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The Motivation Hacker

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,498 ratings  ·  144 reviews
“Moderation in all things,” they say. That may keep a society together, but it’s not the protagonist’s job. The Motivation Hacker shows you how to summon extreme amounts of motivation to accomplish anything you can think of. From precommitment to rejection therapy, this is your field guide to getting yourself to want to do everything you always wanted to want to do.

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ebook, 138 pages
Published April 6th 2013 by Smashwords Edition
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  1,498 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Julian Schrittwieser
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it

> First pick your goals, then figure out which motivation hacks to use on the subtasks that lead to those goals.

$Motivation = \frac{Expectancy \times Value}{Impulsiveness \times Delay}$

# List of Motivation Techniques

- **Expectancy**: Success Spirals, surround with motivated people, Mental Contrasting, guard against excessive optimism
- **Value**: make it enjoyable, find meaning (connect with life goals), optimize energy (sleep, food), rewards
- **Impulsivene
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
"I don't know where you get the spark to start, only how to fan it into an inferno once you have it."

This book has taught me some cool things that I will try to apply to my own life but it dragged and went back and forth with a lot of the points he was trying to make. It felt like a gigantic blog post, it could have been just a tad shorter. Cool lessons, though. I even took notes.
Aditya Vidhate
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The impact of this book strongly depends on the current phase of your professional/academic life, in my opinion. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I read it at the time I needed it the most. Being in a vicious loop of under-productivity and procrastination had bogged me down really bad, as a result of which I was under-performing and creating miserably less outcome from my days. The Motivation Hacker lit a spark in me that got me out of months of being in the bad loop and had a life changing impac ...more
Stanislav Bozhanov
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I give it only four stars only because it's written a little bit hard to read at some points BUT on the other hand it's an AWESOME book!!! I'm using the success spiral technique and the happiness meter and a couple more of the ideas presented in the book and I started lucid dreaming which I thinks is so cool. I also made a dream journal. Soooo THANK YOU NICK! Best 3$ spent EVER! ...more
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Read largely like a blog post - a couple of useful ideas, but it was certainly too little and too narrow to call it a 'book'. The material was largely self-congratulatory and self-promoting with no handling of potential difficulties and research on things that may work differently for other people. ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I read this book after watching Thomas Frank's video on the books that changed his life. There are definitely some good tips to 'hack' your motivation and do the things that you want, but I guess I just expected this book to read like a book, and not like an overly-extended article.
Basically, this is a book on how the author hacked his own motivation and accomplished success in his professional, personal and creative life. And while he was accomplishing these feats, he wrote about the process o
May 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lesswrong, psychology
quantitative approach to motivation/goals inspired by behavioral economics/psychology

- 10-20% of good knowledge/inspiration on hacking motivation, the rest are worthless examples of implementation largely dominated by ego although could be helpful to someone without imagination
- poor structure of the book - hopefully it's short read
- rather silly approach to life in general ex. planning your day with granularity down to 5min
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People with spoons to spare, but who find themselves lacking motivation.
I got a lot of value out of this, and have started using the techniques. Especially valuable, I think, was the way Nick writes about success spirals, and how you really have to apply this stuff in a way that will work — because faltering or half-assing it will just set you up for a harder time down the road if you try again.

Some of the book gets pretty braggy though, which personally I find *de*motivating. If that applies to you too, I'd skip or skim chapter 7 (where he tells an exaggerated tale
Sowmya's book world
With presumption that its a honest try of the naive writer and i picked this book for its content rather than a literary work of it so i wont put this book under that radar.

This book was mostly a consolidation of a blog post, the way it's written and content presented to us were pretty much straight forward . Few things had too much details( ex: at the end he explained about all the things he achieved with way too much details which kind of bored me)

To be Honest i didn't pick this book to find
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
A great way to get to know my friend Nick better, though I enjoyed the memoir-like portions more than the actual motivation hacking segments. I'll attribute that to the fact that the book was about a friend, and that Nick had already mentioned most of these motivation hacks to me in person.

I think the book was a little bit overly boastful at times, but the stories were good. Despite the slightly annoying prevalence of self-congratulation I found the book to be an easy, and enjoyable read. And t
Bismillah Nasir Ishfaq
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book introduced me to one of the most fascinating equations that I have ever known: the motivation equation. And since after reading it, I have been applying it to many aspects of my life and am surprised to see the unexpectedly amazing results. The writer's goal in this book, after introducing the motivation equation, is to show you how he implemented its different aspects in his own life to successfully complete some ambitiously set missions, and how you can do the same by following those ...more
Aaron Gertler
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nick Winter had a productive year. Here, he discusses several days from that year literally from start to finish. I find that hyper-detailed "how to" format extremely helpful in a book that hopes to actually change my behavior. Winter also provides an excellent beginner's guide to Beeminder, one of my favorite apps.

My favorite thing about this book --- other than the fact that it cost $3 and increased my productivity by around 5% thereafter --- is that Nick is a regular guy. You can write him em
Dec 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Nick Winter is a non-expert who wrote this book in 3 months. That said, there is a lot here that is valuable--his enthusiasm is contagious, he's done some good research and a lot of what he talks about led me off with good directions for additional research.

Don't be deterred by the 3 star rating, you'd be hard pressed to walk away from reading it without feeling excited to learn something new, make more of your life and have a little more fun. That's worth the 3 bucks and 3 hours this book will
Ammar Lakis
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book had a good start, but gradually went stuffed with unnecessary details and repeated ideas. I fast-read the last chapter, that was unnecessary and overwhelmingly positive which I find damaging when speaking about productivity.
The author could have summarized most of the book with less words and better structure.
However, I liked how he showed applying the motivation hacking methods in his personal experience, so not a bad one-day reading.
Kyle van Oosterum
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Pre-commit, burn your ships, box your time, use Beeminder. Solid advice.
Shitiz Srivastava
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is good but there is nothing new in here.
It is a light read.
The book is basically a biographical account of the author Nick Winter's journey from his college to his adult life and how he created an app called Skritter, which is a Chinese language learning app. By the way, he promotes his app so much in the book that it sometimes it appears he has written the book just to promote his app.
He reads a lot of books and keeps motivating himself and his friends to achieve what they set to
Miss Canthus
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book has been written in three months - and you will notice it. Actually you can sum it up in very short words: use success spirals and precommitment. There may be other motivating ways but he does not mention them because he is not using them. Also, nothing about how to get though when stuck (may happen). I also was really annoyed by the fact that you just can't miss the fact that he is super privileged. Give work you don't like to someone who likes it better - Yeah, sure thing when you ha ...more
Daniel Frank
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Nick's an awesome guy. This is a quick, fun and most importantly, valuable read for anyone interested in getting more out of their life. ...more
Shaun Davidson
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book. If I had to sum it up, I'd say he teaches you MEVID, or M = EV/ID, or Motivation = Expectancy * Value / Impulsiveness * Delay. I completely get this: expectation is the mental index you have of likelihood that you'll follow through and finish a task. Value is what it's worth to you. Impulsiveness is how likely you are to either procrastinate or get distracted from the task. And Delay is how far out in the future the potential reward is.

The entire rest of the book is either related pr
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting, but I feel like the advice is designed for people who already have some form of motivation and are able to implement some of the more intense "hacks". I sure as hell don't have R100k ($7000) to lose if I fail at a goal.
For beginners - his advice is basically to just start. Bro, if I could do that - I would.

Might re-read at a later stage to see if I can find anything helpful from this.
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
For anyone who is always reading self-help books, trying to make himself better, than suddenly he wonders, is that going to work? how can I combine all those ideas from all those resources? Is there anyone who tried that and succeed?

So in this book, Nick Winter set for himself so many challenges in which one of them is writing this book in 3 months and he succeeded in doing that. Some people would say that it is not well written, that the style is not that great but I would say that the content
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: motivating-reads
I'd rather give this book 3.5 stars but I rounded up. The pros - breezy, and a good jumping off point to learn more about self motivation techniques. Not as braggy as it seems it might seem at first. Solid footnotes.

Con - the same one many books like this suffer from. His life is so far removed from typical (or at least mine) that it's really hard to relate. His daily schedule blew my mind for its lack of obligations. He did seem to understand this somewhat but his youth and inexperience seems
Derek Lukacs
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
“To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.” - Walter Pater, writer

This quote starts off the book and I think it sets the stage for what this book hopes to achieve: a state of extreme motivation to accomplish goals. The book sets out some methods for "hacking motivation" as well as some anecdotes from the author's life. I agree with other reviewers that this book has a few good ideas and is bogged down with some ego but I found myself motivated t
Rakshitkumar Mahale
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
My Rating: 3.2 / 5
This book lacks content. It's small and disappointing. For me this book failed to become either an inspirational read or hand guide towards a certain topic.
The only thing I liked in this book is the motivation formula explained in the beginning. Apart from that I don't know what I just read. I don't think I'm going to remember what I have read in this book because the experiments doesn't feel authentic.
Jayson Virissimo
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Didn't have any techniques I hadn't learned on Less Wrong except for stacking the motivation hacks to go from just enough to get the work done to actually making it fun. Overall, a good, concise, and inspirational introduction to motivation hacking. ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Read The Procrastination Equation instead, this book trivializes motivation and oversimplifies the behavioral change process. Though, the author seems to be a great person. It may not be fair to compare him to experts, but our time is scarce and the library never-ending.
Tarmo Pungas
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Helped me understand the essence and importance of motivation and the difference between not procrastinating and enjoying being productive.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
Wait a second... scritter??? I have these apps on my I-pad!
Next word of the year for me - MEVID (the first one is AWARE from Outsmart Your Anxious Brain: Ten Simple Ways to Beat the Worry Trick
Note on Chinese.
Learning 3000 thousands Chinese words in 3 month might seem as no mean feat (and it is) but it is not as hard as it might seems (that is not true for a learner who's just starting on his/her journey but we know it's not the case here) and learning 3000 thousands characters is the different
Cat Gray
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is a perfect book to read while preparing for the New Year resolutions. Even though most of the author's techniques wouldn't work for me, because we're in very different life situations, this book is incredibly inspiring for its DIY vibe: you can create a system custom-tailored to your own situation, and follow it to success. Nick's report of completing all his goals by following his own system is an evidence that it works.

My main takeaways from this book:

- It is, indeed, possible to follow s
Mariana Pimenta
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
The book itself, as other reviews have mentioned it, is not really a book, is more like a ver extended blog article which made it sometimes really hard to read, and sometimes really enjoyable due to the characters wittiness and smart observations.

The book itself can be very useful, specially for someone who desperately need to get out of a downward spiral. However, I do think the author writes the book as what he found applicable in his life is an universal rule. And it might be, things might be
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Cofounder of CodeCombat and Skritter, experimenter of self, student of rationality, hacker of motivation. I wrote a book one summer in which I learned to skateboard and throw knives and lucid dream, trained for a marathon and other feats, learned a ton of Chinese, and more.

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“The tip which worked for me was to focus on input-based process goals (write for five minutes) rather than output-based results goals (write one page), and to keep the required inputs minuscule at first.” 1 likes
“To precommit is to choose now to limit your options later, preventing yourself from making the wrong choice in the face of temptation. Publicly announcing your goal is a common form of precommitment.” 0 likes
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