Monday, March 30, 2015

16 ways to motivate anyone

Siblings punch each other. It is a moral imperative to determine that day's victor. As welts begin to form, as bruises begin to darken, as blood drenches the carpet, at some point, parents must intervene. How do you motivate a child to act more kindly to their biological roommate?

Employees will perform exceptionally. And when they do, how will you reward them as a sign of appreciation? How can you reward them in a way that sustains their momentum?

The majority of books on leadership, parenting, and psychology divide motivation into two types: extrinsic and intrinsic. This is a simple bullet point that offers a lot of mileage. We can consider the content of goals and the reasons for pursuing goals. For instance, your goals might be driven by "extrinsic" goal content (financial success, appearing attractive to others, being known or admired by many people) or "intrinsic" goal content (being fulfilled and having a very meaningful life, having close and caring relationships with others).  In several studies, scientists have shown that people who prioritize intrinsic over extrinsic goal content experience greater well-being.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Intrusive Thoughts: When Having a Great Imagination Seems Like a Curse

At any given time I can bring to mind a fatal accident. Something violent and tragic is upon me, and it's going to happen any second.

Riding in the car — a vehicle will suddenly crash into the back of us and send us careening off the freeway. Walking the dog — a larger animal will come out of nowhere and eviscerate my pet. Blowing out the candles on my birthday cake — a gas line will explode. Sitting in front of an open window — someone will reach inside and hit me over the head.

I don't know what came first, my anxiety or my vivid imagination. Certain unthinkable things have happened that seem to substantiate my anxiety. It has gotten worse since I put my home back together after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the same year my brother suffered the onset of schizophrenia. The following year my parents divorced, the recession left me unemployed, and my brother relapsed into active psychosis.