IDENTIFYING WHAT MAKES AN EXPERIENCE COMPELLING
This exercise will help you find out how your brain “codes” images to increase your motivation by making them so strong you’re naturally compelled to take the steps to achieve them. It’s important to give your full attention to this exercise.
- 1. Strongly Motivated Experience. Think of a task that is really attractive and compelling to you. Think of something that isn’t fun to do itself, but whose rewards are so great that you really want to do it. When you think of it, you find it attractive and compelling. What’s important is that you find it attractive and you actually do it. And when you’re experiencing being attracted look at the image in your mind the way a movie director might. Notice the cinematic qualities: the set, the lighting, the sound. See all this so clearly that you could make a movie of it, one with rich, vivid detail. Having done that, temporarily set aside this attractive experience.
- 2. Separator State. Take a breath, let it out, and look around.
- 3. Neutral Experience. Now think of something you don’t care about, such as a paper cup, a pencil, or a piece of paper. When you’ve chosen something, look at it in your mind’s eye. Experience the feeling of not caring about it. Again, be like a movie director and list the cinematic qualities of this inner image.
- 4. Separator State. When you’ve completed that, clear your mind again by taking a deep breath.
- 5. Compare Experiences. Notice the differences between what you found very attractive and what you didn’t care about. Our brains are designed to notice differences, and you need to compare things to appreciate the differences. Here are some of the kinds of differences that many people find:
The “very attractive” was brighter; the “don’t care” was darker. The “very attractive” was in colour; the “don’t care” was in faded colours or black and white.
The “very attractive” was bigger and closer; the “don’t care” was smaller and farther away.
The “very attractive” was located more in front; the “don’t care” was located off to the side.
The “very attractive” had sounds or words, perhaps exciting ones; the “don’t care” was silent.
Make a list of all the differences you find between these two experiences. These are the elements that your brain uses to indicate that something is valuable to you, and worth being motivated about. These are your keys to being motivated.