Maintain Your Motivation Part 1 - Using the Goldilocks Rule to Push Ahead.
This article is liberally based on one of my favorite bloggers James Clear
Does the name Steve Martin ring a bell? Performer, comedian, movie star, Saturday Night Live Alum, respected banjo player, father, husband and author of his autobiography Born Standing Up. By the way, if you are looking for a great read, I highly recommend it.
Disneyland had just opened in 1955 when this enterprising ten-year-old managed to land a job selling guidebooks for fifty cents apiece.
Within a year he was transferred into Disney’s Magic Shop where he learned a few tricks from some of the older employees. During this time he also began to experiment with telling some jokes and funny stories while he demonstrated his magic trick in the shop. It was not long before he began to realize that what he loved was not doing his magic tricks, but in being in front of a crowd, entertaining them. It was at this point that he seriously began to look at becoming a comedian.
Upon entering high school, he began performing in small clubs in the L.A. area. The clubs provided an intimate laboratory where he could practice his act and hone his skill set with various audiences. In his book, he tells of doing one performance where he performed his entire show to an empty room.
It was gritty work, but he was gaining valuable expertise in his chosen craft. His first magic acts would only last a couple of minutes. By the time he was in high school, he was up to five minutes. By the time he was 19, he was performing weekly at clubs doing 20-minute sets. He was improving.
He spent the next ten years experimenting, adjusting, and practicing his act. During this time he also took on a job as a writer for a groundbreaking comedy-variety television show called the Smother’s Brothers Comedy Hour. During his time with this show, he and his fellow writers received an Emmy in 1969. After the ending of the Smother’s Brothers show he worked as a writer for other leading-edge television shows, eventually earning some much coveted personal appearance spots, including the Tonight Show, and Saturday Night Live. These roles eventually lead to movie roles and many other unique opportunities in the entertainment industry.
What was his secret? He wanted to be a respected, successful comedian and was willing to put intentional effort into it.
Comedy is not for weenies! I know from personal experience. I have told my share of jokes and stories that ended up being horrible face plants. That said, Martin worked at developing his craft for 18 years. Martin says, ”I spent ten years learning, four more years refining and four more years of wild success. His very public journey gives us a unique and insightful look into his personal journey of motivation, perseverance, resilience, and consistency.
So why do some people stay motivated to reach their personal and business goals and another fail? Why do we say we want something really bad only to quit in a few days, weeks, or months? What is the difference between someone who accomplishes their gold and someone who throws in the towel?
Angie and I recently returned from Fort Worth, Texas where we attended the Premier Designs Jewelry 2016 National Rally. It was a be a time of inspiration, motivation, fellowship, joy, training and decision making. For some, this event will be a marker where they make a choice to go to the next level in their business or personal life. They will hear, see, or feel something compelling them to move forward, whatever it is, it will be a life altering choice that will impact many lives down the road. Whatever it is it will give them the push they need to move forward.
For others, it will be a time of fun, fellowship, catching up, a time of inspiration and motivation and hope. They will feel a need to make some changes; they may even make a commitment to do things differently this year. Sadly, that energy, drive, and motivation will diminish over the next days and weeks. Unless they do something different, nothing will change.
So, why do we stay motivated to reach some goals and not others? Why do we say we want something only to give up on it in a few days? On a personal note, I cannot begin to count how many times I have done this. So this begs the question: Is there a difference between the areas that we naturally stay motivated in and those we give up on?
Scientist have been studying this for years, and one of the encouraging things that the research is demonstrating is that the best way to stay motivated is to work on tasks that are just a little challenging.
The findings show that we all love challenges, but only they are within our “optimal zone of difficulty.”
I will use my 24 plus years of being a part of my wife’s Premier Jewelry Journey to illustrate.
At Rally, thousands of women and men will hear beautiful, inspiring stories and testimonies of jewelers who have experienced various setbacks, trials, and struggles but where able to experience growth and new found success in their businesses. Thousands will laugh and cry and make promises to themselves and to others to do before rally 2017. The blessing is that many of them will do just that, they will put up with the tasks that are just a little difficult to get what they want. So what will that “Magic” look like? Is it looks? No. Is it personality? No. Is it their connection with someone that did it for them? No!
Here is a general idea of what the magic is.
If a person believes that there is a reasonable chance of making their dream happen, if they have a sincere desire to make it happen three things will happen:
1. Their focus will become very narrow. In Premier language they will focus on personal jewelry shows and share the Premier Opportunity. Those are the only two things that generate income in Premier. Not Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
2. Distractions begin to fade, as the goal become clearer. Sometimes they start to pull away from some relationships for a season.
3. The zero in on activities that will lead to the changes they are longing for. The challenge of the next task is “just manageable,” but doable. Victory is not guaranteed, but it is possible as the individual is doing the things that can make it happen.
4. Tasks like this, science tell us, are most likely to help us keep our motivation where it needs to be to complete the task.
You see, tasks that are below your current abilities become dull and routine. Tasks that are significantly beyond your current abilities are usually discouraging and can lead to failure. However, tasks that are right on the cusp of success and failure are incredibly motivating to our brains. We want nothing more than to master a skill just beyond our current horizon.
This is called the Goldilocks Principle. Which states that humans experience peak motivation and performance when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too easy. Not too hard. However, just right!
God gives you a dream bigger than you are, so you can trust him and work with others to pursue it.
Would love to here your thoughts.
John is a Counselor, Author, Speaker and Photographer that helps people "Get a Grip on Life."