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The Bones of Motivation, Part II - The Motive Center
January 22nd, 2005
07:40 pm


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The Bones of Motivation, Part II

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Date:January 24th, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC)

Hey Steve...

Interesting concept, your Bones of Motivation. I've found that where I am often confounded is in properly or correctly identifying the Need -- which sort of translates into an inability to set or recognize the Goal, doesn't it? -- combined with envisioning a multitude of Blocks (personal or world). Which sounds kind of odd (how can you envision Blocks or obstacles to a goal when you don't have a good vision of what the goal is?), but is in fact a fairly persistent problem.

Anyway, now that I've discovered your LJ (thanks to Mike), you may be plagued by comments from me. But turnabout is fair play -- I've been blogging again (glup.blogspot.com), and comments are enabled there.


Or Froot Loop, if you prefer.

-- Dan
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Date:January 24th, 2005 07:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Hey Steve...

Definitely Cheerios. And yes, you are absolutely correct in your characterization of the Need. It's not necessarily odd--a vague sense of goal is itself a personal block, seems to me. Furthermore, the vaguer the goal, the harder it is to imagine accomplishing it. Some research on goal-setting has found that the very act of setting a goal makes accomplishment more likely--up to 75% more likely. I see this as the reverse: making a goal clear and explicit is also the process of making it real and concrete.

At a few talks, I've asked people "what would you do if I asked you to start writing a 72,000 word book right now? You have one year--go!" Most people (NaNoWrMo participants excepted) react with panic. However:

72,000 words/year = 6,000 words/month = 200 words per day = a couple of good paragraphs or less than one manuscript page! Suddenly it seems more possible, doesn't it?

When Toni was starting out and I suggested she use a word-count on her Mac, she didn't know how long a novel was. I told her "65-75K." From then on she tracked not only how many words she wrote, but how far away the end was--she was mapping out the end-date for generating a book's worth of words! That means she got two positive hits to her motivation when she exceeded goals: exceeding the daily goal, and advancing her completion date.

Anyhow, I'm delighted to have your comments--I need feedback as much as the next guy!--and will go check out your blog in return.

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