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Are You Using the Right Kind of Motivation? by Danielle Rachlin, CNSF

Do you ever feel frustrated that you don’t feel motivated to do something even though you know why you should do it? Do you ever ask yourself why you don’t want to do something even though you know the repercussions if you don’t? Why can you feel the need to do something but still not feel an impulse to do it? Is it failure? Show yourself some compassion, because that answer is: NO! 

It turns out, there may be a reason why you don’t respond to a list of consequences or a list of benefits. You may be putting the wrong carrot if front of yourself or hitting yourself with the wrong stick.  

There are Two Opposite Kinds of Motivation 

It turns out there are two opposite kinds of motivation and everyone is typically attracted to one more than the other. These motivators are Towards-Directed and Avoidance-Directed.  

Towards-Directed Motivation is a reason to do something so that X will happen. For example, a person that is towards-directed would feel an impulse to buy a brand of toothpaste that says “this toothpaste will give you a pearly white smile and leave your mouth feeling fresh!” In a meditation practice, this could be: “If I do my meditation practice, I will feel mindful, stimulated, and relaxed.” This applies to any kind of action you want to take: “If I exercise, I will feel better and get stronger.” 

Avoidance-Directed Motivation is a reason to do something so that X won’t happen. Using the same toothpaste example, an avoidance-directed person would feel an impulse to buy from an advertisement that says “if you don’t use this advanced toothpaste, you’re more likely to build up plaque and get gingivitis.” In a meditation practice, this could be: “If I don’t do my meditation practice, I’ll feel anxious and frazzled all day.” This applies to all other kinds of actions like: “If I don’t exercise, I’ll feel lazy and gain weight.” The consequence of not doing something is the reason to do it.  

Which Do You Respond More to? 

Advertisers know this about human psychology! You may start noticing it in the hundreds of ads we see per day. You can do a little investigation on what kind of motivation you respond to by observing what kinds of advertisements you respond to. 

 Which do you think you respond to more: “If you buy this, you’ll be…” or “If you don’t buy this, you’ll be…”? You may be surprised! Your answer may also change over time. Keep in mind that you may respond to both, but people typically gravitate toward one at least a little more than the other.  

What is possible for you today if you put the right carrot in front of yourself?  


To start the New Year off right, join Danielle Rachlin, CNSF for Neurosculpting® for Motivation and Goal-Setting, December 15th online or at NSI.

Danielle Rachlin, CNSF

Danielle Rachlin, CNSF received her Neurosculpting® Facilitator Certification in the original round of NSI graduates in 2013. Since then, she has taken an academic approach to teaching and has brought Neurosculpting® into the world of college campuses with her recurring quarter-long series at Colorado Mesa University. Danielle has also produced an educational ghostwriting collection in her position in Communications  for the Neurosculpting® Institute during the completion of her Master’s degree in Public Administration for Environmental Policy, Management, and Law.

Danielle is passionate about introducing these concepts to people that do not necessarily already know they are interested in the subject and in making the information accessible to all kinds of people. She is motivated to spread the content of Neurosculpting® as widely as she can because she wants everyone to understand the natural processes of their brain so personal development is not an uphill battle. She has been meditating since childhood and was originally drawn deeply to Neurosculpting® due to its solid and digestible foundation in science.

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