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

4.4 (339 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden debunks the idea that motivation is the answer to success. Instead, he argues that consistent action, even without direct motivation, leads to achieving goals. The book offers practical strategies for overcoming obstacles and achieving success.

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    The Motivation Myth
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    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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    Key ideas in The Motivation Myth

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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.

    The Motivation Myth Review

    The Motivation Myth (2018) by Jeff Haden offers a fresh perspective on motivation and how we can achieve our goals without relying on it. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with practical strategies, it provides actionable steps to help readers overcome obstacles and achieve success.
    • By dispelling common myths about motivation, the book challenges readers to rethink their approach and find new ways to stay motivated.
    • Through real-life stories and relatable examples, the book keeps readers engaged and offers valuable insights for personal and professional growth.

    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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    The Motivation Myth FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Motivation Myth?

    The main message of The Motivation Myth is that waiting for motivation to take action is a myth, and instead, consistent action leads to motivation.

    How long does it take to read The Motivation Myth?

    The reading time for The Motivation Myth varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Motivation Myth a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Motivation Myth is worth reading as it challenges the common notion of relying solely on motivation. It provides valuable insights on how to take consistent action and achieve goals.

    Who is the author of The Motivation Myth?

    Jeff Haden is the author of The Motivation Myth.

    What to read after The Motivation Myth?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Motivation Myth, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Motivation Code by Todd Henry with Ron Penner
    • Return on Ambition by Nicolai Chen Nielsen and Nicolai Tillisch
    • The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
    • How to be F*cking Awesome by Dan Meredith
    • I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher with Barbara Smith
    • Stop Self-Sabotage by Dr. Judy Ho
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does by Susan Fowler
    • Don't Believe Everything You Think by Joseph Nguyen
    • Level Up by Rob Dial