Motivational Cues


The Personal MBA: Getting Results


Lesson Info

Motivational Cues

There's a lot of words around this topic it's talked, talked about all the time, so it helps us to really identify, define what exactly do we mean by motivation? And you can think of motivation as the emotional state that links the feeling of wanting to do something, or the desire, the thought of doing something with the actual action of doing something. So going back to the onion brain kind of idea the hind brain in the midbrain in the forebrain don't necessarily talk to and or get along with each other very well. Motivation is the thing that connects a thought in your four brain with the emotion of the midbrain with the physical motor actions of your hind brain that actually accomplishes that particular result, right it's, linking the parts of your brain together in a way that gets you to move right. And there are two very basic things or types of motivation that we find ourselves in most of the time, and the first is we want to move towards something, right? There's a bush of strawb...

erries over there it looks really good. I want to go get that, okay that's towards motivation away motivation is there's a lion hiding in the bush of strawberries, and I want to get away from the lion, so I'm going to go over here now. Right running away one of the things that's really important to understand is of these two types and this is an idea called loss aversion which will cover in more detail later of the two types of motivation if there's a conflict between them we will always prioritize the running away from something towards the moving towards something right? Because threats tends to carry a lot more priority higher priority then the good stuff if you get eaten by the lion, you can't eat the strawberries right? So prioritize getting away from moving the line first and then if everything's ok, then we'll get to the good stuff the trouble with that is the things that prompt us to move away from things, the threats, the things that we don't want uh those two kept tend to be chronic thanks we'll talk about this in more detail later, but if you've ever had the idea of maybe kind of want to starting starting your own business but you have a really stressful job at work and you're really scared about your income going away and all of those things, the moving away from being on the street and not having any income and all of that stuff is really preventing you from getting to the good stuff, right? So we'll talk about how to resolve that, but this is the mechanism behind that, okay inhibition inhibition is our ability to temporarily override our natural inclinations, and the idea here is we behave on autopilot way more than we're probably comfortable admitting to ourselves. Most of our actions, most of our behaviors are automatic. Your brain goes into into robot mode, and you just kind of do what you do, right? So all of the things you know, I'm having a good experience of this right now. All of the things that are coming out of my mouth are automatic. And I am not consciously thinking about it at all in the sense of, like, really concentrating, trying to decide the next word that's coming out of my mouth, right, it's an automatic thing. Um, inhibition is our ability to temporarily stop that process. Okay, so you can think of there's a lot of talk philosophically about free will. Psychologically speaking, it's. More like free. Won't. Right? We act automatically until we decide to exert conscious control over some something. Here's. A good example. Pay attention to your breathing right now. Three then breathe out. All right. I hope all of us were breathing this whole time before you exhibited conscious control over that process, right? But now that you're paying attention to it's probably going to be a while before you stop paying attention to it and let it go backto automatic, right? But we have that ability we can stop what we're going to do, we can pay attention to it, we can change it, and then after a while it goes up, goes backed off automatic, so the thing within inhibition is we don't have an unlimited ability to do that. It takes a lot of energy for us, and so if we're going to expend energy inhibiting what we're going to do next, we better do it for an important reason, because it costs us a lot, okay? And what costs us this is an idea called will power depletion, which is interrupting our automatic processing and forcing some type of other action, right? So think of it as have you ever seen a cat chasing a mouse kind of sneaking up? And then it kind of crouches and pounce and is just waiting, and you can see that it's it's going to go like any moment and it wants to go, but it's not going to go yet, right? That's inhibition, and that takes energy when we do that it's very costly for us, we don't have an unlimited ability to do it makes this tire, um a lot of competing theories going back and forth on on whether there's some biological basis for making us tired I believe dr roy boy minster wrote wrote a book called willpower oh that hypothesizes that this is related to our the levels of blood glucose in our body you know, our ability to exert willpower goes up when we eat chocolate for example which is a good reason to eat chocolate uh among among other things um it's and so a lot of competing theories about the exact mechanism the thing that is constant is if you treat willpower as a limited resource you start using it a lot more wisely and so instead of trying to force yourself to act in ways that are contrary to how your body wants to act this way better to use just a little bit of will power to change the structure of the environment around you because doing that allows you to change your behavior in a way that your automatic processing can do something with right automatically so you don't have to think about it right it's willpower depletion now loss aversion going back to the idea of the moving towards and moving away are moving away from loss aversion is what makes the moving away from really really important because people hate in general people hate losing things more than they like to gain them and so it's a hypothetical example imagine uh you have an investing a counters account that's that's in the market and one day it goes up fifty percent it's great right good feeling probably going to smile at that right imagine other situation where you log in one day and it goes down fifty percent the world is ending right feels really, really terrible there are few things that cognitive psychologist can quantify this is actually one of them people responded twice as strongly two actual or potential loss as they do the equivalent game right twice a strong people hate, hate, hate, hate hate to lose and when we feel or or perceive or or notice a pattern where we're thinking we might lose something, we go into a what's called a defensive mode I call it threat locked down your brain notices that you may lose something that is a classic example of this has anybody ever worked in a company? And they announced that they might be laying off people? What what what did that do to the experience of being in that environment? It's just this constant like lack of security it's this I don't know what's going to happen and it just kind of depressing is everyone yeah because you don't know what's going to happen and yeah, just coming to that yeah what what happens to the productivity of the company's it's done done done and the only way to get back to that former level productivity is reassuring everybody that it is over and no threat is president in the environment anymore right even when the layoffs actually did happen everyone else was able to get back to work because they knew that they had moved past it exactly and because you know before that thing happens like I'm going to be next time I'm going to be next I should probably work on my resume and not do the work that's on my on my plate right now like we go into this very riel defensive mode and we do it over all sorts of different things right a layoff is just a dramatic example so you take the idea of having an idea to start your own company versus working for a bad boss every day all right the bad boss is going to take so much of your energy trying to manage that particular threat that you're probably not gonna have enough energy to go start the business in your spare time right threat locked down can persist for a really long time right because most of the threats that we face are not the tiger crouching in the bush type of threats which are going to be over in ninety seconds regardless of the outcome right it's the working for a bad boss for ten years our bodies you know going back to the cave man syndrome ideas are bodies really handle acute stress really well right we have lots of biological systems that help us do that when those systems air kept active for weeks or months or years that's when we start to get tired and we burn out right and so threat lock down is that idea of we can get stuck in that piper focusing on a threat in a way that's non productive because it's a new situation right? We're not designed tio respond to chronic threats and so we need tools we need ways of getting out of that mode by either recognizing in the case of layoffs that the threat no longer exists right? The layoffs are over or sometimes the things that send us into threat locke town are the things that we just imagine right their fears their anxieties they're things that were never there to begin with right so we could do the mental equivalent of keeping a flashlight by your bed and you hear a bump in the night like oh my gosh somebody's in here and you grabbed a flashlight and you want around you shine it a few places and you recognize there's nothing there that allows your body to come down from that mode right? We can do the mental equivalent of that by really examining all the things that were anxious about and uh and seeing whether or not they're actually a good question would this be similar to the kind of the concept that happens when people I've read a lot of articles about the fear that happens when people going to ask for a promotion or ask for raise they're so afraid that they're going to get turned down or yelled at that they don't ever do it for years and years, exactly, exactly, and that's that's a really pure example, right? Because really there's only pure game to be gained from that comment conversation, right? The best case outcome is you walk away with a lot more money in your pocket that's probably worth a five minute conversation, but the fear of rejection, the fear of anger, the even that the extremely low probability, uh, that that person is going to say, no, how dare you! You're fired, and your income is now gone in the blink of an eye, right that's enough to prevent people from going in in the first place, right? That's exactly it. So anything recognizing that were in the state, and anything that we can do to get out of that state as quickly as possible, is pure win because we could spend burn a lot of time and energy there and not get anything from it. You consider something like, you know, for business owners who are just like, I don't have enough clients, is that do those constitute threats, even though they're not like an immediate I think it's just kind of a more exact yeah yeah I'm not gonna have enough money not enough people are buying my stuff, andi you know, the this is where the mental simulation parts of our brain go like, ten steps down like I'm going to be homeless and I'm going to live in a van down by the river and like my life is going to be over and yeah, this is our brains do that and so a lot of the techniques that were going to be talking about this afternoon when we get into a cycle like this, we need to recognize it and we need to examine it in ways that help us understand most of the time the threat is not there or if it is there, there are things that we can do to manage it that make it a lot less scary and so the actual techniques air really dependent or based on this idea of we have a protective mode that's really easy to flip and when it gets flipped, we need to go back to normal mode as quickly as we can a few more ideas, every question just because again, I'm getting a lot of the out of this do you think that so let's take the case of, you know I don't have enough clients that air booking may it's a photographer um do you think that just setting up a system of ok, this is how I'm going to plan to get more customers? Is that enough to get us out of threat locked down or ok? Yeah, so so the classic failure mode is don't have enough customers don't have enough customers look at your bank account. Oh, my gosh, I don't have enough money, and you kind of continue on that cycle for a long time. Um, whereas if you can get out of that mode even temporarily, and create a system to actually do what will fix the problem, which is going out into the world and getting more customers, um, there are lots of things that you can do one of the simplest actually, an end I was I was advising a person first, and this is actually the only time I've done this in real time. Um, there was a guy was so worked up about this exact problem and, like, really, really emotional and I said, put down the phone, here's what you're gonna do, go outside and you're going to run around your house five times as fast as you can go, and I waited for a couple minutes and he came back on the phone out of breath, and he was a different person. Because what happens in this protective mode is all sorts of you know, stress hormones and adrenaline and you know all of the stuff starts starts flooding our body it is a biological protective state designed to help you fight off tigers right it's a physical problem and the physical problem can be solved by physical solution right? Go get some exercise burn off some of that stuff before we talk and then we're able to have a productive conversation about doing exactly what you said build a system to go into world toe land new clients to get you more money because that's going to fix the problem but you have to defuse the lock down state before you can get to that point quite a bit and I think that's a big issue I think a lot of people just kind of end up living in that state for a long time and so being able to figure out how to get out of it I think it's huge so a couple more ideas and I think we're gonna, uh do lunch okay cognitive scope limitation so the idea here is the world is way bigger way bigger then our ability to process classic example of this there's actually quite a bit of research this is we can on ly tracked a certain number of people in our surrounding environment to really good level of detail and everybody else becomes a person like object in our environment that we just kind of negotiate through right it's anybody walked on times square in new york city just like waves waves of people and you can just see like you're walking towards a person and you can see that they are not considering you as a person you are a person like object that that is in the way of where they want to go right the world is bigger than our ability to take in all of this information we have limits and so it's important to understand that we're not on mission beings we don't have an unlimited ability to process information and sometimes that's a riel issue right if you have twelve clients you probably know their names and their kids names and everything about them and you can remember that in a really great level of detail if you have tens of thousands of customers they're probably just numbers and it rolled relies you have to have a different way of thinking about those things so you don't make boneheaded decisions right? Because it's really easy to do if you're if you don't have some way of compensating for your limited ability to keep all this information in your brain at the same time right we'll talk about how to do that association is the idea that our mind stores and retrieve information using context and so it's not so when we collect information when we're doing this pattern matching the patterns are how we retrieve information from our memory and weird things get associated with weird things right classic is example of this is in marketing right every once in a while you'll see for example, a watch ad that features features daniel craig in a tuxedo wearing this fancy watch and your brain makes an association that if I by that watch I'm going to be an international super spy signed me up right? Not true, but the association is there, right? James bond's a cool guy james bond where is that watch? I want to be a cool guy unaware that watch happens all the time who cares what brand of golf clubs tiger woods uses doesn't matter? You could have the exact same set and it's probably not going to make you better golfer, but our brain stores those associations anyway. All right, so this is at the core of a lot of things that we talked about in part one in terms of marketing this is also at the core of things like reinterpretation, right? Bringing up associations and starting to explore some of those things but it's valuable to know that that's how our brain stores information absence blindness is the idea that we don't appreciate or value what we don't perceive we are sensory beings we react really well to information coming in from the outside world thinking about it deciding to act upon it and then going to do something we don't really notice things that aren't there right remember the old sherlock holmes story the dog that didn't bark being the evidence right? It's hard to notice that kind of stuff and so this becomes really important when it comes to things like management let's say you're the leader of a company of a couple managers you have won a manager who every time something bad happens they jumped the action they solve a whole bunch of things and they're there night and day and they're doing lots of stuff to fix the problem right? You have another manager comes in every day gets the job done no drama but you know the work gets done it's really, really easy to say this manager is doing so much right fixing so money problems doing so many things when really they may be fixing problems that they created in the first place by not being a good manager, right? But you see the activity where is the boring manager anticipated things solved problems before they occurred low drama, low activity what is actually producing a better result but you never see it because it never happens right it's hard for us to notice these things so a lot of what helps in this situation is looking for certain characteristics or things that don't happen as part of looking at your business systems right, we'll talk about how to do that this afternoon contrast, we also tend to notice what stands out from the environment, right things that are different from other things write things that are remarkable or noticeable in some way we don't tend to notice things that blend in too much and so understanding that contrast is what our brains are designed to notice really helps with things like marketing right, intentionally making your stuff different from other things in a way that is remarkable gets you more attention than you would otherwise get you can use this for that, um intentionally blending in or not emphasizing things that you don't want to stand out is a way that you can prevent people from seeing things that they don't need to see right. There is a way of using this in setting up your systems and setting up your marketing in a way that allows you to focus people's attention on the most important parts of the process, right? This is what filmmakers do right? The parts that the filmmaker wants you to see are really clear and really contrast e and really poppy and then the background has faded out everything is the same looks good but your eyes not going over there, your eyes going to the contrast parts to mark this scarcity scarcities idea that when we want something but we may lose it if we wait way act in general people if they have the ability to wait if it's going to be there when they get back they probably will not do something right I'll get to it later sometimes later comes and very often later does not come but that's the inclination right if you have to do something right now or it's going to go away and you want that thing which triggers the loss aversion that we talked about right I'm gonna lose it I want it I'm gonna lose it I have to pay attention have to act any time in business you see a limited time offer to do something scarcity is white works okay and scarcity very often is a very very good thing because if someone wants to take advantage of an opportunity and it's a good one it's one that's going to serve them making it scarce gets them to act in a way to take advantage of it right if they don't, they're not going to get the value okay? So making certain things scarce brings attention and focus you're helping people make a decision as quickly as possible whatever is best for them and either way it goes right scarcity is a very important tool god example of a church that bachelor so a good example of that there's the bachelor that one guy twenty five women why they may only in love with the same guy in a week yeah any other examples of scarcity that you can think of I think what it's actually like creative life in a way yes I was gonna make that same common when you're selling the course you're saying it's ninety nine dollars if you buy like till ian was a jumps powder on that's absolutely true we definitely do that don't we we offer ah you know discount while it's live and then you can still buy it afterward but you are going to lose that money that you could have saved exactly we do then yeah that's great it helps people make a decision it helps people decide one way or the other and so you know people have a lot of you know going back to the interpretations of certain marketing types of things some people think that using scarcity and an offer is a very scam e type of thing right it's uncomfortable people are trying to manipulate your behavior not true. The best way to reinterpret that is scarcity helps people make a decision any decision right? So instead of not thinking about it too much and just letting that go right on by scarcity provides a really good focus to pay attention to the information being presented and choose one or the other whatever is best for you so it's actually you know we like as a host part of our job is to sell these courses because we are a business and craig swanson, our founder you did a lot of sales training and that's one of his things and he's like your job is not to like convinced people to buy the course like you guys are going to buy this because of what josh is teaching not because of what we say but our job is to help you make a decision and recognize that it is time to make a decision and he says, you know the answers could be yes, which is great we love it when you buy the course no also fine that is totally cool or maybe, you know, like maybe later, which we interpret isn't no, which is also fine, but it is it is one of those things where it's that our job is to get people to make a decision that's all we're trying to do totally yeah, yeah so this is one of the things the fundamental idea is scarcity is something that people pay very close attention to and so you can use it to highlight when a decision needs to be made. Last idea in the human mind section we've we've covered a lot about how humans think and behave just in a short period of time, right? So novelty is the last idea in the section on the ideas human tension is sustained by new sensory data, something changing in the environment something I haven't seen before something that is different auras contrast e versus all the things that we've been paying attention to so far right there is a reason why we have been going from one concept to another over the course of our course together here, right? Because really all of us have been able to sustain our attention on this material for going on what three our three, three and a half hours now that's a long time average human attention span on any single topic is about ten minutes right? We've been concentrating for three and a half hours now the reason is this course is organized to introduce new topics on a consistent basis, right every time something is is introduced to reintroduced our attention kind of picks up right something new, right? And so you can use this all sorts of cool things. So in training this is actually a tip that I picked up from from brain rules by john medina he organizes his college lectures around this right ten minute discussion of something really important and then something new here's a story here's something is something unexpected right? It sustains that attention can do this and marketing too right? If you're marketing is always the same you never change anything it's always the same story it's always the same ask it's always the same offer it's always the same same same people start to tune out you lose their attention so introducing novelty introducing new elements is a way that you can reinvigorate a person's attention the more novel it is the more attention grabbing it is the more they pay attention to you right it's what works that's the human mind thank you for summing up all of human existence e oh just a lot of great great content so we now have a good working model of white and how human beings I think and act right? So we've done theory when we come back from lunch we're going to use the theory to start working on getting ourselves to act in ways that we wantedto act so personal productivity planning accomplishing these these big goals that you have for yourself we're going to talk about how we use all this material to do cool stuff after lunch terrific love we've got some great comments coming and I just gotta share a couple of them please do gina heart says I love these analogies in comparison especially for us visual and artistic people out there josh is really getting to the core and I forgot that this class is even about business I think she's just having somebody and terry says I love that he is covering the human mind I haven't international mba it's amazing how little attention is given to the soft skills in traditional business programs so you can't you can't like do something until you understand why you're doing it

Class Description

Part of The Personal MBA Bundle

In part 1 of the Personal MBA course, Foundations (link), Josh Kaufman teaches the fundamentals of running a successful business. In this workshop, Getting Results, he will take you to the next level, revealing powerful techniques and strategies for becoming more productive, creative, and successful no matter what your business is. From learning new skills quickly and efficiently, to getting more done in less time and with less stress, to creating and optimizing the systems that will drive your business forward, The Personal MBA: Getting Results offers freelancers, entrepreneurs, and managers the tools they need to thrive in highly competitive, rapidly changing environments.

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