I have noticed over the years that people who give up in the middle of the road are often those who have wrong goals. Let me explain. A student is studying to be accepted into med school, but she’s not particularly passionate about it. Why? Because her parents want her to, because society wants her to, or because she thinks that she will become rich in the end. In other words, according to the goal-setting theory by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, her goal is neither authentic nor intrinsic.
Authentic goal: A goal you have chosen by yourself, not under pressure from someone else
Intrinsic goal: A goal that is intrinsically rewarding to you, not because it helps you reach wealth and fame
A university student is doing her coursework on a regular basis but lacks sufficient motivation. Why? Because she only wants to get a degree, get a job, make money, and finally be able to buy ‘stuff’ (such as a car and a house). In other words, she’s guided by...
If you have been trying hard to achieve your goals for a while, but you are not achieving the desired result, this email is for you.
(If this is not you, you might know somebody who is like this. Please forward this message to them. They will thank you for how thoughtful you are!)
Dear friend! You have been putting in the time, effort and energy every single day, but the results aren’t there. Sometimes you doubt yourself: "Maybe this is the wrong goal? Am I fooling myself?"
You may see competitors stronger than you, or peers who are farther ahead than you. You feel: “Wow! I’m so far behind.” "Do I have the ability at all?" And all these doubts zap your motivation, willpower and energy. You know what? You have every right to feel that way: The path to meaningful success is not easy at all.
I’d like to invite you to try a different approach: Think of people who have had tragic events in their lives. You might know some of them; maybe you...
A lot of people ask me: "Shahab! How can we strengthen our self-esteem and the self-esteem of people under our supervision, i.e. our children, students, clients or staff?"
There is a common culture these days to always praise and encourage the people under our supervision, no matter what. For example, if a student takes an exam and fails, we may tell her: "It’s OK, you showed up, the result is not important." Or an employee submits her report too late and does not meet the required standards, and we would tell her: "No problem, what’s important is that you made the effort." We do this while we know the student’s grade was not good; we know the employee did not try hard enough. Why do we do this? Just because we do not want to upset them; we do not want them to cry. Ultimately we do not want their self-esteem to be damaged.
Is the way to boost self-esteem always to reward the child, students, clients and staff, and to never expose them to difficult...
Do you have an important goal that takes a long time to achieve?
For example, do you have an important exam for which you have to study for maybe six months, maybe a year? Or maybe you want to immigrate and it takes up to 3-4 years to settle in the new country? Or maybe you’ve started a business and you know that the first one or two years you have to keep working hard without making any money?
Dr. Heidi Halvorson, one of the scientists who has done extensive research on goal setting, willpower and motivation, has two solutions for you so you can gain back your motivation re-energized:
1- Review why you started this path in the first place. Ask yourself, 'Why did I start studying for this test?” “Why did I apply for immigration?” "Why did I decide to start my own business?" And do not write just one reason. Write several reasons: the more, the better! Write down how achieving your goal will benefit you. Also think about how it will benefit others, your...
I get this question all the time: "Shahab, I am a teacher/coach/manager. How can I motivate my students/clients/employees?”
Motivation has been a topic of interest studied by scientists for ages. One of the most knowledgeable scientists in this field is Dr. Edward Deci, who makes a very important point about intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. He believes, by default, intrinsic motivation is always more effective than extrinsic motivation in the long run.
Look at young children. They have an inner motivation to learn and a natural curiosity to explore. But when you look at older students, you see that this motivation has disappeared for some reason.
A lot of this goes back to the effect of reward and punishment in killing intrinsic motivation. External factors leading to extrinsic motivation, i.e. any type of reward and punishment, are usually only effective in the short term. But in the long run, it is the intrinsic...
Three guys were working on the construction project of a mosque. They were asked: "What are you doing?"
"I am a builder," said the first. "I lay brick on brick and get paid to make ends meet."
The second person said, "I am a builder and I'm doing this construction project alongside others."
The third person said, “I am a builder! I am building the house of God, a place for people to worship."
Similar but different, huh?! The first person had a daily job, something he did reluctantly just to earn a living, and if he were able to, he would not have done it.
The second person, however, saw his work as a career which he was building, and maybe if he worked well, he would later become the supervisor of that construction workshop, or start a building project by himself in the future.
To the third person, his job was a mission, a calling. Not only did he look to his own advantage, but he also wondered how it would benefit others in a wider way.
Some time ago, something interesting happened to a lady. She had been suffering from mild depression for years. Every week, to cheer herself up, she dropped by the local grocery store and bought a lottery ticket for as little as $5. Recently, Lady Luck favored her and she won more than twenty-two million dollars in the lottery. She was blissfully happy. Immediately, she resigned from her job. She bought an eighteen-bedroom house, a luxurious car and lots of elegant clothes. She also sent her children to private school and thought that nothing could disturb her happiness anymore. But after a few months, her mood slowly dropped. About a year later, her psychologist told her that she was suffering from chronic depression again.
This story, and similar stories of the people who strike it rich, whether through a lottery or inheritance or whatever, show that our mood is not much influenced by external factors. In fact, psychologists like Sonja Lyubomirsky refer to a mechanism...
"Sister, they killed mom! There’s blood everywhere …… the wall, the carpet!"
The daughter of the family received this horrible phone message from her brother and found out that two young thieves had broken into their mother's house, brutally murdered her with a crowbar, raped her and left. The daughter of this family, after a while, became one of the world's leading psychologists who has done extensive research in the field of forgiving others. Dr. Worthington, who herself had experienced this tragic event in her personal life, came up with a five-step formula to teach others how they can forgive wrongdoers. If you need to forgive someone in your life, if someone has hurt you and the negative feeling is still with you, you can use this formula to let go of the resentment once and for all.
Before I tell you these five steps, I have to say that this process is not easy at all, but the good news is that extensive academic research, especially Stanford...
Today, I want to share with you something that is scientifically proven to increase your life expectancy by 19%: optimism. Since old days, most of us have been told to be optimistic. But what does optimism actually mean?
Pessimists are those who, in the face of difficulties, say, “This problem is going to affect all areas of my life, it is permanent, and it is out of control.” In contrast, the optimists are those who, in the same situation, would say, “This problem is limited in scope, it is controllable, and it is temporary.”
The scientists at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota have worked on this issue and shown that compared to the pessimists, the optimists live 19% longer. Think about it! Instead of living for 70 years, for example, you could live 80 years. Is it not worth being optimistic to live for 10 or 15 more years and spend that time to be with your loved one, to achieve your goals, to be of service to your community, and overall enjoy the one unique...
Our body is constantly changing. In fact, at this very moment, a number of cells in our body are being destroyed and a number of new cells are replacing them. The rate of cell replacement also varies. For example, our taste buds live only a few hours. Our white blood cells survive for about ten days, our muscle cells live for about three months, and even our bone cells are replaced from time to time. Years ago, I trained as a medical doctor. When I was studying, we were told that when brain cells were destroyed, they would be gone forever. However, today, we know that even brain cells are replaced, and this process continues for the rest of our lives.
Research by scientists show us that about one percent of our total body cells are replaced every day, and if you think about it, almost 30 percent of our total body is renewed every month. In other words, every 90 days, almost all the cells of...