June 2021 Countdown to Success: On Momentum and Work Mindset
Updated: Oct 12, 2021
5 Inputs, 4 Quotes, 3 Thoughts, 2 Challenges and 1 Question (June 10th, 2021)
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Here are 5 Inputs to Inspire, 4 Quotes to Contemplate, 3 Thoughts to Ponder, 2 Challenges to Conquer and 1 Reflection Question to help you grow this month.
5 Inputs to Inspire
I. Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer have written an excellent book about inner work life, The Progress Principle. This book is based around a study that dove into what created a “positive work day” vs a “negative work day.” The results suggested that the #1 day to “win” the day was to craft an environment of small wins which engages individuals and inspires creativity.
II. Not so interested in reading an entire book? Then consider this short article by the same authors that simply describe the study results. In The Power of Small Wins, there are some excellent lessons for managing people by creating small wins every day for them. Management is a skill set few of us receive training on by every owner must attempt to master!
III. As vets we understand that most things come down to simple biology. Controlled by protein interactions at some basic level, many biological processes can be “hacked” with the right drug, intervention, or diet change. Therefore, if we really want to take control of our motivation, we must understand it’s biochemistry! Learn more about the biochemistry in this FREE research review article titled: Dopaminergic Reward System: a short integrative review.
IV. If you’re like me, your motivation periodically stalls. Usually after the culmination of a large project or challenge. Learn how to jump start your motivation again in this Charles Amemiya article titled; How to Hack the Reward System in Your Brain and Stay Motivated.
V. Many of you know I’m a Brendon Burchard fan. This is due to our similar mindsets on motivation psychology, both of which are based deeply in the concept of Self-Determination Theory. In this motivational podcast, How to Master Motivation, Brendon discusses how a “Loss of motivation is the first gate to suffering. If you lose motivation now, you won’t feel like doing anything, then you won’t feel like working out, and the list goes on. Next thing you know, you're unsatisfied, unfulfilled…[and] motivation is something we need to generate on a daily basis.
4 Quotes to Contemplate
I. Author James Clear on small wins and how they play into motivation and keep the virtuous cycle moving forward:
Slow and steady often wins because it keeps you motivated. Take on manageable challenges and you’ll get frequent signals of progress. Bite off more than you can chew and progress stalls. When you make progress, you want to keep going. When you break progress, you want to stop.
II. Psychological Doctoral Candidate Denfei Hu on struggle why our best role motivational models are those who have struggled at some point in their own lives with motivational problems like ours:
Young people are always trying to find inspiration from and mimic the people around them. If we can send the message that struggling for success is normal, that could be incredibly beneficial.
III. Too often our motivation is destroyed by questioning peers and bosses. But investor Joel Greenblatt took criticisms such as these and harnessed them to create his own unique virtuous cycle of self-development and justification:
There’s a virtuous cycle when people have to defend challenges to their ideas. Any gaps in thinking or analysis become clear pretty quickly when smart people ask good, logical questions.
IV. Upstart investor and tech visionary Sam Altman on the role of motivation and how it can be key to seeing an idea flow through to a success:
A big secret is that you can bend the world to your will a surprising percentage of the time—most people don’t even try, and just accept that things are the way that they are. People have an enormous capacity to make things happen. A combination of self-doubt, giving up too early, and not pushing hard enough prevents most people from ever reaching anywhere near their potential…..Ask for what you want. You usually won’t get it, and often the rejection will be painful. But when this works, it works surprisingly well. Almost always, the people who say “I am going to keep going until this works, and no matter what the challenges are I’m going to figure them out”, and mean it, go on to succeed. They are persistent long enough to give themselves a chance for luck to go their way.
3 Thoughts to Ponder
I. On a day you make progress in an area that is important to you (salient interest) you are almost 6x as likely to be in a good mood.
II. Crafting wins is easy. Find an area that interests you and begin working to learn more about it or develop it. The next steps of development and action will come naturally once you reach a critical knowledge point, or a point of mastery. Many think this will be a struggle, but we find time for the things that matter to us, we waste time when we do the things that do not.
III. If you’re in a vicious cycle of destruction, negativity, or loss share your story with a close friend, peer or ally. This act can often create an “ending” point for that particular moment or feeling and pause the cycle enough for you to ID some small win or activity around you that can shift your momentum toward a new virtuous cycle.
2 Challenges to Conquer I. Create time in your daily schedule for a virtuous cycle! The first comment I get from vets is I don’t have time for Personal Growth. Go out and download the Android APP ScreenTime or use the indwelling iOS ScreenTime tracker. Let it run in the background for one week and observe just how much time is “wasted” on your phone. By identifying this time sink you now know you DO have time on a daily basis for Personal Development! II. Start a virtuous cycle today. Pick one new habit to do daily for a week. Create a check list Sunday-Saturday and check it off as you go. Review the list daily. This habit can be as simple as flossing your teeth, reading 10 pages or reflecting on your day. By doing this successfully for 1 week you have just accomplished your first small win! 1 Reflection Question Am I in a virtuous growth based cycle or vicious negative downward spiral cycle? Until next month, Dr. Eric Rooker Founder of Operators to Owners