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From Inc.com's most popular columnist, a counterintuitive--but highly practical--guide to finding and maintaining the motivation to achieve great things. It's comforting to imagine that superstars in their fields were just born better equipped than the rest of us. When a co-worker loses 20 pounds, or a friend runs a marathon while completing a huge project at work, we assume they have more grit, more willpower, more innate talent, and above all, more motivation to see their goals through. But that's not at actually true, as popular Inc.com columnist Jeff Haden proves. "Motivation" as we know it is a myth. Motivation isn't the special sauce that we require at the beginning of any major change. In fact, motivation is a result of process, not a cause. Understanding this will change the way you approach any obstacle or big goal. Haden shows us how to reframe our thinking about the relationship of motivation to success. He meets us at our level--at the beginning of any big goal we have for our lives, a little anxious and unsure about our way forward, a little burned by self help books and strategies that have failed us in the past—and offers practical advice that anyone can use to stop stalling and start working on those dreams. Haden takes the mystery out of accomplishment, proving that success isn't about spiritual awakening or a lightning bolt of inspiration --as Tony Robbins and adherents of The Secret believe--but instead, about clear and repeatable processes. Using his own advice, Haden has consistently drawn 2 million readers a month to his posts, completed a 107-mile long mountain bike race, and lost 10 pounds in a month. Success isn't for the uniquely-qualified; it's possible for any person who understands the true nature of motivation. Jeff Haden can help you transcend average and make lasting positive change in your life.
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Chapter 1: Motivation is a result, not the spark
Chapter 2: Forget about the myth of focus, harness the power of routines
Chapter 3: Goals must choose the process, not the other way around
Chapter 4: Happiness comes to serial achievers
Chapter 5: Wishing and hoping are a waste of time
Chapter 6: Don't work smarter, work your numbers
Chapter 7: You don't need a coach, you need a pro
Chapter 8: Achieve more by doing less
Table of Contents
Motivation doesn't come by hearing a speech, even something highly inspiring. True motivation comes after you start – it's active rather than a spectator sport.
The motivational speaking and seminar industry is founded on the premise that a master motivator (perhaps like Tony Robbins) can help you tap into the amazing powers which lie dormant somewhere in your soul. Therefore, most motivational speakers try to provide the spark to get you moving and then some tips on what you need to do to keep going.
That's all well and good but human motivation doesn't work that way. The best way to get motivated about anything is to get into action and start working towards whatever you're after. Once you do that:
■ You'll feel good about making some improvements to your life or career.
■ Making any improvements at all will boost your self-confidence. Improving also breeds competence and the more competent you feel, the more you will be motivated to act again in the future.
■ Once you get active, you start learning how to do things better in the future.
■ When you break a sweat (literally or figuratively) doing something productive, endorphins kick in and you get a rush of satisfaction. That natural "high" as you move from inactivity to activity is highly addictive and motivational in its own right.
Overall, motivation is a result, not a precondition. Motivation always kicks in once you get into action and a powerful virtuous cycle kicks in. Start moving, stack up some small wins and that will fuel your motivation and confidence to move on to bigger challenges in the future. You will always feel motivated when you take action and when you start to feel like you're making progress.
"Fire walks don't provide lasting motivation. Breaking a sweat provides lasting motivation. Speeches don't provide lasting motivation. Progress provides lasting motivation. Posters don't provide lasting motivation. Success provides lasting motivation." — Jeff Haden
There are several other myths about motivation which may hold you back from achieving more:
1. Shortcuts never get you where you really want to go. You can't "hack" your way to success. You can and should look for smarter ways to achieve your goals but there are never any hidden paths to instant success without work. They don't exist.
2. Routine is not the last resort of the less talented. On the contrary, the only way you will ever achieve anything meaningful will be to apply the right processes to the task. It will take hard work, consistent effort, long hours and great routines to achieve your goals.
3. You don't need other people to support you. Most of the time talking to other people about your goals and dreams will be counterproductive. Other people cannot motivate you. The only sustainable motivation comes when you start racking up small wins and then progressively bigger wins over time.
4. Other people are not born with greater willpower. Willpower isn't something you can be born with. You develop it over time by applying the right processes. It's more likely the people you admire have learned how to make the best use of what they have. You can do the same – it's not genetic.
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