Dan Gregory 008

GREGORIAN RANTS

Mastervation

By dangregorytii | June 1, 2016

Dan Gregory

There’s a lot of misinformation around the concept of motivation – mostly perpetuated by so-called gurus who’s personal motivation is to lighten your wallet and line theirs.

We’ve been told to set goals (backed up by Yale’s 1953 goals study where those rare few who wrote down specific and measurable goals achieved far greater wealth, happiness and fame than their peers. A study that Yale contends never actually happened). Yet this so-called “historic precident” has informed business and personal motivation strategies for decades.

We’ve also been told to recite affirmations to ourselves in the mirror each morning, delivered in the present tense with vivid emotional expression (no doubt the mirror is there in order that our subconscious can observe our own spectatular hypocrisy – It turns out, “I am not a magnificent snow flake filled with the essense of pure potentiality” after all).

More recent psychological studies inform us that our minds, rather than simply accepting these affirmations, as some kind of inert mental computer programming, instead seek evidence for or against these statements and often come up with damning evidence to the contrary. This can in fact entrench the undesired beliefs, affirmations and outcomes we are seeking to avoid.

In fact, our 21st Centrury brains have become exquisite BS detectors for all but motivational spin.

So what is real motivation? Or are we all just jerk offs jerking off?

Well, yes and no.

Real motivation is something we all have experience of. When we’re engaged in something we care about or with people we care about we feel an emotion Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi describes as “Flow”.

So why the confusion?

Typically, when people talk about motivation, what they really mean is pushing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy or are not truly passionate about, like exercising or eating health food… eeeaaargh!!! This translates more accurately as mental compulsion.

That’s a problem, because this kind of ra ra style motivation is only ever a short term strategy. In other words it runs out!

Creating engagement around these challenging endeavours requires designing environments and processes that amplify engagement intrinsically, not just “mastervation”.

So, stop it, or you’ll all go blind…

How many decisions do you actually make?

By dangregorytii | May 25, 2016

Dan Gregory

If your like most people, you probably assume that most of your decisions are your own. However, virtually every decision you make is somewhat manipulated by decisions you have no part in.

Did you wake up this morning naturally, or through the use of an alarm clock?

Who determined what time you should wake up anyway?

Or go to bed last night? Was it just the TV Schedule?

Did you have a ‘healthy’ breakfast? How do you know? Do you know?

Did you start the day with a coffee or a juice? What brand did you choose? Decaf or Defibrillator?

Did you take the car? What model did you “choose”? Did you stay in your lane? Obey the traffic lights?

Did the morning news make you angry?

Who were you angry with? The government? The opposition? Foreigners? The locals? The presenters?

And that was just getting to work. Virtually every decision in our lives is to some degree, beyond our control. But rather than being a cause for alarm or an encouragement to live off grid, it’s a reminder to be conscious of the decisions we make.

For those of us who seek influence, who want to drive change, who desire to lead, it’s also a reminder that much of our capacity to persuade is unconscious and environmental.

If we want to be effective influencers, we need to do more than simply talk, we need to be strategic, to be curious and to design success into our processes and environments.

The Right vs The Risky

By dangregorytii | May 25, 2016

Dan Gregory

Working with organizations all around the world, I often enjoy asking people provocative questions to have them reflect on what they believe versus what is a default position.

A question I often ask is, “In a situation, with an either/or outcome, are you more likely to base a decision on what is best for the organization you work for, or on what is the least risky for you personally?”

Now, in a public forum, few will admit to putting their own personal needs ahead of the greater good, but in fact, our behavior suggests that we regularly, if not mostly, do the opposite.

A recent Trulia Study revealed that whilst most Americans (79%) state they care about the environment and are concerned about such issues as global warming, in practice, they will do little to change the situation. Particularly if it requires personal effort or expense.

This is a critical understanding in human behavior. We often rely on such strategies as logic and emotional appeal to drive positive change, when in fact, a risk-mitigation strategy may be more effective.

Instead of harping on about the “rightness” or even “righteousness” of our position, we would do better to make ourselves easier to agree with.

This starts with reducing the risk of converting to our world view – physically, reputationally and financially.

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E: info@theimpossibleinstitute.com

T: +61 (0)2 9651 5384

P: PO Box 226

    Broadway NSW 2007

    Australia

Subscribe to Impossible Thoughts™

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