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The Distraction Effect
When given a problem that requires problem solving, economic or emotional pressure can cause our focus to shift to the motivator (e.g. money), dividing your attention between the task and the reward, ultimately reducing your productivity.
The sense of "Play"
People offered a reward and people that do something for fun show similar activity throughout the brain, but if those offered a reward to participate the first time are asked to participate again for no reward, they show a decrease in activity in the parts of the brain linked to self-motivation. The rewards may cancel out our natural sense of "play".
"Play" is the strongest motivator. It encompasses the concept that we are able to do things we like for a long time which makes sense. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, but your gym membership is still unused, find an activity you enjoy doing - you're more likely to keep doing it ultimately getting better results.
Not optimist, not pessimist, but somewhere in between
Optimism isn't the best option. A study found that people that imagine achieving their goal with few obstacles are less like to actually achieve it. Negativity is not an option, either. The optimal mindset would be to imagine accomplishing the goal, but also thinking through the obstacles that you will have to overcome which is know as mental contrasting.
"What the hell" effect
If you have already eaten more pizza than you know you should, you are more likely to be like "what the hell, I already ruined my diet for today" and end up eating other unhealthy foods. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Finally, the recipe:
Anticipating some obstacles on the road to success is the most optimal mindset for staying motivated and achieving your goals.
Take a look at the full video below: