Emotions, Motivation, and Your Unconscious Mind

Motivation. Literally, that which impels us to move. That’s how we use the word: the feeling that makes us act—in that order: feeling, then action.

Motivation is also created by action. Ask anyone who has grudgingly started a project only to discover that going through the motions ends in motivation.

You’ve felt it yourself when taking on some new business, relationship, spirituality, or personal development challenge. Eventually you hit what Seth Godin calls the dip. We all have days where it’s hard to get going, to stay focused. Often it just takes a little push to get through the dip. Sometimes though, that off day turns into an off week or an off month. Instead of the upward spiral of motivation and action, we’re stuck. We need motivation to create action but need action to create motivation and we get nowhere.

Getting Unstuck

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Who Are You Writing For? (It Isn’t Really Either/Or)

I should turn that into a song, eh?

vegComes up sometimes in discussion boards: write for yourself and find artistic fulfillment, or write for your audience and sell books?

Here’s what comes up in the research of Chip and Dan Heath, experts in the brain science of decision-making: avoid either/or thinking when making decisions. Consider more than two opposing options.

Today, consider taking a page from CompSci (that’s computer science for the 99.9% of you who’ve managed to elude its evil grasp.)

But first, let’s make soup. Continue reading “Who Are You Writing For? (It Isn’t Really Either/Or)”

Willpower Won’t Power Emotional Writing

pick that shovelEmotional writing connects with readers. But you’re not going to produce it simply by trying harder or longer. You can’t will yourself to an emotional outpouring. I’d like to chat more about ways to increase the amperage in our writing, but I’d like to be sure you understand that “trying harder” isn’t one of them.

Here’s your homework: read any or all of these fine articles on the limitations of willpower, and understand that this is how your brain is wired, not some failure on your part. While these articles are, in general, talking about persistence, problem-solving, and self-control, the principles affect your efforts to produce emotionally evocative prose.

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Would You Like Someone to Sell Your Books for You?

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/782870 by Carla Peroni http://www.sxc.hu/profile/CPERONIA new question is coming up with some regularity.

“Why wouldn’t a confident marketing expert promote my book for a portion of the profit instead of charging me up front?”

Here’s why.
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Make the Right Thing the Easy Thing

Last week we talked about why it’s so hard to save money, to lose weight, to do any of the things which require postponing present enjoyment to create benefits later. It’s easy to get lost in theory, in analysis of our biochemistry, in what is. What’s not so easy is doing something about it.

locks
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Why Doing the Right Thing is Hard

My column on why I’m losing weight struck an unpleasant chord with some folks when I first published it. It’s common to hear stories of people trying unsuccessfully, sometimes for years, to lose weight.

Another angle on the same issue: When your income gets an unexpected and temporary boost, through a bonus at work or a project you hadn’t expected, do you bank the money, or reward yourself with a new toy or dinner out?

We experience it every single day of our lives: even though we know what’s good for us, day after day we do what’s fun, what’s easy, instead of what’s healthy and rational and good for our future self.

Do you ever stop to wonder why?

red thoughts
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