2007-12-16 6:20 PM

Bypass Motivation

Aaron Brandon asked “How do you stay motivated while working on your business?
Independent of whether you are working on your business or some other task relying on motivation is risky.
Relying on any emotion to get things done is always a huge risk.

When I’m on track and getting things done it has always been because I developed the proper habits. Now I make the conscious decision to move towards a goal then turn that initial emotion into specific habits that lead to that goal. First identify those actions that need to be performed then set up situations and systems that make them as close to automatic as possible. (This is where necessary conditions and forcing functions can be invaluable.) This formula applies whether the tasks are done by yourself or by others.

When I have made a decision and built the habits I have made progress towards my goals. When I have relied on motivation I have been distractable and unfocused.

The bonus of setting specific outcomes based on performing actions in a habitual manner is the direct control over that outcome. For example: rather than imagining the end of the day and picturing yourself saying “I made $500 today” you can say “I took the proper actions to improve my business today”. This removes the emotional roller coaster that comes from relying on the responses of others for your happiness or satisfaction. Since the only person you have direct control over is yourself this approach gives real control rather than just the appearance of control.

The other bonus of using the modified daily outcome above is that it sets a direction (improving business) rather than giving yourself an arbitrary destination ($500). This bypasses the question of what to do after a goal has been met — there is always room to improve!

What one habit will have the biggest impact on your life? (In business, relationships, education, etc.)
What situations and systems can you arrange today to make that habit automatic?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “Bypass Motivation”

  1. Online Business Blog › Who won? Says:

    […] I really enjoyed Wayne Buckhanan’s comment the most. You can read it here: http://www.lifeloveandlearning.com/blog/116 […]

  2. Steve Oliphant’s Musings » Blog Archive » Staying Motivated Says:

    […] stay motived while working on business. One of the answer’s (Aaron’s favorite one) was Relying on motivation is risky – that is a new blog for me and one that I want to spend more time […]

  3. Chris Shouse Says:

    If I limit myself to focus on one thing at a time I do better. Instead of starting two things and being scattered if I have the habit of only having one project at a time and do it well I think I will see my productivity increase.

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