How To Be Motivated: 4 New Insights From Research | TIME
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
3) The Most Motivating Thing Of All
Teresa Amabile‘s research at Harvard found that the most motivating thing is progress in meaningful work.
This pattern is what we call the progress principle: of all the positive events that influence inner work life, the single most powerful is progress in meaningful work; of all the negative events, the single most powerful is the opposite of progress—setbacks in the work.
What’s fascinating is that this is so powerful that the mere illusion of progress is enough to get our engines revving. Seriously.
In one study, researchers gave people “Buy 10 coffees and get 1 free” cards. And they gave a different group “Buy 12 coffees and get 1 free” cards but with 2 purchases already marked. So effectively both groups were starting from the same point.
But that’s not how the recipients saw it. The “buy 12″ group bought coffees a lot faster because they felt they had made more progress toward the goal. Merely thinking you’ve made progress can get you motivated.
(For more on how happiness leads to success, click here.)