Motivation in your Sunday Read

When it comes to discussing why we do anything, we get into the world that’s split at the interface of our mind. Half of it exists outside our self and we call that extrinsic and half of it exists inside us and it’s called intrinsic. We apply the labels to the rewards we feel we get from our activities, but really that’s a reflection of the sum total of the drives we experience that make us do what we do.

Neuroscience is taking a deeper look at what truly motivates us. It’s encouraging because it breaks down complex behavior that we don’t really see, though we feel its effects, into a series of neurochemical actions and reactions which we begin to understand. This understanding is impacting the way we lead in life and business and it is changing the way we examine behavior.

The revelation that without neurochemicals our motivation dries out is forcing a radical rethink about human economic behavior, effort-related aspects of motivation and, of course, decision making.

All of this is a double-edge sword at present. When relatively simple neurochemical schemas are identified as the root source of the motivation that guides our behavior and dictates our choices the question that arises is at which point do we then interject and recognize the sovereignty of our own identity and will? This is better articulated perhaps as a question of agent and agency.

It is a crucial piece of the puzzle of self. Understanding it allows to understand how seemingly inconsequential acts like a speech before a battle or a poster on a wall can change what we feel so radically that it affects what we perceive, which then determines what we do; which in turn delivers the outcomes we seek.

Motivation is something we all seek in regular doses. We seek outliers in our everyday life; people such as 75+ bodybuilding grandma, Ernestine Shepherd, and Dewey Bozella because they help us redefine the limitations of our own existence.

When people do the seemingly impossible we then find ourselves in that unique Muhammad Ali zone where “impossible is an opinion” bookended by the subtext: waiting to be proven wrong.

Neuroscience is showing us how the dots are joined between the external and internal world. Real life shows us that unless we step forward and do what others consider to be impossible it will only remain so.

In the regard we truly create our reality.

The ‘magic’ happens in how we choose to define just what kind of reality we truly want to create.

I know you’re expert decision-makers. Coffee is already made, waiting for you to reach out and fill a cup. There re croissants and donuts, cookies and chocolate and, this being summer in our hemisphere, some chocolate ice cream at least. Have an awesome Sunday, wherever you are.

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