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Book Summary Notes
The Motivation Manifesto
“The first virtue of the great among us is a remarkable level of sustained motivation."
"Success and fulfillment in life rests on the unflagging ability to get up, to be ourselves, to chase our dreams with fire each day, to keep willing ourselves to the next level of presence and performance and potential. More broadly, our entire human value system rests on motivation."
"None of the great human values that keep us and society in check—kindness, love, honesty, fairness, unity, tolerance, respect, responsibility—would flourish if we were not motivated to bring them to life. And so if we fail to master our motivation at an individual level, we cannot be happy; if we fail to maintain our motives for goodness at a societal level, all would be lost."
"How different our society could be if true motivation ran deep, if all that apathy and aimlessness drifted away and our people were fired by a conscious mind and a consistently committed heart? Imagine how the world would prosper. Imagine the freedom."
"This is a reachable possibility because motivation is stunningly simple to figure out and act upon. And so let us begin that path by demystifying why we do what we do.”
A great life and a great society rely on motivation..
But not the kind of motivation we often see!
This type of motivation doesn't come from a video montage with epic background music..
It's not the motivation a bad personal trainer or a bootcamp instructor will yell at you..
Sustained motivation comes from within..
That's how real change happens! And it often takes a long time.
The good news? This book is all about how to tap into that sustained motivation.
Learn how to direct our motivation and make it last to accomplish what we want.
Let's think about our motivation levels right now:
How motivated do you feel to get up in the morning?
Does your motivation come and go? Like it's here one day and gone the next.
Do you know what motivates you and what you can do to light the fire if it goes out?
That's what we're going to talk about today.
The Nine Declarations of Personal Power
I. MEET LIFE WITH FULL PRESENCE AND POWER
II. RECLAIM YOUR AGENDA
III. DEFEAT YOUR DEMONS
IV. ADVANCE WITH ABANDON
V. PRACTICE JOY AND GRATITUDE VI. DO NOT BREAK INTEGRITY
VII. AMPLIFY LOVE
VIII. INSPIRE GREATNESS
IX. SLOW TIME.
“Our first step is to understand motivation’s root, motive, which means a reason for action. It’s the ‘why’ we do something."
"To develop a motive for action, our mind, with or without conscious guidance, filters through various thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and chooses from them a set of reasons to do or not do something."
"Our mind’s clarity on and commitment to that choice dictates our level of motivation. If we are clear and committed, we will feel high levels of motivation. If we are unclear or uncommitted, motivation will be low."
"From this process comes a simple axiom: The mother of motivation is choice."
"Our mind chose a reason for action, and it either committed to that choice or it did not, and thus we experience a high level of motivation or a low one. In this truth we find our greatest personal power: the ability to take over our impulses and direct our minds to choices and commitments that will serve us."
"Simply, we can choose our aim, and our reason for that aim, and a continued focus on the aim will arouse a desire for action, which we sense as energy—a motivating power within.”
Learning to be in control of your motivation!
Often it's the other way around right?
- Often we don't do things we don't 'feel' like doing.. As if we're not in control!
- A life of not doing the things you don't feel like is going to lead to a long life filled with regrets.
So how do we control our motivation?
First we need to understand it!
Motivation is all about our 'why' for doing something and how strongly it connects.
If we're unclear on our why it's going to be difficult for our mind to connect certain activities to an end result.
But 'knowing' our why isn't enough we need to commit to it, and not be willing to compromise.
Second we take action!
1. Discover your why, the true purpose of your life. Take some time to meditate and journal on this. Look at past experience and future dreams.
2. Get clear, write it down in a sentence and burn that sentence into your mind. Who do you help? What do you want? Why is it important?
3. Take some action, after we've chosen our aim we need to commit and prove we're committed. Motivation is half momentum!
“Choose an ambition and, with full force, expect that it is possible and that you can make it happen."
"Give constant attention and committed effort to your dreams, and your motivation will perpetuate itself."
"Demonstrate a positive attitude as you strive for great things and take care to create a supportive environment around you that amplifies your motivation.”
Amplifying = Belief + Momentum
Do you want the type of motivation that pulls you our of bed in the morning?
- The type of motivation that draws you through a full day of work and leaves you feeling fulfilled?
- Maybe you just want to get out of the feeling of not being motivated?
Practice your belief!
- Look at the Why we created in the step before.. Do you believe it? Truly. Do you believe you can accomplish it?
- Now this isn't a 'believe and you will achieve' type book. But it is a 'don't believe and you wont achieve' book. What does that mean?
It means that belief doesn't come before action, and action doesn't come before belief. They work in unison!
When you're first starting (if you've set your why big enough) it's unlikely you'll have 100% believe you can achieve it..
But do you believe you can take the first step? Do you believe you can start to make progress?
Because that's all it really takes! We're going to create our own belief by stacking little wins.
Other great resources on momentum:
- The Compound Effect
- The One Thing
- The Slight Edge
- Habits Masterclass
“Let us boldly ask what it says about ourselves if we cannot pull back from our addiction to digital distractions."
"For it is an addiction; we are no better off than the alcoholic who cannot avoid the bar or the gambler the casino. Those with a compulsion to constantly check in have lives like this: They awake each day and their first act is to review the messages left by others, always terrified that they may have missed something that someone else wanted on a whim just hours or minutes ago."
"Their second effort is to divide up their day based not on what they should accomplish in pursuit of their dreams but, rather, on the hours they must spend responding to the needs and requests of others. They reply with equal frenzy and devotion to one and all, to both influencers and idiots, their addiction to meet others’ demands making no distinction, giving no priority."
"All day, they are busy accomplishing nothing but responding to everything. There is no vision, only reaction—a self-imposed terror that they are falling behind. Their aim in life, if we can call it that, is to ‘get through’ it all, to ‘catch up’ in a rat race that they should never have entered and will never win.”
Declaration 2: We Shall Reclaim Our Agenda!
It's something we speak about so much on the channel..
- Cal Newport tells us the scary statistics about how much time the average person spends on their phone (and other distractions).
- Let's just say, if you truly want to live a life you can be proud of it's unlikely you'll find it on social media or candy crush..
- Read 'Digital Minimalism' for more on that!
How do we break the addiction?
1: Set up some rules!
- Don't have social media apps on your phone
- Turn off your notifications
- Setup site blockers on your work computer
2: Find other things to do!
3: Schedule your usage!
Moving past just breaking the addiction:
- Do you have scheduled time (blocks) for when you'll work on your goals?
- Do you have scheduled check in times and measurable indicators to keep you on track?
- Do you have someone who keeps you accountable and checks in with you?
“We must go further. Beyond evaluating our current life experience and becoming clear as to whether or not our days’ efforts are meaningful to us, we must set a new and more productive course for our lives."
"What will our mission be from this moment forward? What will be our plan of action? What steps must be taken?"
"These questions are not a philosophical suggestion. We should sit down now with pen in hand and write out the focus and direction of our lives from now forward."
"Lacking our own declarations and directives in life—written down, reviewed, updated, lived from—we can only fall into the herd. We end up where ‘they’ take us, where they want us, wherever the wind blows us, regardless of our hopes and intent. Such a life is not one we want.”
Writing down your next actions, the secret!
We've spoken about motivation..
- We know it's important to have a WHY that's important to us..
- We know that we need to believe we can accomplish that why and that belief comes from momentum..
- We know what might get in our way and how to ensure that it doesn't..
Now we need a plan!
- What will your mission be from this moment forward?
- What will be our plan of action?
- What steps must be taken?
These are all a great place to start!
- I personally am really in love with how 'The Four Disciplines of Execution' breaks this down.
- Here’s a quick overview of the 4 Disciplines.
Discipline 1. Focus on the Wildly Important.
Basically, the more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish.
This is a stark, inescapable principle that we all live with.
Discipline 2. Act on Lead Measures.
This is the discipline of leverage. It’s based on the simple principle that not all actions are created equal.
Some actions have more impact that others when reaching for a goal. And it is those you want to identify and act on if you want to reach your goal.
Discipline 3: Keep a Compelling Scorecard.
People play differently when they are keeping score.
If you doubt this, watch any group of teenagers playing basketball and see how the game changes the minute scorekeeping begins.
Discipline 4: Create a Cadence of Accountability.
Discipline 4 is where execution really happens.
The first three disciplines set up the game, but until you apply Discipline 4, your team isn’t in the game.
“Those who perfect bringing joy to every day of their lives are not unlike any other master—they work so hard at something that it soon becomes play."
"The greatest artists and athletes, the highest achieving executives and entrepreneurs, the happiest laborers and the most respected leaders all lose themselves in their work with great zeal and enthusiasm."
"Their efforts are like a game. They immerse themselves cheerfully as if playing to their strengths in a great sandlot. They do not look angry, bewildered, frustrated, or restless but rather relaxed, effortless. Even in chaos and turmoil, they meet struggle with intense and spirited joy."
"They engage in the challenge and honor it as if they expected it and accept it. Even amid the discomfort of growing complexity of building their lives and their careers, they often appear unfazed and nearly serene. They often sing while they toil, and smile while perplexed and working. They spend and stretch themselves with devotion, willing themselves to remain positive and cheerful, knowing that one day their diligence will make them masters, knowing that one day they will have their victory and transcendence. These are the joyous masters.”
True masters know how to achieve a Flow State..
Flow: is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity
- It's best known as 'being in the zone' in sports for example..
- But it's a lot more than that! It's a state where time melts away and we're 10x more productive..
- That's right, one hour of Flow based work translates to ten hours of non-Flow based work!
Flow is important.. But how?
Brendon says here to treat it like a game, and that's true! Games are an easy way to create a Flow State.
Here are the hacks to get into Flow from the Mihaly man who wrote the book on it..
8 Characteristics of Flow:
- Complete concentration on the task
- Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback
- Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down)
- The experience is intrinsically rewarding
- Effortlessness and ease
- There is a balance between challenge and skills
- Actions and awareness are merged, losing self-conscious rumination
- There is a feeling of control over the task
“Do we know what qualities of character would make us feel congruent, happy, and whole?"
"If not, let us ask, ‘If I were to die tomorrow, how would I want others to remember me? What exact words and phrases would I be happy to hear them use to describe me? When I guide my decisions and actions today, what exact words and phrases should penetrate my mind and inspire me to be a good human?’"
"The answers to these questions give us focus in life. Should we desire to be remembered as vibrant, kind, intelligent, loving, and courageous, then we can choose to live in alignment with those descriptions."
"To some, this seems too basic a premise. But common sense is not always common practice.”
True Stoic meditative question!
I love these questions:
- If I were to die tomorrow, how would I want others to remember me?
- What exact words and phrases would I be happy to hear them use to describe me?
- When I guide my decisions and actions today, what exact words and phrases should penetrate my mind and inspire me to be a good human?
They are a very Stoic way of thinking..
- Contemplating life at the end and whether you lived up to your ideal sage or not!
- I recommend you checkout the Playlist of Stoic Books on the channel. They have an amazing amount of questions and insights like this.
- Very powerful long-term motivating question.
For now? Let's write down the answers.