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Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Motivation: The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated

Motivation is a powerful, yet tricky beast. Sometimes it is really easy to get motivated, and you find yourself wrapped up in a whirlwind of excitement. Other times, it is nearly impossible to figure out how to motivate yourself and you're trapped in a death spiral of procrastination. This page contains the best ideas and most useful research on how to get and stay motivated.
This isn't going to be some rah-rah, pumped-up motivational speech. (That's not my style.) Instead, we're going to break down the science behind how to get motivated in the first place and how to stay motivated for the long-run. Whether you're trying to figure out how to motivate yourself or how to motivate a team, this page should cover everything you need to know.
You can click the links below to jump to a particular section or simply scroll down to read everything. At the end of this page, you'll find a complete list of all the articles I have written on motivation.

What is Motivation?

So what is motivation, exactly? The author Steven Pressfield has a great line in his book, The War of Art, which I think gets at the core of motivation. To paraphrase Pressfield, “At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.”

Common Misconceptions About Motivation

One of the most surprising things about motivation is that it often comes after starting a new behavior, not before. We have this common misconception that motivation arrives as a result of passively consuming a motivational video or reading an inspirational book. However, active inspiration can be a far more powerful motivator.

Common Misconceptions About Motivation

One of the most surprising things about motivation is that it often comes after starting a new behavior, not before. We have this common misconception that motivation arrives as a result of passively consuming a motivational video or reading an inspirational book. However, active inspiration can be a far more powerful motivator.
The work of top creatives isn’t dependent upon motivation or inspiration, but rather it follows a consistent pattern and routine. Here are some examples of how you can apply ritual and routine to get motivated:
  • Exercise more consistently: Use the same warm up routine in the gym.
  • Become more creative: Follow a creative ritual before you start writing or painting or singing.
  • Start each day stress-free: Create a five-minute morning meditation ritual.
  • Sleep better: Follow a “power down” routine before bed.

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