The Motivation Myth Book Summary - The Motivation Myth Book explained in key points
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The Motivation Myth summary

Jeff Haden

How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win

4.5 (273 ratings)
20 mins
Table of Contents

    The Motivation Myth
    summarized in 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Small victories fuel motivation.

    A few months after taking up cycling as a hobby, the author participated in his first major Gran Fondo cycling event. The 100-mile route covered dirt and gravel roads and included 11,000 feet of climbing. The trail was the most difficult task the author had set out to accomplish. But, thanks to his grueling training regime, he successfully reached the finish line.

    For weeks after the event, the author felt more confident than usual. The effort and determination he’d put into his training had paid off, and the memory of finishing the race gave him a sense of pride. Sure, he had more work to do before reaching his goal of becoming the best cyclist he could be. But he felt motivated to keep improving for the next event. So what does this tell us?

    The key message here is: Small victories fuel motivation.

    To put it another way, after achieving his first cycling milestone, the author learned an important lesson: the key to staying motivated is to regularly enjoy small successes.

    Small successes are motivating. Enjoying them can lead to a happy cycle of more success and more motivation. By savoring small victories, you can feel accomplished every day. That’s because you’ll no longer be focused on the gap between where you are and where you want to be. In fact, as long as you achieve what you set out to do each day, you’ll feel like a winner.

    But first things first: to reap the benefits of small successes, you have to get started. And for most people, the first step in any process turns out to be the hardest one.

    For example, even though the author is passionate about cycling, there are some days when it’s the last thing he wants to do. It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy it. It’s just that he has to get through the first few miles of stiff legs and cold air before riding his bike becomes fun. As soon as the endorphins kick in, his mood improves.

    He feels proud of his ability to excel at the sport and of his ability to continue improving. So, to get out of the house each morning, he’s taught himself to enjoy these successes and remember how great he’ll feel once the wheels start to turn.

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    What is The Motivation Myth about?

    The Motivation Myth (2018) debunks the idea that you need motivation for success. Drawing on the author’s own experiences and examples from high achievers across a range of fields, it shows you how to cultivate a process to reach your goals and enjoy fulfillment along the way.

    Best quote from The Motivation Myth

    Success is inevitable only in hindsight.

    —Jeff Haden
    example alt text

    Who should read The Motivation Myth?

    • Managers, parents, and students who feel unmotivated
    • Entrepreneurs who want to start a business
    • Anyone interested in picking up a new sport

    About the Author

    Jeff Haden is a ghostwriter, speaker, LinkedIn Influencer, and contributing writer to Inc. Magazine. His work has appeared in Time, the Huffington Post, Fast Company, and Business Insider, and on Yahoo! Small Business, and MSNBC.

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