The Motivation Myth—The Great Equalizer

Posted by on Jan 8, 2018 | No Comments

Have you ever picked up a book and, within minutes, felt as if you were spending time with a dear friend? Every paragraph confirms that this person sincerely cares about you and wants to help. Since you feel as if you’ve known them for years, you trust their wisdom. You can sense that they’ve been around the block a few times and there’s a lot you can learn. As you lose yourself in the book’s conversation, you find yourself, sitting on the couch, or on an airplane, or in a café laughing out loud at your new dear friend’s bad jokes and your shared humanity. How could it be, you wonder, to read a stranger’s words and find so much of yourself on the page?

I suspect my experience with Jeff Haden’s new book, The Motivation Myth, will not be an isolated case. Not because Jeff has some super-natural-author powers (which he might) but because so many of us have followed his work for years. He has brought a refreshingly authentic voice to the business world through his Inc. column for as long as I can remember and, in a world fraught with negativity and turmoil, has always offered a positive and constructive perspective. He’s never been one to let us (his readers) wallow, and as much as there are days when I’d prefer to feel sorry for myself, I always find a better me at the end of each article.

At the end of reading The Motivation Myth, I could multiply that experience 10-fold.

When I first started reading I was highlighting all of the passages that stood out for me, until I realized there was more yellow than white on the pages and maybe I should show some restraint.  So, without writing a book about what I loved about Jeff’s book, here’s what excited me the most:

Jeff has succeeded in completely demystifying motivation

Having had my own business for more than 15 years now, I’ve succeeded in getting some massive projects across the finish-line. I’ve dreamed big, made more mistakes than I like to think about, and have kept, unglamorously, plugging away, every day, until eventually I look up and find that my big hairy-scary-goal is within reach. For me, a lot of the way I’ve always gone about achieving has always been instinctual—which is great, when it works. Feeling motivated has never been a problem for me, it’s the doing something about the feeling where I’ve been known to get slogged down.  As someone who is predominately a right-brained creature, process has never been my strength, but lucky for me, it’s Jeff’s. Jeff has put into words everything that I knew to be true, but couldn’t name. He’s demystified the process of motivation.

With process, comes the ability to replicate.

No longer do any of us have to wish on a hope and a prayer that we can get big things done, because he’s laid out a very clear and specific plan for taking our dreams and making them achievable.

Jeff decompartmentalizes success

So often, when we talk about success, especially in the United States, we limit the conversation to “success at work” or “success at business”—we focus on all the things we need to do to achieve a corporate goal, while our health and relationships are left crumbling at our feet. It’s long-past time we shifted our thinking and Jeff is at the forefront of the conversation. He talks business, and goals, and achievement, and success, yes—but he also talks family, and fitness, and financial health, and pursing your passions. Jeff has the audacity to speak to the human being reading his book and builds the business case for a more wholistic view of what it takes to truly succeed.

Jeff introduces us to some really cool people

Okay, seriously, who gets to share a sandwich with Richard Branson, hangs out with NASCAR drivers, Def Leppard guitarists, famous actors, and Mark Cuban? Jeff has certainly earned bragging rights for knowing some of the most interesting people on the planet, but it’s what he does with what he’s learned from these interesting people that matters to us. What we discover, when Jeff pulls back the curtain, is that the activities that made these extraordinary people so extraordinary, aren’t as far out of our reach as we imagine them to be. If you read closely enough, you might just find a glimmer of what could become your extraordinary self in this new year.

With the right process.

If you do the work.

It’s interesting, reading a book that debunks the way we traditionally think about motivation. There were times that I fought to turn the pages as I clung tightly to my excuses. While The Motivation Myth does indeed do a thorough job of dispelling the fantasy that success will someday be an effortless joy-ride, I finished the book more hopeful and optimistic than ever.

For if we have the ability to generate motivation for ourselves—to map and build the life we seek—isn’t that the great equalizer? What if 2018 doesn’t have to be the year of “I should’ve” but will instead bring you 365 days closer to where you want to be?

If you ask me, that would make for a very good year.


©OnStage Leadership, 2018

If you found this helpful, interesting, thought-provoking, or inspiring please “recommend”, “Like” and share.  It is only through your generosity that we can reach those who may find it valuable too.  My sincere thanks.  Kimberly

Kimberly’s new book, Brave Leadership: Unleash Your Most Confident, Authentic, and Powerful Self will be released January 16 and is available now on 

KimberKimberly-Davis-Headshot-20142ly Davis is a former TEDx speaker, the Founder/Director of OnStage Leadership, a full-day experiential leadership workshop.  Click here to read what people are saying!  If you’re interested in more information, or in having Kimberly come speak to your group on topics around Authentic Leadership, Influence, Presence, Engagement, Purpose, Presentation Skills, or being BRAVE, we’d love to hear from you!


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