The truth about "The Motivation Myth"

You’ve heard of it, seen it in movies, and probably had it espoused to you during more than one motivational speech. A stroke of genius, insight and inspiration strikes like a lightening bolt and suddenly your hero is propelled from mired down indecision to amped up, on fire, inspired success.

Yeah right. It doesn’t work that way….at all. No one knows that better than author, LinkedIn Influencer and Inc. contributor Jeff Haden. Jeff had a goal to become a writer and worked his way from literally zero writing experience to being the only non-CEO, non-academic sitting on the list of LinkedIn Influencers alongside Bill Gates and Richard Branson. He achieved his goal by setting out a strategy to get there and then diligently working his plan.

Jeff Haden is a supremely strategic thinker and I’m delighted to share our conversation with you on my podcast, “Thinking Beyond: Conversations with Strategic Thinkers.” Jeff and I talked about his book “The Motivation Myth” and I really appreciate how he cuts through the nonsense and speaks to the truth of what really creates motivation. It’s worthwhile noting here that, while Jeff does not get academic in his book, there is significant academic research to support his premise.

“People that are stuck are waiting for something to happen to give them the motivation,” he said. “If you have something you want to do that’s hard and you’re interested in it, that’s all the motivation you need.”

Jeff has come to know a thing or two about motivation by talking with a lot of really successful people (check out his webpage to see the impressive line-up of successful folks he’s learned from through interviews and articles). Successful people, he explains, create motivation on a daily basis simply by doing what they set out to do that day. They don’t follow the conventional wisdom of staying laser focused on the goal. That doesn’t actually work. If your goal is even a little bit challenging, keeping your focus there is too overwhelming to serve as a motivator. Instead, successful people establish a measurable goal, define a plan to achieve that goal, and then they work the plan. They find inspiration, motivation and even passion in the process of achieving the day-to-day tasks required to move ever closer to the goal.

Jeff’s book is all about how people can enable themselves to create the value they want to create in this world. It’s a really practical guide to help people get from point A to point B, realizing that there are a whole bunch of steps between your starting point and the big goal. Jeff describes himself as decidedly average but his strategy and focus clearly set him apart from the crowd.

“Every successful person I know has walked a really hard road to get to the other side,” he said.

The struggle is everything, Jeff explained. People who are willing to embrace the struggle and recognize that the struggle is actually foundation building, learn about themselves as they make their way to the goal. The struggle is the fun part, he said. That’s where the learning and the development and the growth come from. Like all successful people, Jeff had to work long hours for a long time. That is how he built a foundation and became not just a writer but a published author and bonified Influencer.

Jeff Haden’s personal story is compelling. His insights and the information he’s providing will help people figure out how they can enable their ability to create value in this world. It’s great stuff. You should definitely listen.