Book: The Motivation hacker: by Nick Winter

Nick winter did nothing for 18 years and then had catching up to do. Motivation hacker was his answer. Motivation is fuel for life, the book talks about best way to hack motivation which the author has experienced himself & share through the book.

Motivation= (expectancy X value) / (impulsiveness X delay).

Improve a) Expectancy : success spiral, surround self with motivated people, & avoid planning fallacy, b) Value : adding fun in doing & make it challenging  in order to be rewarding once it is done, c)  reduce impulsiveness through pre-commitment & reminders, d)  Delay : break the goals down & celebrate success

  • How Motivation works: How to summon extreme amount of motivation to accomplish anything you can think of
    • Define success criteria and motivation hack to fire me up
      • No single technique can solve all problems, use more than one technique at a time to increase motivation
      • More motivation means more success means more fun
      • First pick your goal, then figure out motivation hacks to use on subtasks that leads to those goals
  • Motivation= (expectancy X value) / (impulsiveness X delay).
    • Expectancy is confidence of success
    • Value is how rewarding the task will be and how fun it is while doing.
    • Impulsiveness is distractibility. It takes superhuman effort when you are surrounded by distractions. Learn to anticipate and remove distractions
    • Delay is how far off reward seems to be.
  • Will power needed to make up for insufficient motivation or in deciding when to begin. However it will leave you when you need it the most, therefore don’t over-rely on it and build success spiral
    • Design powerful motivation structure in advance and commitments to goal now or chose a date far enough that it’s not scary and talk yourself into it.
    • Committing now is important habit to build
    • Motivation increase with expectancy- confidence that you will win. Fail once, lose some confidence and motivation
  • Success Spiral:
    • Start building success spiral
      • First make tiny achievable goal that you can’t forget to do
      • Setting reminders
      • Track your success
      • Don’t Target 100% success
      • Open Google spreadsheet and update achievement daily (There will be time when there wont be a day to put zero in it’s column)
      • How author started
        • Tiny goals with Target of 95% adherence
        • Input based process goals and not output based results goals
      • As success spiral- got stronger, experimented with adding different goals and found easy to habitualize
      • Success spirals- backed by simple tracking of success
  • Each time you fall off the staircase, the harder it will be to get back ok- Stronger voice of doubt. It’s like breaking a bone- bone will be weaker each time you break
  • Two weapons to fight previous failures:

a) knowledge of how success spiral work,  thus able to see why past attempt failed

b) author hope one doesn’t need this: sword of last chance: if you are at bottom of expectancy pit. But it works only if it’s truly last chance to get back motivation. ( Only one chance is terrifying, but also exhilarating)

  • If you want to “Survive the torture” motivation has to be stronger than worst fear. If you want to “Enjoy the experience”, motivation has to be far stronger than fear
  • Pre-commitment:like publiç announcement of goal, prevent yourself from exiting when faced with temptation. It reduces implusiveness.
    • Will power desert you when you need it the most, so enough pre-commitment needed.
    • Beeminder: Instead of big results like lose 10kg, commit to goals like no desserts
      • Beeminder webservice which let you set arbitrary process related goals
      • Hold you to them with reasonableness and firmness of your best friend who want to see you succeed, but won’t take any more of your crap
      • The site require you to pay money in case you fail to acheve what you promise
  • Burnt ship: destroy a distraction or temptation
    •  list possible distractions and make it Impossible
  • Social skills: Goals with high value (life depend on it), however low expectancy (you think you cant do)
    • These goals have “Ugh field” surrounded around it i.e. self-shadowing blind spot (Conditioning cause humans to unconsciously flinch from even thinking about a serious personal problem they have). it will be hard to admit. Example: “I could start any time”
    • Use rejection therepy to address this
      • Design a game wherein you have to get rejections (Example: asking unknown people to hug)
      • Target minimum number of rejections
      • It addresses our fear of rejection
  • Time Coins: Time is only currency of life and motivation hack help you grow richer in this currency

Chose goals carefully, measure happiness on a goal. Drop if not giving happiness. Don’t do for public

  • Dr steel CSI approach: challenging, specific, immediate, approach based goals
  • Ways to chose goals
    • Imagine your ideal day, pick up goals that bring closer to your ideal day
    • List crazy goals and happiness they can bring. Priortize basis happiness
    • Imagine you are another person much more competent than you and without any of your issues/obligations. Think what would you do and chose goals basis that. This avoids sunk cost fallacy (The more you invest in something, the harder it  become to abandon).
  • The goal you chose should drench you in value and then ignite you
  • Focus on process and not end result, example learn 10 words, rather than being fluent in English.
  • Learning Anything: Learning should make you smile, not clench your teeth
  • Be more careful to chose what to learn to continue your success spiral. Stop when you realize they aren’t useful or fun. But don’t give up something you care about.
  • Good strategy for learning a skill:
    • Get excited about a skill
    • Make time and hack up motivation to practice it
    • Learn how to practice from Reading or teacher
    • Start doing right away
  • Use spaced repetition system (SRS) for remembering facts/language.  (Example: Ankidroid flashcard system on mobile app)
    • SRS models actual strength of your memory
    • Cards are due for review when you are 10% likely to forget
    • If you are busy, reviews build up. Keep adding new and clearing old instead of focusing on either
    • Learning is not just adding new items
    • Soon SRS habit will die if you don’t handle overdue reviews as fun
  • Task Samurai: Valueless tasks like showering, shopping :
    • Treat as time challenge to crash
    • Trade with others for the task where you have comparative advantage
    • Batch these and do less often
    • Pay others to do them
    • Fools defence: signal your inability to perform, hope someone else with do it
  • Measure your results
    • If you cannot measure, you cannot improve
    • Two ways to improve:
      • Pick up destination, reach somewhere else, be thankful, unaware where you could have reached
      • Self experimentor. Define goal, improve by determining what works
      • Half of scientist Discovery happen by chance
      • If you measure only most obvious possible results, you miss out on so many truths that could surprise you
  • Mistakes:
    • The planner fallacy:
      • Failure is expensive in terms of time
      • If you don’t have practice of hacking motivation, how do you avoid failure while attempting things you have never done before
      • When human estimate things, average case and vest case is almost identical and worst case is more optimistic
      • You can’t predict obstacles, so you don’t plan
      • Plan for the WORST, hope for the best. Start your success spiral small enough
  • Under hacked motivation:
    • sometime I tell myself something without being strict and only by rationalizing quitting or postponing
    • It’s not fun to force yourself
    • Don’t rely on willpower, don’t fall orey to overconfidence
    • Once you have success spiral you can skip veemibder and just do it
  • Unabmitious goals: Don’t make goals that don’t excite you
    • Avoid running after wrong goals.
  • List of motivation techniques:
    • Expectancy
      • Success spiral: set achievable goals and achieve them until you expect only success and failure is no longer familiar
      • Vicarious victory:Surround yourself with motivated people, read biographies. Avoid unmotivated people
      • Mental contrasting: visualize success and contrast it with current situation of “not success” example fat vs fit
      • Guarding against excessive optimism: don’t fall to planning fallacy, this destroy success spiral
  • Value: how rewarding task will be once done and how fun it is whole Doing it
    • Find flow: ways to make more challenging but possible. Make a game of it. Compete against yourself
    • Find meaning: connect task with major life goals. Set up extra reminder to these conditions
    • Let CSI approach goals
    • Optimize energy: sleep well, eat well, get fit, avoid burnout. Everything is more fun if you are alert, not tired
    • Productice procrastination,: if you can’t do main task, do allied stuff
    • Create rewards: celebrate, victory dances
    • Focus on passion: know what you are passionate and steer you’d life towards these
    • Task trading
  • Impulsiveness: delay, how likely to put it off
    • Pre-commitment
    • Burnt ship
    • Goal reminder: make external reminder
    • Time boxing: place limits of time
    • Build useful habits: autopilot schedule and put your goals into it
    • Schedule play before work: plan fun time
  • Delay: how far reward seems
    • Break goals down
    • Plan falliciously: planning fallacy gives you more courage to start underestimating time and efforts to achieve hard goals.
    • Ensure goals see input based and not output based

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