The problem with motivation is that our brains aren’t designed for long-range goals. Inside our brains, the basal ganglia receives inputs from different cortical regions and uses a motor loop to solve the problem of so many neurons and synapses firing at the same time. It’s a complex process in which it decides which actions will lead to the best rewards. The problem is, from a motivational standpoint, we would rather choose immediate dopamine hits than work towards an uncertain future. There are several strategies to deal with this issue, the best of which is to design goals so that motivation comes easily to us.
- Our internal rewards system is short-sighted, with even one week being treated as a really long way off.
- Procrastination is often our first impulse, and it’s hard to take action today that might benefit us in the future.
- Instead of trying to motivate yourself, try to design your goal so that motivation is automatic.
“In the last lesson, I shared why it was important to think about success in terms of systems, not inspiration.”