Saturday, September 14, 2013

Uncover the urge to do better

What makes you want to improve? There's a lot of evidence that rewards are not the best way to drive performance. This is especially important news if you have been wondering why the treats you promise yourself so seldom lead to the discipline to make the changes you want to make.  Lots of people end up telling themselves that they did not really want the change or that the rewards were not worth the effort.

There are rewards that are always worth the effort. They are the changes that happen in your sense of yourself and the world when you are doing stuff that feels important. It may feel important because it is feeding your kids or maintaining your community. It may feel important because it connects you with other people in a bigger cause. It may feel important because it serves your faith.  All of these are motivations to do the hard work to do better.

If you want to make a change in yourself or your habits, begin by thinking about that bigger purpose that feels important to you. It's okay if you do not have exact words: our bigger purpose is frequently bigger than the words we have for it. Just ask yourself: how does this change fit into the stuff that I know is worth it?  And then take the first step towards making the change you want.

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