What is more motivating – running towards a goal or running away from what you don’t want?

07/02/2022
What is more motivating -running towards a goal or running away from what you don't want?

1 min read

It feels like I have read all of the goalsetting books, articles and done all of the workshops out there yet I still struggle to complete my own personal projects.

I am fantastic at building up a vision, getting an initial prototype created but then somewhere along the line, my enthusiasm just deflates and disappears.

I am really frustrated with the ‘you are just not working hard enough’ or ‘your goal is not bright enough’ type of advice out there.  If we were all the same and that advice worked, everyone would be very successful.

My mind clearly works differently and I am not alone. In the Myers Briggs test, I am an ENFP and am currently in the process of evaluating the possibility that I may have undiagnosed ADHD, which would explain a lot.  Regardless of that outcome, just understanding how that type of mind works has given me a whole new insight into the breadth of neurodiversity.

This led me to wonder if I have been trying to motivate myself the wrong way.  With the type of mind I have, future goals are temporarily exciting (dopamine high) but fade quickly and lose lustre when well worn. Added to this, my ideal of the future is frequently subject to change.

I wonder then, should I focus on running away from what I do not want instead of towards a flickering goal.  Like running from a predator, every time I find my interest waning, should I think of my worst-case scenario and see that as the consequence of my inaction or paralysis.  Stand still and be consumed by sabre-toothed failed ambitions and regret.

Should I dream or should I run?

I’ve been dreaming for so long without sustained success – I think I’m going to try to run.

What works for you?

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