As we ring in the New Year and step into 2018, Motivation is high as we make New Resolutions, form New Goals and strive to make some changes to our routine either by giving up an old habit or trying something new!

However Research shows that this drive of inspiration does not last long enough for most of us and motivation tapers down as days go by and most of us quit too soon! In fact research shows 80% of people give up on their New Year resolution by second week of February!

So is Motivation just a lightning bolt of inspiration that strikes and then fades away?

How can we keep the fire burning?

Are we actually waiting for Motivation to motivate us?

If you are pondering over these questions like me, then this book “The Motivation Myth”written by LinkedIn’s well known Influencer and Inc Magazine’s most popular columnist, Jeff Haden has all the answers you need!!

In this path breaking book, Jeff Haden clearly challenges the common wisdom about how to tackle your goals and gain your motivation. Unlike what we think about Motivation being a special sauce that we need to achieve great things, Motivation is actually a result of a clear and repeatable processes, not just a cause.

Motivation is something you create and not what you get, you gain daily doses of motivation by following through your process not focusing too much on end result and celebrating your small wins along your way.

I had the pleasure of connecting with Jeff Haden on LinkedIn a while back and a recent announcement about his book launch piqued my interest and I reached out to him to know more. Jeff was kind enough to correspond with me and share his insights about a variety of topics covering tidbits about the upcoming book “The Motivation Myth”, his views on how to gain motivation through small successes, what he thinks about writer’s block, some fun facts about him including favorite author/book and more!

Check out the full interview excerpt below!

What inspired you to write “The Motivation Myth”?

JH: I was talking with Venus Williams about her career and her various pursuits and she said she had never had this lightning bolt moment of inspiration or motivation. She didn’t suddenly think, “My life’s purpose is to be the #1 tennis player in the world.” She just wanted to be a better tennis player.

Then I thought about all the people who tell me they hope to accomplish something big but are waiting for that lightning bolt to strike. And I realized that only in rare cases do incredibly successful people suddenly find their passion and life’s purpose. Most of them develop their passions and interests slowly, over time, simply by trying something, wanting to get better at it… and getting daily doses of motivation through enjoying small successes.

In short, motivation isn’t something you get — motivation is something you create, on your own, by following a process that allows you to improve, bit by bit.

That thought alone is incredibly motivating, because it means you already have everything inside you that you need to achieve your goals.

Can you share some insight into your latest book “The Motivation Myth”? What can the readers expect and how different it is compared to other self-help books?”

JH: The key is to create a process that guarantees a series of small improvements. Usually that means the process isn’t that different. While, as Monty Python says, we are all individuals, there’s also no need to reinvent perfectly good wheels.

That’s why one of the chapters is Do What the Pros Do: Pick someone who has achieved something you want to achieve, deconstruct their process, and then follow it. Along the way you might make small corrections as you learn what works best for you… but never start by doing what you want to do, or what feels good, or what you think might work. Do what is proven to work. Otherwise you’ll give up because the process you create won’t get you those small successes that keep you motivated — and feeling good about yourself.

What is your favorite chapter in your book and why?

JH: I don’t have a favorite chapter, but I do have an insight I particularly like.

Most incredibly successful people instinctively create processes that focus on the day to day and not the end result. If you focus solely on your goal, you realize just how great the distance is between here, where you’re staring, and there, where you hope to someday be… and that gap is so wide that it’s incredibly demotivating. If you want to run a marathon and today you can only run a mile, thinking about someday needing to run 26 miles is hugely daunting. Think about it too much and you’ll quit.

That’s why Venus Williams’s dad kept Venus and Serena from playing too many junior tournaments. He wanted them to focus on developing their skills, not on winning or losing. In the early days of Metallica, Kirk Hammett was still taking guitar lessons from Joe Satriani and rode his bike 25 miles one-way to get there. (He didn’t have a car.) Bert Jacobs and his brother John started Life is Good by driving a minivan up and down the coast, selling t-shirts out the back. The list goes on of people who focused on creating a process that would lead to long-term success… and then working that process and finding motivation in small, day-to-day successes. That’s how they kept going when others would have quit.

Do you believe in Writer’s Block?

JH: No. The only reason you should be blocked is if you haven’t figured out what you want to say. Don’t start writing until you know what you want to say. Otherwise you’re just forcing it.

What advice would you provide for other aspiring writers?

JH: Write as often and as much as you can. And then spend your downtime reading. The best way to improve is to put in the time and effort.

And don’t spend a lot of time thinking about style and sentence construction and all that “writer” stuff. The most elegantly crafted sentences are still worthless if you don’t have something of value to say – and “value” is always defined from the reader’s perspective. Help people, educate people, entertain people, make their lives better somehow… do that, and “how” you write is almost irrelevant.

Fun Facts about Jeff Haden:

Favorite book

“Seabiscuit”. I’ve read it at least 5 times.

Favorite Author

Hmm. Probably Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher books. Always entertaining, Perfect for long plane trips.

Favorite Positive quote

As Jimmy Spithill, skipper of America’s Cup-winning Team Oracle USA, said,

“Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy.”

You may not be as experienced, as well funded, as well connected, as talented…but you can always out think, out hustle, and out work everyone else.

Your mascot/Avatar /Sprit Animal

I don’t have a spirit animal, but I do like meerkats a lot.

Advice to younger self:

“Stop worrying about what other people might think. Live your life, not theirs”.

Bonus Clip!

Even though this topic did not come up as part of the interview, yet during my research what I found remarkable about Jeff Haden is his approach in overturning popular yet false ideas and presenting more meaningful realistic solutions.

His approach in the book “The Motivation Myth”, where he overturns a popular idea that motivation leads to success and instead proves that small successes lead to constant motivation which will help you achieve bigger goals.

Similar to the book, in this video, Jeff challenges the popular wisdom of “Fake it till you make it” approach and instead offers a workable, realistic and fool proof way to building confidence !

A Huge Thank You and shout out to Jeff Haden for taking the time to answer the questions and provide his valuable input on how to make the motivation work , how to celebrate small wins which in turn creates motivation and how to transcend average to achieve greater things !

For more of Jeff Haden, you can check out his website HERE, and you can order the book “The Motivation Myth” HERE!

So, for 2018 if you wish to make a lasting positive change in your life and set yourself up for success, then go grab yourself a copy of this book today!

Happy New Year to ThriveGlobal Community !!


  • Ash Rao

    Career Coach | Writer | Corporate Recruiter

    Ash Rao is a certified Career Coach and a HR professional who enjoys blogging about better careers, productivity and self-improvement tips.

    Her blogs have been published at Thrive Global, Fast Company, Social-Hire, Powerhouse Global Magazine and many other publications.

    As a career coach/recruiter she has helped many job seekers achieve their dream careers through targeted coaching on job search strategies, interview training, resume writing and building effective LinkedIn presence.

    She is one of the co-authors of an anthology book project  "Tough Road Creates Tough People" which is launching Oct 2019.