LIE NO. 1
MORE FOCUSED MEANS MORE MOTIVATED
Heather Dorniden is in first place as she starts running the second lap in the 600-meter race of the Big Ten Track and Field Championships in Minneapolis. Suddenly she stumbles and falls down, and the other runners overtake her. The race seems lost. But the 21-year- old gets up and passes one rival after another— until she finishes first. But how did Dorniden motivate herself to continue running, even though victory seemed impossible? “Her great power was refocusing on the goal immediately after the setback and reorientating herself,” says motivation expert Steffen Kirchner. The result: The runner no longer focused on the win but rather on the running. In fact, the latest studies show: Nonstop focus causes people to no longer perceive what’s around them, which leads to demotivation and inner emptiness.
Benoît Assou-ekotto isn’t enjoying his job. It’s pure stress for him. He already changed employers four times. Big objectives? None. “I only work for the money,” says the 32-year-old. If you accept the research of many mental trainers and work-life coaches, AssouEkotto has pretty much broken every motivational rule—making a successful career impossible. But the fact is: Benoît AssouEkotto earns millions of dollars for what he does. The top athlete plays soccer for Saint-étienne in France; he has also played for the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in the UK and competed in more than 150 Premier League matches. So how could he come so far? There are thousands of cases similar to Assou-ekotto’s. They show: To date, there have been innumerable myths about what supposedly motivates us to perform and succeed—however, on closer inspection, many turn out to be false. id has analyzed the latest scientific studies and spoken with leading experts in the motivational psychology field. On the following pages they will expose 11 of the biggest lies of motivation and explain why these strategies don’t work and reveal which ones can actually help us.