include biological instincts that are important for an organism’s survival such as fear, cleanliness, and love.

 

Drives and Needs

Many of your behaviors such as eating, drinking, and sleeping are motivated by biology. You have a biological need for food, water, and sleep. Therefore, you are motivated to eat, drink, and sleep. Drive theory suggests that people have basic biological drives and that behaviors are motivated by the need to fulfill these drives.6

 

Arousal Levels

The arousal theory of motivation suggests that people are motivated to engage in behaviors that help them maintain their optimal level of arousal.3 A person with low arousal needs might pursue relaxing activities such as reading a book, while those with high arousal needs might be motivated to engage in exciting, thrill-seeking behaviors, such as motorcycle racing.

A Word From Verywell

Understanding motivation is important in many areas of life, from parenting to the workplace. You may want to set the best goals and establish the right reward systems to motivate others as well as to increase your own motivation.

 

Knowledge of motivating factors and manipulating them is used in marketing and other aspects of industrial psychology. It’s an area where there are many myths and everyone can benefit from knowing what works and what doesn’t.

Author:
Mental Health and Other Resources / Resources for Local Health Providers

BY:

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author, educational consultant, and speaker focused on helping students learn about psychology
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Motivation – The Key to Success

Motivation – The Key to Success

“Driven” is a word we use to describe people who have experienced a great deal of success in life. Did you ever wonder why we use that word? Why not, “Pushed” or “Moved” or some other word to describe getting from point A to point B? The word “Driven” is derived from the term, “Drive Strength,” and it is used to describe the skill of learning, understanding, and using your desire to reach your goals. In other words, it’s what motivates you to do your best in school, at work, and in life. Motivation is what makes us do the things we do.

What Motivates You?

First of all, everyone is motivated, but not always by the same reasons. It’s important to recognize and understand differences in motivators so that we don’t automatically assume that just because a person doesn’t seem motivated by one thing, that they aren’t motivated by anything. Different people have different things that motivate them.

Everybody is motivated at some point or time in his or her life. The problem is that many people are not motivated often enough and long enough. As a result, instead of contributing to life, they take from life. The difference between givers and takers is how often they become motivated to do something.

There are two basic motivators:

  1. Desire to obtain or get something
  2. Fear of losing something

It’s that simple. Everyone has these two things working deep down inside of them, moving them to do something. These motivators cause people to act in certain ways to either get something or to avoid losing something. Want to increase your motivation?

Tips to Increase Motivation

1. Hang Around with Positive, Motivating People

You become the like the people you surround yourself with. Perhaps the first and most important step in learning how to become motivated is to take a look at other people. Watch them carefully and look for positive or upbeat people. The effect that they will have on you is important. You will begin to see how these positive people motivate themselves. As a result you will learn how to motivate yourself as well.

2. Communicate in a Positive Way

Communication skills are the key to understanding both yourself and others. A simple rule is to use positive communication to help the motivational forces within you. Choose to smile. Say positive things. When asked to write something down, make it a positive rather than a negative statement. By choosing to move to the positive side, you will improve motivation for yourself as well as for others.

3. Use Positive Affirmations to Motivate Yourself

Positive affirmations are statements about yourself such as “I set good goals,” “I achieve my goals,” and “I want to learn and succeed.” These types of statements will help you move from the negative to the positive and help provide the motivation that you
need to succeed.

4. Learn to Understand What Motivates You

Every person is different. Some people are motivated by money, while others are motivated by helping others. Whatever it is, learn what truly motivates you.

5. Learn to Set and Reach Goals

Research has shown that one of the best ways to create motivation is to learn how to set goals and then reach them.

How often do you blame your lack of success on a lack of motivation? “If only I was more motivated I could have been promoted.” Or, “If I was motivated enough I could get an A.” You now know that “lack of motivation” is not a valid excuse, because there are steps we can take to find what it is that motivates us.

Author:

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Terry Schmitz is the founder and owner of The Conover Company. Terry has been involved in the development of assessments for both education and corporations for over 30 years. He has developed hundreds of job-specific assessment systems that link to skill building systems.

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    Innovation Skills

    Innovation Skills

    Being innovative, or innovating, is a skill like any other.

    There are people who appear to fizz with new ideas, throwing them out every other day, or so it seems. We can all develop our innovation skills with a bit of practice.

    The skills and techniques of innovative thinking are not just vital in work, but useful in everyday life as well, helping us to grow and develop in new situations and think about how to adapt to change more easily.

    What is Innovation?

    Defining Innovation


    Innovatev.t. To introduce as something new. Innovation n. the act of innovating.

    Chambers English Dictionary, 1989 edition.


    The process of bringing any new, problem-solving idea into use… Innovation is the generation, acceptance and implementation of new ideas, processes, products or services.

    Kanter, R.M. (1984), The Change Masters: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the American Corporation, Simon and Schuster, New York, NY.

    Innovation is therefore, and crucially, not just the generation of new ideas but being able to put them into useful practice on a daily basis.


    Types of Innovation

     

    At an organisational level, there are four main categories of innovation, which can be distinguished by whether the problem is well-defined, and whether it is clear who is best placed to solve it.

    These categories of innovation are:

    • Basic research, where there is no clearly defined outcome. The idea is to explore how something works. Many commentators consider that basic research is not innovation because it does not involve the application of the new findings. However, it is an essential precursor to much innovation because it is often only by understanding how things work that new ideas emerge or can be applied.
    • Sustaining innovation, where the problem is clearly defined, and it is also clear who is best placed to solve it. An example of this type of innovation is the iPod, where Steve Jobs had a clear idea that there was a market for a device that allowed you to ‘put 1000 songs in your pocket’. The nature of the problems was clear, as were the skills needed to address them.
    • Disruptive innovation, which introduces new approaches to old products or services. A good example of this would be the development of budget airlines, which cut out the expensive parts of the service that people tended not to value and radically cut the cost.
    • Breakthrough innovation involves a paradigm shift and often, but not always, requires someone from outside to bring a new perspective. An example would be the discovery of the structure of DNA, where Watson and Crick quite literally turned the previous thinking inside-out.

    These categories can be mapped onto a matrix:

    The Innovation Matrix, showing the four categories of innovation: Breakthrough Innovation, Sustaining Innovation, Basic Research and Disruptive Innovation.

    Environmental Influences on Innovation

    Different environments will favour different categories of innovation. For example, basic research is best done in an environment where there is very little pressure to solve particular problems but where the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake is valued, such as a university. Many companies do invest in basic research, however, often by sponsoring placements and students at universities.

    Sustaining innovation is the most likely to emerge from an established R&D program in a large company. Big companies can invest in developing new ways of using existing technology, or improving existing technology to make it cheaper or better quality, and would expect to see a reasonable return on such investment.

    Disruptive innovation tends to happen where new competitors emerge in an established industry, partly because a new company can think differently. It’s very hard to innovate disruptively deliberately, because it’s often not clear what the problem is that you’re trying to solve. Those companies that have done so successfully tend to have looked at the existing offering, and then very deliberately targeted the areas that it does not meet.

    Example


    Formule 1 Hotels, in France, looked at their existing hotels beside motorways and noticed that they tended to have large lounge areas which nobody used and big bedrooms which wasted a lot of space, so that they had relatively high costs.

    The company reduced this space, fitting in more rooms, and enabling them to offer much cheaper accommodation, which was favoured by customers looking for inexpensive roadside lodgings.

     

    Breakthrough innovation tends to need outsiders because those already working in the area have ‘hit a brick wall’. Established companies will often sponsor innovation prizes to solve particular problems as a way of bringing in this fresh thinking.


    Approaches to Managing Innovation and Change

    After studying a large number of organisations, Rosabeth Kanter suggested that there were two organisational approaches to innovation and change: integrative and segmentalist.

    Integrative organisations treat innovation as an opportunity and not a threat. They tend to deal with problems as a whole organisation, rather than in separate sections, and are enthusiastic about new ideas. Generally, these organisations are more flexible and willing to change.

    Segmentalist organisations tend to work in silos, with each bit of the organisation dealing separately with problems relating to change, and management not taking an overall view. Such organisations are generally unwilling to change their structure, or alter the relationships between different bits of the organisation, which makes them very inflexible.

    Kanter concluded that integrative organisations handled change and innovation much better. She further suggested that people within integrative organisations showed three key skills that were vital to managing innovation.

    Three Key Skills for Innovating


    Power Skills: 
    Being able to persuade others to invest time and money in new and potentially risky initiatives.

    See our pages on Persuasion Skills and Risk Management for more.


    People Management Skills:
    The ability to be able to effectively cope with difficulties arising from team-working and, in particular, individual team members’ participation or non-participation.

    See our pages: Working in a Group or TeamBuilding Group Cohesiveness, and Difficult Group Behaviours. For more general problem management skills, see our Problem Solving section.


    Change Management Skills:
    To understand how change can be positively designed and ultimately constructed within an organisation.

    See our pages on Change Management for more.

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      How To Motivate Yourself: 3 easy tricks (backed by science)

      How To Motivate Yourself: 3 easy tricks (backed by science)

      Most motivational “experts” knowingly teach total BS. Here are 3 science-backed ways to motivate yourself.

      So you want to know how to motivate yourself…

      Do you know what most motivational “experts” hope you’ll never find out?

      The stuff they teach is total BS if you actually want to know how to motivate yourself.

      Get off your chair and into life graphic

      When was the last time a motivational poster changed your life? (“You know what, yes, I WILL dream a little bigger today!”)

      Does seeing this on your newsfeed help you reach your goals?

      Never. OK, then how do you get — and stay — motivated?

      Bonus: Want to finally start getting paid what you’re worth? I show you exactly how in my Ultimate Guide to Getting a Raise and Boosting Your Salary

      How motivation actually works

      Motivation comes in waves. Some days we hop out of bed, ready to take on the world. We start big projects, dream big dreams, and know that FINALLY we’re going to accomplish something.

      But then, tomorrow comes.

      We sit down in the same place we sat yesterday — where we were on fire and ready to go and… nothing. We look at our Netflix queue or go and buy a cup of coffee. We can’t seem to get that spark back.

      That is how motivation works. So, if we rely on motivation alone, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

      What can we do instead?

      One of my mentors, BJ Fogg, who runs the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford, says we should assume that our “future self” is going to be lazy with no motivation. We need to set up systems to make achieving our goals as easy as possible — even when our motivation is low.

      In other words:

      Motivation Doesn't Work - Systems Do Motivational Poster

      Motivation DOESN’T work. Systems do.

      Here’s how to use systems to keep yourself going even when motivation slumps.

      How to motivate yourself step 1: Plan for failure

      Successful people aren’t luckier than most people. But they do try more things, and they’re willing to fail. If you’re a top performer, chances are you’ve figured out how to find motivation.

      For example, my good friend Tim Ferriss was rejected 26 times before a publisher finally accepted his idea for The 4-Hour Workweek (that later became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller).

      Almost anyone who’s been successful has a similar story of failure before triumph.

      But the difference between average and top performers is that average people are blindsided by failure and give up when it strikes.

      Top performers, on the other hand, actively seek out failure because they know success is on the other side.

      BJ Fogg and I sat down and talked about how we can use failure and “motivational waves” to our advantage so when others tire out we can have a system to follow through.

      How you can start using the principle of “motivational waves” right now:

      1. Make a list of everything you need to get to accomplish your goal.
      2. Then, set up those pieces to make it impossible to fail.

      Here’s an example what that might look like:

      BJ Fogg wanted to drink more tea. So he bought all the tea, an electric kettle to boil water, and set everything up in easy reach on his counter. Even when he felt like drinking something else, it was right there and a no-brainer to make.

      I was trying to form a gym habit. I’d get up in the morning planning to go, but after a few minutes decide not to. I discovered that if I put my gym clothes and my shoes next to my bed, I would put them on first thing and by that point, I “might as well” just go.

      Chandler Bolt of The Productive Person wrote 365 Thank You notes last year by pre-stamping and adding address labels to batches of 50 cards. By keeping the cards close by, he was able to make it easy to write and send the cards with or without motivation.

      Bonus: Want to fire your boss and start your dream business? Download my FREE Ultimate Guide to Business.

      How to motivate yourself step 2: Put it on your calendar

      Imagine playing in a basketball game against LeBron James. We have the best shoes, the most expensive pair of athletics shorts, a fancy headband, and the greatest jersey in the world. And he has no shoes, ripped shorts, and a dress shirt. Who would win?

      It sounds ridiculous but we play this same game against motivation every day.

      The tools don’t matter as much as we think.

      Novices LOVE to focus on productivity hacks, apps and tools. It’s easy — and frankly, more fun — to play with new shiny tools than to simply do what works.

      But usually, the fundamentals — things like a simple calendar, pen and paper — work as well if not better than some app.

      Take a look at a sample of my calendar system.

      Ramit's Calendar System Screenshot

      See how it’s not a super advanced set of apps. I purposely make it easy on myself so I can follow through and easily update it.

      EXECUTION is more important than the tactic itself.

      How you can start using this motivation system right now:

      • Decide ahead of time and map out your schedule for the week either on paper or in a simple calendar system.
      • Set an alert in your calendar or on your phone to review this every week. Keep thinking ahead and you’ll never be tempted to procrastinate or pressed for time.

      How to motivate yourself step 3: Develop laser-guided focus

      In the video above, BJ Fogg talks about “competing motivations” — sometimes even our best efforts are thwarted because something else comes along.

      Sometimes these are external distractions: an emergency comes up, we have family demands, and work gets busy.

      But, just as often, we cannibalize one goal by shifting focus to another. The result? We don’t make much progress on either.

      Developing FOCUS and being able to put some ideas on hold is a skill that almost guarantees we make progress on what matters.

      Let me show you what I mean. One of my close friends, Noah Kagan, a former employee of Mint and Facebook and the founder of AppSumo, showed me the power of having laser-guided focus — he was able to start not one, but two multi-million dollar businesses that continue to see growth year after year.

      He does this by setting one big goal at a time.

      Watch Noah explain here (pay particular attention to 3:56 where we talk specifically about how he sets his goals):

      How you can use this motivation system right now:

      1. Pick your number one goal. Is it earning more money? Getting in shape? Finding your Dream Job?
      2. Grab a pen and paper and write it down. Really do this now. This isn’t a silly “thought exercise.” We’re doing this to commit ourselves to one course of action and follow through.

      Bonus: Want to know how to make as much money as you want and live life on your terms? Download my FREE Ultimate Guide to Making Money

      BONUS STEP: Test and Adjust

      Setting up systems is the best way to motivate yourself. And to maximize impact, we have to find the best system for us and then adjust if it’s not working.

      To help you shortcut the process, I asked some of the world’s top experts on productivity, business, and fitness to share the simple experiments they’ve run that have lead to extraordinary results in their lives.

      You can see all the results in this free guide:

      15 Life Hacks PDF Cover Graphic

      You’ll learn tests that achieve massive results like:

      • How to change your body composition with one 20-minute workout a week
      • How to text message important people (and girls)
      • How to increase your impact with a photo
      • How to triple your productivity by testing how you measure success
      • How to increase your gym attendance by 300%
      • How to triple your learning rate with one simple switch
      • How to increase your energy level in one week

      Download the free guide HERE!

      Author:

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      A Key Mindset to Achieve More

      A Key Mindset to Achieve More

      It’s a quality that I have strived to develop within myself as well. And I will tell you, it can be hard to do at first. It means looking at the world differently. Rather than thinking “Well, that’s just how it is,” you instead think “what can I do to make it better?”

      There are incredible stories of people who took a risk, who set what may have seemed like an impossible goal, and used new, innovative ideas to solve the problems that came their way as they worked to achieve it. We can all think of people like this, whether we know them personally or have heard their story in the news. Instead of simply accepting the status quo, they pushed for better. They saw a world that they could impact. A world that they felt they could contribute to.

      Any successful person you see didn’t get there by doing the same old thing. They innovated. They adapted. They changed. The good news is that you can learn to do the same. You can develop a mindset that will allow you to see a world of possibility rather than closed doors. 

      How to Develop an Experimental Mindset

      So, how do you go about developing a mindset that welcomes change and is excited to try new ideas? A mindset that looks at problems as a chance to innovate and find new solutions. I have three strategies you can implement immediately. 

      1. Practice grayscale thinking. This means that the world isn’t just seen in black and white. It means opening your mind to the possibility that there could be more answers than just yes or no. Grayscale thinking allows you to find a new answer to a problem.

      By allowing yourself the flexibility to think creatively, you are able to see past the obvious right or wrong answers that have been used in the past—and see a third, fourth, fifth option. Of course you don’t know yet if it will work. It’s a new idea. But you have given yourself the freedom not to see a difficulty as a “no”. Instead, obstacles become chances to experiment and try to find new solutions.

      2. Overcome resistance to change by experimenting. For many of us, we are resistant to trying out something new because we are afraid it will be a failure. We have a tendency to stick with what is familiar even if it really isn’t the best option.

      To overcome this mental hurdle, tell yourself (or your team!) that you are going to try the new idea out as an experiment for a limited amount of time. This takes away the fear of something unfamiliar. It will also give you the data you need to make a more informed decision after the experiment is over.

      3. Recognize that you always have more to learn.  Someone who exemplifies this trait is continually seeking out mentors or looking to others who have achieved success to see how they can use their experience to grow and improve. To have an experimental mindset, you must be willing to see what others are doing better. Take their insight and use it to create your own solutions. 

      I hope you view the changes that come this year as opportunities to experiment. Give yourself the freedom to innovate and try out new solutions. What experiment will you try?

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      MICHAEL HYATT & COMPANY 

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      Charisma

      Charisma

      Charisma is a common quality shared within the world of peak performers and self motivated individuals. Have you ever been in a room full of people where one person radiates his or her personality over all the others? It’s almost like they just glow in the dark. That is charisma and one of the greatest assets any businessperson or personality can have.Charisma

      It is something that you may be lucky enough to have naturally already or (and this is more likely) something you will have to put in a great deal of work to achieve. But one thing is certain – once you acquire charisma or an irresistible charm, you will realize the magic it contains. It has the power to open doors, create opportunities and help you to meet people you never before thought possible. Once you begin to develop it you are will be on your way, propelled towards your personal success and prosperity.

      Charismatic characters are always very popular and in great demand. You may have already looked at such a person and wondered, ‘what on earth do people see in him/her?’ The answer clearly is they have the magic quality of charisma. It has little to do with looks or physique. Indeed many charismatic characters have less than appealing appearances, and yet are ‘attractive’. Their company is always sought and they are never short of introductions into any field.

      Whilst some people are blessed with a natural charisma, the majority make their way through life without it, many unaware such qualities exist. True, if you have never had it you can’t miss it! But when you become aware of the influence a charismatic personality can have on your life you are truly going to want it. However, simply understanding what an enormous difference it can make to your life will do little in developing the quality within yourself.

      Yes, it can be created and self generated very successfully. In my therapy practice I have watched and helped a large number of ‘ordinary’ people become ‘extraordinary’ simply as the result of focusing on this simple yet powerful technique. As with many of the ideas and techniques we use within the pages of true-motivaton.com, they are very simple, yet effective. In our one-on-one therapy/coaching sessions they are a standard part of producing a dynamic and successful personality. Many peak performers remain reluctant to reveal these most personal secrets to others. Of course their personal image, and their ego, want to project them as a natural cut above the rest. And that is perfectly okay. If you accept, as many do, that those charismatic qualities are ‘in born’ then they will be … and you will exclude yourself from the experience. But if you take heed of these words and resolve to develop charisma for yourself, then it will be ‘you’ who has that magnetic personality that shines above the rest.

      It is important to know that everyone who walks the face of our planet, whether they know it or not, subconsciously responds to, and are drawn to love, warmth and affection. This occurs most often without even being aware of it. It is a fundamental and natural instinct of a human being. I’m sure everyone has noticed that when you are feeling on top of your game you draw attention to yourself. Others feel those loving and affectionate vibrations and are drawn to it. That is the very basis of creating charisma, and once you can really understand and believe this simple truth you will have at your disposal a magical tool. But to really have maximum effective in our lives we must be able to create and access it on purpose when ever and where ever required.

      Magic Ring of Confidence

      Here is how to begin developing the tool that creates charisma. I call it the Magic Ring of Confidence because that is exactly what it is … magic. If you feel like having a good laugh at the thought of such an outrageous idea, go ahead and let’s get the laughs and disbeliefs out of the way. But now with both feet firmly on the ground and as pragmatically as you can, give it a try. No one in the world can know what you are doing because it all done in ‘your’ mind. Yet everyone will respond to it, believe me.

      Sit quietly, close your eyes and relax for a few minutes. Then when you are feeling calm and centered imagine yourself at the center of a white ring of light. Remember that only you are aware of it because it is only in your imagination. Continue to create your own person ring of warmth, love and affection. Work at it until you can clearly perceive this beautiful white ring of warmth, love and affection. Fill it as full as your imagination can manage. For the moment just around yourself alone, it will make you feel good and will radiate out its attraction in all directions. You can’t stop it. Remember, you are the only one who has any idea what is happening.

      To begin with, just get use to placing it around yourself and holding it there. Become familiar with it. As you go about your normal day visualize your Magic Ring of Confidence around you, full of warmth, love and affection. Allow it to just radiating out and touch anyone and everyone in its path. Just watch how differently people start responding to you. T here is nothing else to do, just let your charismatic aura of love and warmth flow out.

      If you want to focus or embrace one particular person, visualize your Magic Ring around their shoulders as well as your own and watch their response. Remember, everyone is innately attracted to a genuine warmth, love and affection so be sure that is what your Magic Ring contains. Then just watch the results. I can assure you it will really give you the edge.

      We invite you to contact us and share your results.

      See Which Way Now for more.

      Author:

      by Dave Gannaway

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      The Neuroscience of Motivation: Why We Do What We Do

      The Neuroscience of Motivation: Why We Do What We Do

      motivated worker

      What creates passion, loyalty, drive, peak performance and even love for one’s organization?

      Motivation.

      And what creates motivation?

      Well, it’s not a quick answer. In this blog, you’ll learn how to unpack the motivators beneath human behavior, to understand why we do what we do, and how to offer alternative behaviors that feel even better than the behaviors a person is currently choosing.

      Before we get into tools, here’s a quick refresher on emotional intelligence. This is key because most people could use some work on one–or both–of the below paths.

      EQ Chart: SmartTribes

      For example, if a person isn’t very self-aware they may not be receptive to participating in using the below tools—you’ll need to use them on your own, then over time invite them in. If a person isn’t very socially aware, they may struggle with reading social cues or may be too wrapped up in their own experience to notice the impact their behavior has on others. So again, you’ll use the below tools on your own initially.

      But first, let’s look at some research.

      What Kills Motivation

      Richard Clark of USC Center for Cognitive Thinking recently did some research on motivation. Here’s a high level of his findings, and I’ll help you implement them with tools.

      The net-net is people lose motivation when they fall into what Clark calls motivation traps. They are:

      1) Values Mismatch: “I don’t care enough to do this” – if the project isn’t tied to something that the person values, they won’t be motivated to do it. Key is to find out what they value (hopefully your projects can be tied to your organization’s emotionally engaging core values that everyone is inspired by!), ensure the project is interesting, help them expand their identity via the project and check in on what they are believing about it.   

      SmartTribes Institute

      Humans experience change in the above 6 “levels”. Might your Environment be affecting their motivation? It is conducive to collaboration and communication, as well as bonding and connection? How are the Behaviors of others: are they helpful, supportive, goal-oriented? Do they have the Capabilities, the skills, and tools they need? I’ll jump next to Core, because if the organization’s purpose isn’t compelling you’ll want to tune it up. In my coaching work, I’ve helped hundreds of organizations create an emotionally engaging mission/purpose and vision in even the most challenging industries. Identity and Beliefs are deeply connected to Core.

      2) Lack of Self-Efficacy: “I don’t think I’m able to do this” – If an employee doesn’t feel they have the capability (either skill set or available time) they will lose motivation. Often confidence is the key factor here, and clarity on the project will help a lot. With a clear spec as to what success will look like, what resources the person has access to, who they can get mentoring/have check-ins with, you can often move past this de-motivator. Also making priorities and energy allocation clear with a High Value/Low-Value process will help a great deal. These tools will help:

      • HVA (High Value Activities) = tasks you are energized by, tap into your strengths, may be challenging but feel good to do, are how you add the most leverage to the company
      • LVA (Low Value Activities) = tasks you know you should ditch, delegate, defer as they don’t bring great value to your organization (and they are draining, boring, something you’re not good at) or tasks you must do but need to move through them effectively
      • Notice the total for both columns equals 100% (this represents their time at work).
      SmartTribes Institute

      Then help the person to prioritize or ditch, delegate, defer or reframe tasks/projects to get them re-motivated.

      Next, you may have some identity work to do. Again, go back to the Logical Levels graphic and note in our book Power Your Tribe we unpack identity in great detail. See number 4 below for another tool to help here.

      3) Disruptive Emotions: “I’m too upset to do this” – This is where emotional resilience comes in. Since humans are highly emotional beings it’s essential that we all become more aware of our own and the emotions of others. If someone is snared by anxiety or depression or even good old fight/flight/freeze, it’s essential that we use these tools:

      Emotion Wheel – find out how they’re feeling

      Emotion Wheel

      Meta Model – ask “what specifically is [the emotion they named] about this?”

      Outcome Frame – and now ask them what they’d like, and if a lengthy Outcome Frame is inappropriate or would take too long (you’ll need 15 mins), do some quick Reframing. 

      The goal is to help the person get back into their Smart State so they have more behavioral choice and emotional resilience.

      4) Attribution Errors: “I don’t know what went wrong with this” – When something goes wrong and we can’t figure out why it’s deeply unsettling. This is where Quarterly or Monthly Business Reviews, project post mortems, and feedback help us understand the people, process, tools challenges that may have occurred. Also when we feel we can’t complete a task or succeed, due to an outside force. This is when it’s key to unpack what the person is believing (there we go again with beliefs!) so we can help the person get back in motion. I find attribution errors often are connected to Organismic Rights.

      Here’s a quick summary:

      We all have 5 basic rights as human beings:

      1-The Right to Exist

      2-The Right to Have Needs

      3-The Right to Take Action

      4-The Right to Have Consequences for Our Actions

      5-The Right to Love and Be Loved

      For an infographic on Org Rights, click here STI Organismic Rights

      Please start back here and all will be good:

      Once we understand which Organismic Right(s) the person is struggling with, we can help them increase it to build more confidence in themselves, to feel better, to have more self-awareness and self-compassion.

      Here’s a quick summary and click on my blog on this topic if you want to learn more: STI Organismic Rights

      Once we understand which Organismic Right(s) the person is struggling with, we can help them increase it to build more confidence in themselves, to feel better, to have more self-awareness and self-compassion.

      The Net-Net:

      • Clark found there are 4 “Motivation Traps” in the workplace
      • The great news is there are brain-based tools that will help you and your team get out of these traps
      • Use the above tools to re-boot motivation for yourself and others
      • Key to helping someone exit these traps is to understand their emotional experience and beliefs

      What will you do to motivate someone today?

      Author:

      Forbes

      Christine Comaford

      Christine Comaford is a leadership and culture coach who helps businesses achieve growth. Learn more at SmartTribes Institute and see Power Your Tribe: Create Resilient Teams in Turbulent Times and SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together.

       

      10 Habits You Should Embrace To Stop Overthinking Things

      10 Habits You Should Embrace To Stop Overthinking Things

      I’ve always been a proud deep thinker, a natural philosopher of sorts. Indeed, a critical and analytical mind can be an admirable trait of one’s character. However, there’s a thin line between thinking and overthinking and I’ve learned it the hard way. The good news is that you can train your brain how to not overthink and become a master of your own thoughts. I’d like to share a few tricks I have up my sleeve for how to stop overthinking and worrying.

      1. Create your mantra

      One fun way to get yourself out of rumination is to replace the thought with your own mantra. It can be a word, a phrase, or even a few lines of a song that you repeat to yourself over and over again until you feel released and stop your overthinking anxiety. Ideally, you should use the same mantra each time you find yourself slipping into a vertigo of overthinking problems, as your brain learns to react to the distraction quicker. The science behind it is simple: you can only think about one thing at a time.

      2. Take on a cognitive task

      An enjoyable brain exercise not only keeps your mind focused on something other than your current obsession, but also awards you with a sense of accomplishment and closure. Having puzzles, Sudoku, or crosswords at the reach of your hand can save your sanity.

      3. Practice meditation

       Meditation is a unique tool to help you appreciate the beauty of here and now, this moment, the only thing that we actually own. They say that depression stems from overthinking the past, whereas anxiety – from overthinking the future, neither of which we have control over. If you are truly here and now, there’s just no room for overthinking.

      4. Set timers and deadlines

      If your problem at hand is a serious decision that you must make, the best thing you can do  is to decide upon a time window during your day when you are allowed to lose yourself in contemplation. When the time is up, though, you should stop and carry on with your life until the next day. This way you are more likely to eventually solve your problem, just be sure to set a hard deadline.

      5. Roll a dice

      Not being able to make a decision, even the simplest one, feeds and grows your anxiety until this monster starts cracking you open. So in case you’re faced with a dilemma that is not a matter of life and death, I’d say you roll that dice, darling. Carry it with you wherever you go and train yourself to make everyday decisions faster.

      6. Write it out

      Whenever you feel overwhelmed, sit down and spill all your thoughts down on paper without  editing. A routine of writing for a set period of time first thing in the morning has even more benefits: not only do you stop thinking so much afterwards, but you come up with fresh ideas for how to solve your problems too.

      7. Exercise

      You know the drill – a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. Do yourself a huge favor and engage in a physical activity that you enjoy and that makes your blood flow throughout your whole body. In case you’re curious, my all time favorite exercises are yoga and freestyle dancing to the 80s and 90s    tunes.

      8. Laugh

      Overthinking leaves you tired, stressed out, and tensed with fear. One of the quickest ways to get out of this disturbing state is to get yourself laughing. Watch an episode of Friends, stream a stand-up show of Bill Burr, or go to an improv evening at your local theater – whatever floats your boat.

      9. Get vocal

      The act of singing releases endorphins, the act of screaming releases muscle tension. Use whichever when appropriate.

      10. Memento mori

      Stargaze, go climb a mountain, camp deep in the woods, swim in the ocean, take a walk in an old graveyard, visit your childhood’s playground. Doing these things regularly will help you put your current issues into perspective before overthinking grows into a mental disorder. After all, what you are most likely to regret at the end of life is not the wrong word you’ve said, the wrong thing you’ve done, or the wrong dreams you’ve pursued, but the time you’ve wasted worrying. So be kind to yourself, try to relax, and enjoy being alive.

      Author:

      Verv Logo

      by Audra Bajori

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      Finding motivation while working from home as a PhD student during the coronavirus pandemic

      Finding motivation while working from home as a PhD student during the coronavirus pandemic

      Stay productive by setting a routine, identifying a workspace and getting dressed, says Melina Papalampropoulou-Tsiridou.

      Tomato timer on a red background

      While working from home, you can keep yourself motivated using a number of strategies, such as the Pomodoro technique.Credit: Adapted from Getty

      At the moment, staying motivated can be tough. Many scientists have admitted this on social media or in online meetings. I’ve struggled to follow a consistent routine and to be productive, thinking twice about getting dressed in the morning while wondering, “What’s the point?” This is especially true when we’re surrounded by distractions at home — a place usually kept away from work.

      For me, finding a way to stay motivated involved trial and error, but it got much easier once I found a good starting point. What helped me was looking for ways to make the most of my home isolation. I read blogs and articles from people who have worked remotely for a long time, and tried to integrate their suggestions and tips into my current reality. I have not yet worked everything out, but here are a few tips that might be useful and are easy to apply:

      Set up a daily routine

      Humans are creatures of habit. Having specific times for sleeping and waking will help you to structure your routine. Embrace the flexibility of working from home and feel free to press the snooze button, but make sure you have set a certain number of hours dedicated to work in your day. To maximize your productivity, have a list of all work-related tasks and hold yourself accountable to it. It often helps to ask others to review your work regularly.

      I use the Pomodoro time-management technique throughout my working day: I set a timer for 25 minutes and work non-stop without any distractions until the alarm goes off. Once the alarm rings, I take a five-minute break and then repeat. I find this technique useful because it creates a sense of urgency to be productive, but helps me to avoid the commitment anxiety that might come with attempting to staple myself to a laptop for eight hours straight.

       

      Put your clothes on

      Prepare to work from home the same way you would if you were going to the office, to set the appropriate mood for work. In my experience, working in pyjamas affected my productivity and my professional confidence.

      Have a designated workspace in your home

      Work and personal life will overlap now that they are both happening under the same roof. Setting a place for work sends a message to those you live with to avoid disturbing you, and helps you to make the mental switch from ‘home’ to ‘work’ — and back to ‘home’ once your day is over. The smaller the apartment, the more difficult it gets. My partner and I have divided our apartment: I work in the kitchen, he works in the guest bedroom. The bedroom and living room are now where we relax, and we try not to interact when we’re in the ‘working’ rooms.

      Be positive and adjust how you communicate

      In a working-from-home world, meetings are often replaced by e-mails, and personal talks by instant messaging. The way you respond to those e-mails or texts can affect how you approach working from home. Are you saying “I don’t think I will manage to finish this report on time,” or “Like everyone else, I will have to adapt to the new reality, but I will give it my best shot.”? In my view, the second approach leads to personal empowerment, and sets a stronger foundation for positive reinforcement and managing expectations.

      Find out what motivates you

      One reason I failed to stay motivated was I was trying to push myself using the wrong motives. Take some time to reflect on what motivates you. I’m motivated by two main factors: I like learning new things, and being appreciated. Through self-exploration, you can identify what factors motivate you, and reward yourself once you accomplish something or finish a certain task. I promised myself that if I got a good mark on my latest assignment for my business-degree programme, I would register for a new professional certification. I got the grade, and started a class called Data Analysis and Presentation Skills: the PwC Approach Specialization on the online learning platform Coursera earlier this month.

      Take it easy and start small

      Learn how to celebrate small steps, such as a finishing the weekly lectures of an online course or writing the first part of your thesis introduction, and reward yourself once you accomplish something. This ‘small wins’ strategy is a great way to break big problems into pieces and to highlight your small successes. Doing this will help you to avoid overwhelming yourself and to stay motivated, because you will have rewards all the way to completion.

      Exercise

      Exercising, whatever your ability level, will relieve some stress and produce some endorphins, strengthen your immune system, boost your productivity and energy levels and improve the quality of your sleep. From meditation and yoga to outdoor sports and working out in home-based gyms, you can choose which kind of activity will work for you (and which can be done if you need to social distance) and will best fit your new schedule. There are many free resources on YouTube to help you to get started. This part was very difficult for me: even before home isolation, I was not very physically active. I asked for help from my friends, and we set up virtual yoga ‘dates’. Now, I am exercising three or four times per week.

      Keep in touch with your colleagues

      Working from home under the current circumstances can be lonely, especially for those who live alone — so make sure to check up on your colleagues. I have been calling instead of texting, and skyping instead of e-mailing, which gives a more personal touch. Your co-workers are a great source of motivation because you can cheer each other up, and even hold each other accountable for weekly tasks. You might feel lonely but, for the first time in history, the whole world is facing the same situation: home isolation, social distancing and quarantine. Use the circumstances as an icebreaker to start a conversation and find out how others are adapting to the new challenges.

      All of us need to work out the best approach to tackling feelings of negativity, and make the most out of this situation. Many of us are struggling to adjust because we have different fears to overcome and goals to achieve. Stay connected to your friends and family, and use this opportunity to invest in yourself.

      Author:

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