Goldilocks and Motivation

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Productivity

“The human brain loves a challenge, but only if it is within an optimal zone of difficulty.” – James Clear

Motivation plays a fundamental role in our personal and professional development, enabling us to strive for excellence, overcome adversity, and lead a fulfilling life.

According to author James Clear, “The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.”1

Too easy.

If a task is considered “too easy”, you may finish quickly, without much thought, and become bored.

Too difficult.

A task is considered “too difficult”, and the result is unattainable. This results in a loss of motivation.

Just right.

The task at hand requires focus and skill but is still attainable. Completing this task will result in pride and a feeling of accomplishment.

Completing challenges of an ideal level of difficulty has been found to not only be motivating, but also to be a key source of happiness. Psychologist Gilbert Brim said, “One of the important sources of human happiness is working on tasks at a suitable level of difficulty, neither too hard nor too easy.”

Motivation serves as the driving force behind our actions and behaviors, propelling us towards our goals and aspirations. Without motivation, it’s easy to feel stagnant or directionless. Motivation fosters a positive mindset and outlook on life. It encourages us to adopt a proactive attitude, seek out opportunities for growth, and approach tasks with enthusiasm and passion.

In addition, staying motivated can enhance our overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Accomplishing goals and fulfilling our potential can bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose, contributing to our happiness and fulfillment.

Citation:

  1. Clear, J. (2020, February 4). The Goldilocks rule: How to stay motivated in life and business. James Clear. https://jamesclear.com/goldilocks-rule

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