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A Summary of

What Is Motivation? You’ve Probably Been Thinking About It All Wrong

by
Nir Eyal
Nir and Far
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Discomfort and motivation are related

We think of motivation as the wind - it comes and it goes, and if it's not blowing you're stuck - Understand biology of motivation to do better - Brains are meant to facilitate motion - Snails have two brain cells - one to sense food and one to tell hunger - if hungry find food - Complex brains used to escape uncomfortable things and maintain homeostasis

Motivation is the desire to escape discomfort

The need for homeostasis spurs action - When something's off, the brain generates emotions to make us fix the problem - Eg. hours of focus in video games is driven by need to escape schoolwork, social pressure, parents - quick easy way to escape discomfort - Humans take the path of least resistance

Feeling bad isn't bad - we can manage motivation and distraction

  1. Discomfort is not a bad thing
  2. Don't look for the easiest path away from pain
  3. Find what drives our desire to escape how we feel
  4. You don't need to feel like writing to write - a "real" writer won't constantly write effortlessly
  5. Prepare yourself for uncomfortable emotional states
  6. Lots of techniques to avoid inevitable urges (eg. ten-minute rule)
  7. Understand why you got distracted, then try to avoid them
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