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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mixed. But surprising.

2 Fertilizers to Grow Motivation by Makenzie Kelly
Motivation is something that many people consider inherent. You either have it or you don't. You either have will power or you don't. I am a little mixed on the idea because sometimes I feel very motivated, and sometimes have just a horrific lack of motivation. We all know that motivated people are some of the most successful people, they are the ones that everyone envies: "Oh she is just so motivated! I wish I was that motivated!"
So how can you develop motivation? Is it something that is truly inherent,3352 Ugg Bailey Button Mini Sand Boots? How do you grow motivation,the Duke was asked what his plans were in case he was killed. The Duke replied, can you grow motivation?
I just love taking studies that are done with children to illustrate how we are not too far removed from our childhood past. What are the instances in your childhood that you remember having the most motivation? My older son loves Pokemon, and while it kind of drives me crazy, I know that I can use the love of Pokemon to my advantage and leverage his love to spur his motivation. He instantly becomes creative in ways to make money and just the other day was down the street washing the neighbor's cars and cleaning out their ant infested refrigerator; jobs that he normally wouldn't have done if he didn't see a reward at the end of the challenge.
How motivated would you have been to clean out an ant-infested refrigerator? Would you have let it sit for weeks? Maybe considered throwing it away? Well, my son saw the refrigerator as a small inconvenience in his quest to purchase the "Pokemon PokeDex" instruction manual. My neighbor, being exceptionally pleased that my son would take on such a dirty job, told me what a motivated kid I had. But was he really?
Take for instance a study just released in TIME Magazine; A Harvard University professor decided to study 18,000 school aged children to see the effects that financially incentivizing them would do. Roland Fryer Jr. a Professor in Economics runs an education innovation laboratory along with a staff of 17 and a budget of $6 million annually. He recently did a large nation-wide study and used mostly private money to pay the school aged children $6.3M total. He wanted to see if money would motivate them. The results? Mixed. But surprising.
Children in Second grade were given $2 for each book that they read. The average student earned $13.81. The results of this study were positive and the children ended up increasing their reading comprehension drastically.
Some older students were given larger sums of money for producing good grades at the end of the report card. The result? Mixed. Some produced better grades, others didn't.
One study incentivized the students on a bi-weekly basis up to $100 on three areas, attendance, participation and test scores. These students did very well. These students showed a drastic improvement. Kids who got paid all year long under a very elaborate scheme out-performed all of their counterparts; a whopping average of 3 months more of schooling in less time!
So the overall result?
Kids who got paid for better grades didn't do better
Kids who got paid faster did better
Their overall findings with this study or the 2 Fertilizers to grow your Motivation:
1. Create rapid feedback mechanisms (paid regularly all year long)
2. Give tasks where the students know how to control the outcome (show up to class everyday vs. "get good grades")
So now having several examples of motivationwe can learn from this and implement this into our life,How can you expect to get anywhere without appreciating where you're at now and where you've been. Big Fat Audacious Goals are nice, but they are so far removed from our daily reality and it is pretty easy to let our motivation wax and wane. They do not necessarily give us rapid feedback mechanisms nor are they black and white tasks.
If I were to tell you to go out and create a random business out of nothing, it's unlikely that you would succeed. It is a far too large goal and you may not know how to control the outcome (finding #2). It may be better to have a larger goal (for the students: graduation), for you, it may be creating a business, and then create smaller do-able actions.
What smaller audacious goals can you set for yourself and make them really enticing? I find that as I am growing different areas of my business,I am always polite and tactful, maybe I have a goal of launching this product or that idea. Or I have a goal of $5,000 revenue. All worthwhile goals, but don't they sound much like "get good grades?" Is it no wonder why we sometimes fail and then blame our "motivation."
Much like planting a precious Orchid, when you plant your motivation in hopes for it to grow, you are creating the right environment. Just planting an orchid and hoping that you can grow it in any soil just won't do.
A self-motivated person must create the quick feedback mechanisms for their self. This means that they get to set small accomplishable tasks along the way and implement a reward/feedback system. I am big proponent of self reward. On a daily basis, if you accomplish a goal do you get to run up to Starbucks for a latte? Or after you meet your goals in a week, do you get to take a night off and go out? Small accomplishments done frequently end up being big accomplishments over time!!
How are you planting your motivation? How do you plan to nurture its growth?

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