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The Motivation Myth

How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win

Jeff Haden

Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
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  • The Motivation Myth

    Penguin LCC US

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From'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 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.

Advance praise for The Motivation Myth...

"This isn't just a groundbreaking approach to making millions or melting off extra pounds. It's a life-changing mental shift toward enjoying the process. Why the f ck not?"
-Sarah Knight, author of Get Your Sh t Together

"Jeff Haden knows what many people don't: that success is less about searching for motivation and more about muddling through until you achieve something motivating."
-Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg

"Sometimes, your computer gets stuck, and the pros know you can press Command+Option+ESC to break out of the loop. Jeff Haden's book is like that, but for your life. Read it and learn how to break out of your negative loops without needing a complete shut-down."
-Dharmesh Shah, Co-founder and CTO of HubSpot

"A must read for all entrepreneurs, company executives, managers, parents, coaches, and wellbeing hackers."
-Dr. Dan Reardon, co-founder and CEO of FitnessGenes

"Jeff Haden is one of the biggest writers working online today not because he's a genius but because he follows the advice in this book. It's not about motivation, it's about process--and hard work."
-Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy

" Jeff Haden takes everything we've been taught about goal-setting and turns it on its head, redefining success in the process."
-Cara Alwill Leyba, author of Girl Code and master life coach

"Jeff Haden upends a traditional trope: that motivation breeds success-by showing us that it is success that breeds motivation. Once you understand this, everything changes."
-L. David Marquet, former Navy captain and author of Turn the Ship Around!

"Jeff Haden's writing lives at the intersection of science, emotion, success, and irresistible story-telling. Once you read The Motivation Myth, you'll never sit around waiting for inspiration or motivation to hit, like some kind of gift from the gods. Instead, you'll go out to get it."
-Eric Schurenberg, President and Editor-in-Chief of Inc.

"The whole book is shockingly good. Jeff contradicts common wisdom about how to tackle big goals. He argues that if you wait for motivation to motivate you, nothing will change in your career or life. Go grab yourself a copy of this superb book."
-Bruce Kasanoff, writer

Jeff Haden is's most popular columnist and one of LinkedIn's most widely-followed Influencers. His work has also appeared on
Huffington Post,
Fast Company, Business Insider,
Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Small Business, MSNBC, and CNBC.


Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 288
Erscheinungsdatum 09.01.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-399-56376-8
Verlag Penguin LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 21.8/14.8/3.2 cm
Gewicht 392 g
Verkaufsrang 39591


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  • Chapter 1

    Motivation Is Not the Spark

    A key moment in Tony Robbins's "Unleash the Power Within" seminar occurs when participants take part in the fire walk.

    (Okay, it's more like a "kinda-hot coals" walk, but "fire" sounds more dangerous and macho and Katy Perry "Roar"-y. After all, Tony does know a little something about branding.)

    (Actually, Tony knows a lot about branding.)

    (And actually, this is the last time I'll take a shot at Tony. I think.)

    Robbins describes the fire walk as "a symbolic experience that proves if you can make it through the fire, you can make it through anything." The premise sounds great: Walking across kinda-hot coals gives you lasting confidence and motivation by tapping into the amazing power lying dormant within you.

    In fact, it doesn't.

    Fire-walking is a one-off event. Fire-walking is like listening to a motivational speech: You go home inspired and excited and all jazzed up . . . but you wake up the next day the same person you were the day before, because you haven't truly accomplished anything.

    (Except listen. And pay for the seminar.)

    Most people are confused about me source of motivation. They think motivation is the spark that automatically produces lasting eagerness to do hard work; the greater the motivation, the more effort you're willing to put in.

    Actually, motivation is a result. Motivation is the pride you take in work you have already done-which fuels your willingness to do even more.

    That's why tips for how to feel more motivated often fall short. Most of that advice can be boiled down to "You can be more motivated. All you have to do is dig deep into your mind and find that motivation within."

    (And burn your feet a little.)

    The same is true for confidence, confidence being closely linked to motivation. The thinking goes, "You can be more confident. All you have to do is decide to be more confident." It's easy: Suppress negative thoughts, suppress negative perspectives, repeat some really cool self-affirmational statements, and . . . presto! I'm like Tony Robbins.

    Or not.

    The main problem in both cases is the way we've come to think about motivation.

    Most definitions of "motivation" involve some phrase like "the force or influence that causes someone to do something." Motivation is viewed as a spark, a precondition, a prerequisite, a presomething that is required before we can start. If we aren't motivated, we can't start. If we aren't motivated, we can't do.


    Real motivation comes after you start. Motivation isn't the result of hearing a speech or watching a movie or crisping your soles. Motivation isn't passive; motivation is active.

    How to Start When You're 0 Percent Motivated

    The best way to get motivated is to break a sweat, literally or symbolically.

    Getting started is often the hardest part. Financial planners frequently recommend paying off a small debt first, even though the balance on that bill may carry the lowest interest rate of all your debts. Rationally, that approach makes no sense: If you carry a balance on three credit cards, the card you pay off first should be the one with the highest interest rate. But the thought of paying off, say, a $7,000 balance when you can spare only an extra $200 a month . . . ugh. The time horizon is too long for the payoff-literally-to seem worth it. The "irrational" approach often works better: Working to pay off the card with the smallest balance seems a lot more attainable. Once you start, you can see the difference. Knocking $200 off an $800 debt feels like you've accomplished something. After next month, you're halfway done! And