An old story: there was a frog that was put in a big cauldron. Because the cauldren was large, the frog felt perfectly comfortable. So even though it could have jumped out at any time, it stayed put. As the pot gradually heated up over the fire…the frog did nothing. The water was warming gradually. By the time the water was so hot that the frog was boiled…he was well, boiled. If the water had been heated suddenly the frog would have had the good sense to jump out.
Ever feel like that frog?
Yesterday we explored the idea of what a “motivation strategy” is. It’s an unconscious process or “program” that enables us to move from a state of “not motivated” to “motivated.” For some people and in some situations it may be a challenge to get out of a “procrastination strategy” and get moving towards taking action.
Whether your strategy is working or not may determine how stuck you get in procrastination as well as how long it may take you to break out of it and get started on cleaning the garage or doing that term paper.
By the way, we don’t need to be motivated to do stuff we enjoy. We usually need an effective strategy to get to the stuff we do not enjoy doing.
So how do you usually break out of a stuck state? Do you move away from the bad things that will happen if you don’t finally buckle down and get to work or do you move towards how good it will feel when you accomplish your task? Or do you do some combination of both?
If you “move away from” how bad does it have to be before you get moving?
If you “move towards” how do you do that?
In other words, do you need the carrot or the stick? And how much of either one do you need to get stuff done?
In working with other people either in leadership roles as managers and team members or as parents and teachers, it helps to know how someone is wired if we want to influence or inspire them to action. Do you need to communicate the cost or the pain of not taking action? Do you need to threaten them with being fired or other dire consequences? Or do they respond much better to the promise of a bonus or a big commission check?
If you use a stick on someone who is motivated by the carrot you risk totally losing them. If you use a carrot on someone who requires a bit of stick to get going it just won’t do the job.
In dealing with ourselves, particularly in our careers, becoming aware of this leverage point can make the difference between success and failure.
- To learn more about NLP strategies and how to elicit and change them in yourself and others check out my NLP Practitioner Certification Training
- To get all pumped up and motivated Watch my Motivation Music Video
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