Very good! You have everything setup, you know your goal, and you know very well what you have to do. Then highly motivated you start performing your tasks to reach your goals. Then, after motivation starts decreasing you come to do the task you dislike so much. If for example your goal was to paint the walls in your bedroom, maybe covering everything with paper is the task that you might dislike. Or say, your goal is to clean the kitchen, when the time comes to do the dishes you are already thinking about doing something else.
This also happens with way more complex or long term tasks or chores where many times you have to do things you don´t like as to reach your goals. What to do then? Do you run away? Do you look for an excuse not to do it? Do you get distracted and don’t do it? It is just at that moment where winners separate themselves from the rest of the people. It is just there, in that part of the critical process to reach your goal. And it is just then where motivation is more needed.
So it happens that the concept of reward is deeply rooted in the human mental model or social mental programming. When we were kids we were taught to be rewarded when doing something good or when we did our homework or chores. When we completed our potty training, or pass from a grade to the other at school, or when our team won the match, when we graduated, when we got married… you got the picture…
By the same token we can use this programming and continue rewarding ourselves. For example, you can identify something you really like: An ice cream, a coffee, or a special dessert. For greater goals you can reward yourself with greater things. This is how it goes:
Let’s say you are at work and you have to finish the report by noon and that is precisely the part you like the least. You can buy your reward and keep it somewhere and before you start to work, you make an agreement with yourself and say to yourself that once you complete the report that “prize” will be there waiting for you in the fridge. I promise that all your senses will be aligned for the prize that awaits you, and that will be the most important motivation you can have.
On the other hand, there are tasks and chores that need extra rewards or motivations to be completed. This example is from real life and illustrates this concept better:
O.C. was at the airport. He was not traveling but keeping his time in his work shift, the means to pay for his studies. O.C. worked loading and unloading the luggage from the planes in one of the cities in the US where temperatures were extreme: Very hot summers and the most depressing and cold winters. O.C. used the breaks to go over this books and to study before tests and exams.
His supervisor, a very senior gentleman with a demeanor that makes you think whether he was homeless or poor, was always surprised by the fact that O.C. was outside studying instead of sharing with the other workers and that he never worked overtime.
One day O.C.’s supervisor asked him why he was reading those books. O.C. answered that he wanted to take some time to find sufficient motivation and attitude to be prepared for the exam he had that night. The supervisor said: I don’t understand why you are urging yourself studying when you can make a career here. I’ve been working for 20 years for this company and if you work hard you can be like me who made my career here.
O.C. thanked the advice and immediately went back to his books with an even greater motivation and attitude and learned his chapter much faster. He actually got an A+.
After that night every time O.C. found himself without motivation to finish his studies at the university he remembered his supervisor and that was all the motivation he needed. Not only O.C. graduated from university but completed his PhD studies. I am certain that the supervisor played an influential role during his life as a student.
Translated by: flowingwordxlation