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LM: #262: 5 to 9 motivation

May 06 2024 – 10:00am

The world has no shortage of sources of motivation.

You do your job to earn a paycheck. You use money to avoid starvation and other dangers. Beyond that, there’s a rich ecosystem of products and services, all competing in a Darwinian battle to fulfill, in exchange for money, any desire, whether conscious or unconscious.

Beyond these “carrots and sticks” are rewards and punishments lighting the way. Degrees to earn, promotions to strive for, and ice-cream socials to enjoy.

So how does anyone manage to keep themselves motivated in the unmapped maze of 5 to 9 when there’s the well-lit labyrinth of 9 to 5? If you strive to write your first book or record your first album, nobody’s gonna wield a stick at your rear or dangle a carrot in front.

Certainly much of it comes from a love of one’s craft. I, personally, started on my own by repeatedly dangling in front of myself the carrot of curiosity.

But the threat of punishment, the “stick” if you will, is that it would be tragic to want to accomplish something in your 5 to 9, but fail because you couldn’t motivate yourself as well as your 9 to 5.

Book: Get Better at Anything (Amazon) is Scott Young’s new book on how to practice and make progress.

Cool: Hugh Howey shared the best price points according to the sales of the top 500 Kindle ebooks.

P.S. Three useful motivational tools are carrots, sticks, and blinders.

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