Do we help ourselves succeed by using rewards we create?

Do we help ourselves succeed by using rewards we create?
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Do we help ourselves succeed by using rewards we create or by avoiding negative consequences?

Do you ever find it difficult to keep yourself accountable to your goals?  I’m pretty sure we all do. There are two reasons people are motivated, one is towards something we want and another is away from something we fear. For example we might want to go out on more dates so we are not subject to loneliness anymore.  Or we might want to go on more dates so we can meet someone really great. We always either move towards a positive reward or to avoid the pain of some consequence.  Which works best to help us create the outcomes in life and in business that we really want?

What I’ve learned is we create more of whatever we focus on in life.

Motivating away from fear of negative outcomes works for many things. It keeps us from walking out into traffic or touching a hot stove for example or failing to show up to work.

At a certain point we get tunnel vision and our subconscious mind brings us to whatever we focus on.  It’s like the many incidents on the freeways when there’s an accident off to the side of the road and the police are attending to it only to have another motorist plow into them. They inevitably ask the second driver who ran into the first group what happened and learn that they were transfixed by the flashing emergency lights and focused on the accident so much they unconsciously drove into it.

So people who say they never want to marry another spouse like their last one they broke up with often end up with a person very much like them over and over again.

People who say I don’t want to grow up to be my mother or father the way they had some behavior you didn’t like tend to end up doing the same things.

People who go on diets to lose weight often end up putting it all back on.

Our subconscious mind drives us like a car to the road map of the emotionally charged images we give it be they “negative” or “positive”.

It’s good to have positive rewards and behaviorists find that they are far more effective when given from other people versus trying to reward ourselves.  Getting awards be they online certificates or badges of completion, a commission or paycheck or a compliment are great ways to reinforce the positive experiences you want to repeat in your life like achieving some business goal for example. We will be implementing a reward system here in the near future to encourage people to comment and be more engaged in our community. Hopefully you’ll come back and experience it for yourself!

Ultimately and optimally we need to have our own actions align with our inner vision of our life, our deep values and desires and build good daily habits to make progress towards our goals. These habits create something we call discipline which is far more reliable than motivation as motivation can fade but discipline endures.

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