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The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,105 ratings  ·  255 reviews
From's most popular columnist, a counterintuitive--but highly practical--guide to finding and maintaining the motivation to achieve great things.

It's comforting to imagine that superstars in their fields were just born better equipped than the rest of us. When a co-worker loses 20 pounds, or a friend runs a marathon while completing a huge project at work, we assum
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Portfolio Penguin
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Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I downloaded this because it was available on the overdrive and it wasn't too long.

Unsurprisingly, it's written by an American. Is it just my impression or are most self-help books written by Americans? The only non-American self-help books I remember coming across were the Marie Kondo ones. Is it because Americans think they know it best, therefore, must share? Is it because of the constant strive for self-improvement, the you-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be mantra, which creates the demand? Or
Fate's Lady
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Ableism warning!

I feel like I got a pretty decent handful of actionable takeaways and ideas from this book. It was also a delight, as always, to listen to Ray Porter reading. It lost a couple stars for not even trying to acknowledge that the advice is super ableist. A lot of it is useless or even harmful to people with disabilities of all kinds, but particularly for people with invisible disabilities, in my opinion. "Do x every day no excuses" is fine for people with typical bodies/health, but
Manuel Antão
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Feynman Technique in an Infinite Loop: "The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win" by Jeff Haden

Boredom is supposed to unlock creativity, but I believe this to be a popular myth. All of my experience with boredom - such as sitting for long periods of time on an airplane - suggests that it is intensely draining, tiring, and causes me to experience an energy hangover sometimes for a whole day afterwards. The
Emma Sea
Same old, same old. 'Success' is about the process. Set a goal, then forget about the goal. Focus on the day-to-day activities that will get you there. What matters is what you do today. ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am a high achiever so I thought I would find this book informative and inspiring, but instead it just stressed me out.
The two stars are for the first two and a half chapters. Those were about motivation and seemed useful - they get stars. Then it turned into a general self-help, entrepreneurship type book that actually contradicted earlier points, has sexist asides and was just... blegh. Everything else gets 0 stars.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this one. It is nonfiction about achieving your little heart's desires. I liked the positive tone this had. It was very reader friendly and it had some great takeaways for wherever you are at in life. I also liked that it didn't feel overwhelming. There were also some great quotable quotes. I feel I need to re-listen to the audio so that I can write some of them down.

As I listened to this, I thought my son needed to hear this. So now I have to figure out how to spring this on him in a w
May 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"success leads to motivation, leads to success, leads to motivation...."

"How can I be more motivated?". That is a questions I hear a lot among students and I always think that it‘s such a complex topic that it can‘t be answered easily or universally. However Jeff Haden tries to tackle the issue and sheds light on it from different angles.

The book focuses on motivation not being a spark you can hope for.
Haden states that there are no shortcuts available but that you need to instal routines to no
Rosa Frei
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author Jeff Haden reveals in his newly published book 'The Motivation Myth: How Achiever Really Set Themselves Up to Win' on the basis of his own life experiences and plenty of interviews with high achievers, how to set and reach your goals. Some of my favorite statements from the book are:

- 'Motivation is really a result. Motivation is the fire that starts burning after you manually, painfully, coax it into existence, and it feeds on the satisfaction of seeing yourself make progress.'

- 'The
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s easy to get swept away by Big Dreams, and to brush off process as “the details.” Haden gives excellent advice for teaching yourself how to analyze your process, emphasizing that it’s consistent and concentrated efforts that achieve goals.

For those who already hard workers, the best advice may be the chapters (and sentences throughout) which emphasize that you can’t achieve dreams if you’re letting your process run you into financial, physical, or emotional ruin. While his enthusiasm can be
May 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’ll start by saying I did glean a few snippets of wisdom from this book (which is generally true from everything I read), but that did not make up for the overall lackluster content and sporadic nature of his writing.

The author is a ghost writer that primarily writes copy for magazines so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it just felt like a string of ‘top 10’ lists and ‘get things done fast’ articles that didn’t really have much substance. There were a few references to studies done about b
Jan Malinowski
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: motivational
If I were to describe this book with one word, I would say “honest”. Jeff very frankly talks about motivation, commitment, willpower and what it takes to be successful. He stresses that we are conditioned to say or do what is expected to be right. While most everyone says that family and friends are most important, many of us have other priorities. It doesn’t mean that we are bad. We are all different and we all have different goals. In first place we have to be honest with ourselves and decide ...more
Tarun Sharma
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Jeff Haden in his book "the motivation myth" explains about the process to follow to become a high achiever. Nearly 70 pages into the book and it has a monotonous tone to it. It's the same general things told over and over again. It has some not-so needed jokes which the book would've done without.

This doesn't take away the fact that it has some genuine life advices which will be helpful in taking decision and reaching your goals but also has some useless topics as fitness routines which totally
As much as I appreciate this book for pointing out that the journey is more important than the goal, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before.

Listening to the first few chapters I found to be inspiring and to have some decent advice even though I’ve heard similar things before. But after that it became a little repetitive.

There were quite a lot of lists in this book with actionable steps which was nice. I’ll be implementing some of these into my life as structure is definitely something I’m lacking.

Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Needs a second read and probably on a paper copy to underline good ideas.
Ryan Hawkins
Without a doubt, this was the most arrogant book I’ve ever listened to/read. It was also the most achievement idolizing book I’ve ever listened to/read. His god is achievement and personal success. It’s so obvious that this so, and it certainly is not a healthy example. He brushes aside any sort of sacrifice for others or loving relationships in the search of personal fulfillment and success (at the end he talks about relationships some, but he does so only to promote your own success and achiev ...more
Bruce Harpham
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: productivity
Discovered this book via Ryan Robinson earlier this year. I liked the author's emphasis on process over the end goal. If you find other books on goals and productivity too "rah rah," you will love this book. Haden's discussion of how he built his online following for his writing was excellent.

I also like Haden's advice on goal setting for those who are unsure where to focus: money and health, to a certain degree, are tried and true areas to focus on:

"Just remember: If you are in financial strait
Should have been an article. The first chapter is great, then the author wastes your time advising you on how to make friends and how to stop being fat(???), he even spends a good chunk telling you how to open a startup (with boring details that are only applicable to the US). Most of the book is only tangentially related to productivity and motivation.
Aug 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ughh.. why do these books end up to be the same ? I guess I’m the one to blame for reading “just one more” self help book in a hope to get something new and really HELPFUL ? These books all start with a similar tone. They start with a new idea or not really new but I would say a new perspective on something. A new look or a new process to be more productive that we didn’t think about so we say hmmm...that sounds promising. I didn’t think about productivity that way. I should try and read what th ...more
May 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: libby
It's not often when I read a book that I constantly turn to the back cover and read what's being "advertised" as what the book is about. And if reading that blurb doesn't really say much, that's because the author's contrarian view that motivation is NOT your key to success IS the book. That's it - chapter 1, that's done.

To bulk this up to the size of a publishable book, Jeff gives you pretty much everything under the sun, including a step-by-step guide to starting a business, including what for
Michael Payne
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Motivation is not something you wake up and find one day. Motivation is not a large lightning strike event. Motivation is small steps today, tomorrow, the next day and every day thereafter. Don’t think that motivated people have some extra special reserve called motivation.

Simplify your routines to reduce decision making and complexity in your life. Allow yourself to focus on the goals that are the most important for you to achieve, break them down into small iterative steps. Rinse, repeat.

You d
Isabella Zink
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quick read with some interesting takeaways, especially as I’m approaching the beginning of law school and need to really develop some moxie to be a stand out. I’ve read dozens of books similar to this and still managed to find at least a couple of helpful passages, for example:
“Say you want to amass tens of millions of dollars in wealth. If you aren’t willing to work to create something new and different, if you aren’t trying to do something Zuckerbergian, your goal isn’t the problem. Your appro
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sure, lot of it is stuff I have read before but same thing can be said a lot of fiction novels too. This book excels in the author's sympathetic tone and tenor.

The start of the book felt like a I-Hate-TonyRobbins club anthem song but then things got a lot better.

So, if you pick this one for a read, be patient for the first 50 pages or so, things get better I assure you.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've had people suggest I have a charmed life or that I'm lucky or blessed. The truth is that everything comes with hard work and perseverance. The question then becomes: How do you stay motivated?

Of all the books I've read, this is the one that most reflects my own mindset, techniques, and practice.

Highly recommend this book!
May 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book makes some insightful points in the beginning, but gradually tapers off into generic self-help ramble. The overall book structure leaves much to be desired, with key arguments jumbled in between unrelated anecdotes, and contradictory viewpoints that frankly raises more questions that it answers.
Clayton Perkins
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to this and the narrator is very, very good (at least at 2x speed). I thought that the author was narrating the whole time because of how much passion he had. It was a perfect match. Besides that the book is also very good.
Shirley K
Jul 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Its a very interesting take on motivation and how we use it as an excuse to procrastinate.
I also particularly liked the idea of being an 'AND' person. You are not limited to being a specialist at one discipline, you could essentially be the jack of many trades if you put enough time and effort into it.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very motivating. The author talked about a lot of facts and motivation tips that we can use in real life. Love it so much.
Lesley Looper
I enjoyed this audiobook and am taking away some good tips. I’ve listened to this while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, good timing for me.
Gamal Elkoumy
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I am really enjoying reading this book. I would recommend it for anyone who blames the lack of motivation as a reason for procrastinating some tasks.
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Inc. Magazine contributing editor, speaker, author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to WIn.

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“Be “unrealistic” when you set a goal, and then be realistic about how you will achieve that goal.” 5 likes
“One of the best quotes I’ve ever heard says that if you want to increase the level of success, you need to increase the level of failure. There’s a difference between quitting and failing. I’m okay with failing a thousand times. As long as you just keep going and don’t quit, you haven’t really failed.” Embrace that mind-set and you will never fail. You just won’t have succeeded—yet.” 3 likes
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