Self Help

The Motivation Myth - Jeff Haden

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 27 min read

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Here is a summary of the key points from the book’s introduction and acknowledgments:


  • The author failed at many goals because he wrongly believed motivation had to come first before taking action.

  • Motivation is not a spark or prerequisite to get started. It’s a result of taking action and making progress.

  • Waiting for motivation rarely provides enough impetus to begin. Lightning bolt motivation fades quickly.

  • The key is understanding how motivation works. Success breeds motivation, not the other way around. Dopamine hits from small successes drive us to take more action.

  • Successful people don’t wait for motivation. They have systems and processes that enable progress, providing motivation.


  • The author thanks many successful people he interviewed who proved the myth that you can’t meet your heroes. They were generous with their time and insights.

  • He thanks his agent, editor, and the team at Penguin Random House.

  • He gives special thanks to his home base, Inc., its president Eric Schurenberg, and the Inc. team.

  • Most of all, he thanks his family, especially his wife, for their love and support.

  • Focus on enjoying the small, minor successes rather than waiting for huge life-changing ones. Celebrate when you make a little bit of progress in learning a new skill.

  • Motivation comes from within, from feeling good about these small achievements. You already have the motivation you need.

  • Success is a process of doing the right things consistently. It’s rarely a straight path but comes from diligent effort over time.

  • Highly successful people focus on the process more than the end goal. Enjoy each step and accomplishment rather than obsessing over the end result.

  • Lasting happiness comes more from the process and daily victories versus achieving the big goal itself. Savor small wins to feel good every day.

  • To accomplish big goals takes tremendous sustained effort - no shortcuts. But you can make the process uplifting by celebrating incremental progress.

  • You already have the time and motivation needed. Follow the process of small successes and your passion will emerge. Don’t wait, just take the next step.

  • Motivation is not some mystical force that gets you to take action. Real motivation comes after you start doing the work, not before.

  • Getting started is often the hardest part. But once you push past that initial resistance and break a sweat, motivation kicks in.

  • Success breeds more success. The feeling of accomplishment motivates you to keep achieving.

  • Shortcuts don’t lead to lasting success. You have to put in consistent hard work over time.

  • Accept your flaws and imperfections, then take steps to improve. Hiding from your weaknesses keeps you stuck.

  • Don’t wait around for a lightning bolt of inspiration. Just start. Progress and achievements will provide the motivation to continue.

  • Motivation follows action. Break a sweat first, then you’ll feel motivated to keep going.

The key message is that motivation is the result of doing the work, not a prerequisite to getting started. Taking that first step is the hardest part, but once you push past resistance and start actively working, motivation will follow.

  • There are no real “hacks” or shortcuts to instant success. Real success comes from preparation and hard work over time.

  • The author gives an example of bombing during a speaking engagement early in her career. However, she learned from it, practiced her skills, and eventually became a competent speaker.

  • Confidence comes from preparation and developing skills through practice. Anxiety comes from feeling unprepared.

  • Jamie Little became a successful motorsports reporter through diligent preparation, not confidence tricks.

  • Success in one area can breed confidence and motivation that carries over to other pursuits.

  • Shortcuts often come with long-term costs and risks. The author gives examples from the music industry.

  • Guitarist Joe Satriani took ownership of his publishing early on rather than take shortcuts. This allowed him to control his career and publishing.

  • Hard work, preparation and patience lead to real, lasting success rather than short-term hacks or tricks.

The passage argues that having a routine and consistent effort is key to success, not just raw talent. It provides examples like Michael Ovitz, who worked extremely hard starting in the mailroom to become a top Hollywood agent. The passage advises not telling others about your goals, as that can give you a false sense of achievement. It also argues that extraordinary willpower is a learned skill, not an innate trait - successful people have systems to avoid relying on willpower. The passage concludes that you don’t need to find your passion first in order to achieve great things through grit and perseverance. In short, success comes from hard work and resilience, not shortcuts.

  • Motivation fades quickly after an initial spark of inspiration. Sustained motivation comes from following a process that yields short-term results.

  • Having too many choices is demotivating. When everything feels like a choice rather than a task, it’s easy to pick short-term gratification over long-term goals.

  • Routines eliminate the need to choose or negotiate with yourself every day. When a routine becomes non-negotiable, you do it automatically without willpower.

  • Focus and willpower are limited resources that get depleted throughout the day. Forcing yourself to focus through sheer effort is unsustainable.

  • The myth of focus says high achievement requires constantly coercing yourself. But making tasks non-negotiable like routines reduces the need for focus and willpower.

  • Turning “I want to” goals into “I have to” tasks makes them automatic. This saves willpower for other important things.

The key idea is that rather than exhausting willpower through continual focus and effort, build routines that remove the need for constant choices and negotiation with yourself. This makes achieving goals automatic and sustainable.

  • Focusing too intensely on a big, ambitious goal can be demoralizing because the gap between where you are now and where you want to be seems so large. This causes many people to give up.

  • Instead, set a big goal, then focus on the process and routine needed to achieve it. Forget about the actual goal and just focus on taking small steps forward each day.

  • Goals should be specific but not necessarily “attainable” or “realistic” - dream big. Meaning and motivation come from small successes achieved through your process, not from the goal itself.

  • Break overwhelming tasks down into smaller pieces. Focus on completing the next small step rather than the big end goal. This helps make progress manageable.

  • Successful people commit to a big goal, then ignore the goal and follow the routine needed to get there. Focus on the reps, not on winning the contest.

  • “Set it and forget it” should be your mantra for big goals. Set an inspiring goal, then direct your energy toward the process, not the goal itself.

  • Focus on the process, not the end goal. Comparing yourself to the big goal is demotivating. But sticking to your process creates positive feedback and motivation.

  • Give yourself credit for small achievements along the way. Meeting daily or weekly targets feels like success and keeps you motivated.

  • The author used this strategy to massively increase traffic to his Inc. articles. He focused on his daily process of writing, connecting with influencers, experimenting with headlines, and analyzing data.

  • This process created a feedback loop. More posts led to better skills and viral content. Connections provided sources. Headline experiments improved results. Analyzing data showed what worked.

  • In the first months, he went from 35,000 to 300,000 views. By focusing on the process, not the end goal of 1 million, he built skills and confidence.

  • In month 5 he hit 2.1 million views. By ignoring the big goal and following his process, he achieved huge success.

The key is to forget the big goal, focus on your daily process, celebrate small wins, and let the feedback loop drive motivation and improvement. Consistently working the process makes success inevitable.

  • Achieving big goals requires focusing on the process, not the end result. Break the goal down into smaller, manageable steps.

  • Jerry Seinfeld became a successful comedian by focusing on the process of writing new jokes every day, not on the big goal of becoming famous. He marked an X on a calendar for each day he wrote new material to maintain his chain.

  • To be more likable, follow a process such as not talking too much, not blaming others, not trying to impress, not interrupting, not controlling, not preaching, and not dwelling on the past. This focuses attention on others.

  • Creating a consistent process and sticking to it is key, whether it’s writing every day to become a comedian or limiting calories to lose weight. Forget the huge goal and focus on succeeding at the process daily.

  • Choosing the right process that moves you towards your big goal is crucial. The process should always serve the ultimate goal.

  • To succeed, you need a process - a specific set of actions to take each day to reach your goal. Don’t just set a goal, set the process to achieve it.

  • Pick a reasonable process to start. Don’t obsess over finding the “perfect” plan.

  • Make your process very specific - list exactly what you will do each day. This supports feedback on whether you completed the plan.

  • Adjust your schedule to ensure you have time for the process activities.

  • Map out a detailed daily plan and sense check it fits with your routine.

  • Follow the plan consistently. Don’t compare yourself to others, just focus on completing each day’s tasks.

  • Fix any scheduling problems that arise so you don’t have to skip planned activities.

  • Adapt your process over time based on results, not because you’re tired or lazy.

  • For new habits, a daily checklist provides motivation through small successes.

  • The example given is a weight loss plan with specific daily diet and exercise steps.

The author was asked to speak longer at a business conference because the next speaker’s flight was delayed. The audience voted for him to discuss how to lose 10 pounds in a month. While surprised, the author realized this goal resonates with many people who have struggled to lose weight.

The author succeeded in losing over 10 pounds in a month by following a process, not looking for quick fixes. He outlines the 12 steps of his process:

  1. Start with a 24-hour fast day

  2. Exercise for 20 minutes every morning

  3. Eat 4 almonds 15 minutes before meals

  4. Drink water before meals

  5. Stop eating when full

  6. Avoid white foods like bread, pasta, potatoes

  7. Eat healthy meals with protein, veggies

  8. Add a snack like a protein bar

  9. Burn 500 extra calories a day

  10. Allow small indulgences

  11. Record foods in a journal

  12. Check off following the process daily

The key is sticking to the process, not obsessing over the end goal. Following the steps inevitably leads to success.

Here are a few key points:

  • Achieving big goals like building wealth takes time. There are no shortcuts. Focus on the process, not the outcome.

  • Entrepreneurship and business ownership are the most likely paths to significant wealth. Working for a salary alone won’t get you there.

  • Money isn’t everything. Many successful entrepreneurs are motivated by fulfillment, freedom and purpose, not just money.

  • To stay on track, focus on saying “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” when tempted to stray from your process or goal.

  • Having an unrealistic process or approach is the main reason people fail to reach their goals. The goal itself may be achievable, but the path to getting there needs to be grounded in reality.

  • Defining and following a step-by-step process that objectively moves you towards your goal is key. Don’t let dreams or fantasies cloud the fact that the process needs to actually work.

The main points are that wealth building takes time and smart processes, saying “no” to distractions can help you stay on track, and unrealistic approaches doom big goals to failure. The process and path matter just as much as the goal itself.

  • Researchers conducted a study where one group was told to say “I can’t” when faced with a temptation, while another group was told to say “I don’t.”

  • The “I can’t” group gave in to temptation 61% of the time, while the “I don’t” group only gave in 36% of the time.

  • In a follow-up study, participants were given a long-term health/wellness goal. When motivation lagged, some were told to say “I can’t miss my workout” while others said “I don’t miss workouts.”

  • After 10 days, only 30% of the control group and 10% of the “I can’t” group stuck to their goals, compared to 80% of the “I don’t” group.

  • “I can’t” sounds weak because it’s based on external factors, while “I don’t” sounds confident because it comes from within.

  • Using “I don’t” helps you avoid excuses, seems more confident to others, and elicits less pushback on your resolutions.

  • The key takeaway is that saying “I don’t” is more powerful for your mindset and makes a stronger impression on others compared to “I can’t.”

  • You have 8-10 phases of 5-7 years ahead to accomplish big goals. You can become a “serial achiever” by pursuing different goals in each phase.

  • It may seem to take a long time (5-7 years) to achieve each goal, but time passes quickly. Use each phase wisely.

  • Follow the example of Venus Williams - she is an elite tennis player AND student AND designer AND entrepreneur. Successful people are multidimensional.

  • Don’t believe you don’t have time for an “and” - you do. Expand your skills and interests.

  • Being a specialist doesn’t mean you’ve achieved more. Embrace your “ands”. Add fun side hustles or strategically expand your skillset.

  • You don’t need a grand plan. Try things, learn, seize opportunities. Success comes from action, not detailed plans.

  • It’s never too late to start. Don’t overplan - pick something you want to try and do it. Action and perseverance are key.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

  • You no longer need someone else’s approval or help to achieve things. You can publish, distribute, create, and attract funding on your own.

  • The only thing holding you back is yourself. Be willing to try new things to see if they are right for you.

  • Personal goals are important for fulfillment, not just professional ones. Achieving personal goals brings confidence and satisfaction.

  • Regret doing things you wanted to do but never tried is painful. Taking action is better than inaction.

  • As a serial achiever you become uncontainable - you can take on many interests and skills over time.

  • Happiness, not money or status, determines success. Know what truly makes you happy and pursue that.

  • Trade-offs between business success, personal life, etc. are unavoidable. Embrace the trade-offs required to achieve what matters most to you.

  • Be honest with yourself about what you really want and value. That’s where you’ll find happiness.

  • Pursuing goals that ignore basic needs like health, finances, and relationships leads to unhappiness. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs rings true - you must meet lower level needs before pursuing higher ones.

  • The best goals make you happy by allowing you to meet those basic needs of health, financial stability, and strong relationships. Constant worry and thought about money means you need to focus on generating more income. Discomfort with your body or inability to do activities you want means you need to focus on fitness.

  • Choose goals that benefit multiple aspects of your life. For example, gardening can improve health through exercise while also providing enjoyment.

  • Regularly evaluate if your goals maintain balance across the key areas of health, finances, and relationships. Brief imbalance is okay but long-term imbalance causes unhappiness.

  • Don’t compare yourself to others with different definitions of success. Focus on goals that make you happy based on your own definitions.

  • Small successes build motivation to keep pursuing goals through a positive feedback loop. But you can’t start that loop without first meeting basic needs.

The key is choosing goals that make you happy by allowing you to meet basic needs first. This builds the foundation for fulfillment.

  • Ideas don’t really exist until you take action on them. The author has had many ideas over the years that he didn’t act on and now regrets, like opening a gym when the fitness craze started, starting a computer retail business when PCs first came out, and going into home healthcare with a friend years ago.

  • Fear of the unknown and failure often holds people back from acting on their ideas. But looking back, many of those ideas probably would have worked out well with effort.

  • You have to trust your analysis, judgement, and instincts and then act on them. Don’t just let an idea remain an abstract concept. Take action and turn it into a reality.

  • People often take an unrealistic approach of just wishing and hoping instead of making a concrete plan and taking action. To achieve your goals, first set the goal, then make a realistic plan for how you will achieve it, and take action on that plan.

  • Don’t wait - take action doing the things most likely to help you achieve your goal. Be unrealistic in setting the goal, but realistic in the actions and plan to achieve it. Turn your ideas into reality by taking action.

  • To accomplish big goals, start small and gain immediate successes. This builds motivation and momentum.

  • Use an “Extreme Productivity Day” (EPD) to tackle big tasks by blocking off a full day and committing to work for a set number of hours.

  • Tell people you’ll be unavailable to avoid interruptions. Peer accountability can provide motivation.

  • Start the EPD at an unusual time to break routine. Delay rewards and take breaks strategically to maintain momentum.

  • Take productive breaks, not relaxing ones. Stop tasks in the middle to leave yourself eager to get back to work.

  • The strategies help you get a lot done in a short time and build willpower. By planning well, you need less willpower during the EPD.

Here is a summary of the key steps:

  1. Map out your week every Sunday based on your goals and calendar. Create structure and discipline.

  2. Actively block out time on your calendar for specific tasks. Don’t let urgent push out important.

  3. Create a realistic to-do list with assigned time frames. This forces you to prioritize.

  4. Default to 30 minute meetings. Most topics can be covered in less than an hour.

  5. Stop multitasking, especially during meetings. Do one thing really well at a time.

  6. Obsess over using “edge time” productively - calls while commuting, reading while waiting.

  7. Track your time to see where it really goes. You’ll be amazed at unproductive time uses.

  8. Be thoughtful about how you use your lunch break. Network, recharge, or be personally productive.

  9. Do your most important task first each morning. Momentum matters.

  10. Don’t stop until a task is fully complete. Avoid the habit of quitting.

Here is a summary of the key steps:

  • Make the most of your time by focusing intensely on your top priorities. Batch similar tasks to maximize focus.

  • Build routines and habits to remove decision fatigue and work more efficiently. Automate where possible.

  • Set ambitious goals to stay motivated. Break them down into manageable pieces.

  • Celebrate small wins to generate momentum and boost motivation.

  • Protect family time by completely disconnecting from work during designated hours.

  • Start the day with exercise for energy and productivity.

  • Stop making excuses, letting fear hold you back, waiting for inspiration. Ask for help when needed. Persist and finish.

  • Go the extra mile by always finding ways to do more than expected. Hard work and consistency differentiate success.

Jerry Seinfeld says success comes from work, thought, preparation, inspiration, execution, and obsessive detail. Inspiration is getting new ideas. Execution is implementing those ideas. Detail is perfecting the execution. Even if an idea seems to work, one small flaw can ruin it.

To develop willpower without needing willpower:

  1. Eliminate choices whenever possible. The more choices you face, the more willpower decisions drain you. Remove temptations and decisions.

  2. Make decisions the night before so you don’t drain willpower during the day. Decide what to wear, eat, etc.

  3. Do the hardest things first, when you have the most willpower. Knock out the tough decisions early.

  4. Refuel often with healthy meals and snacks. This replenishes glucose needed for willpower.

  5. Create reminders of long-term goals. When mentally fatigued, it’s easy to take the easy way out. Visual cues keep you focused.

The key is to engineer your life and environment to conserve willpower and make good choices automatic. With less to decide, your willpower lasts longer.

  • Willpower is like a muscle - it can be strengthened through practice. Do small acts of self-control each day to build your willpower over time.

  • Remove temptation and make the right choices easy through environmental design. For example, keep unhealthy snacks out of sight.

  • Adopt mindsets that support perseverance, such as seeing challenges as opportunities to grow, focusing only on what you can control, and celebrating (not resenting) the success of others.

  • Be adaptable and willing to fail on the path to success. As Tyler Grey says, “Discomfort is growth.”

  • Count your blessings daily and resist complaining - focus on gratitude and improvement.

  • Ask yourself one key question repeatedly: “What do I need to do today to get one step closer to my ultimate goal?” Let this question guide your actions and decisions.

The key is to combine practical habits with a growth mindset to build perseverance and willpower over time. With consistent practice, you can achieve any worthy long-term goal.

  • To achieve a goal, calculate the number of actions/attempts needed and then consistently work that number. Think probabilistically.

  • Working your number involves grinding - doing repetitive actions day after day. Break a big goal into a daily number to make it manageable.

  • Build in a buffer for missed days. Seek to improve your skills/process over time to increase your success rate.

  • Repetition must not become mindless. Stay focused, make slight variations, track progress. Enjoy getting better.

  • Working your number applies to any field - sales, investing, writing, entrepreneurship. Put in the reps with focus.

  • The author proved the concept by doing 100,000 push-ups and 50,000 sit-ups in a year, by doing 300+ a day. It was achievable through daily discipline.

  • Initially took 30 mins, got faster over time. Varied sets for improvement. Progress tracking and enjoying skill gains kept it from being mindless.

  • Working your number combines perspiration and inspiration. Consistent hard work plus ingenuity to improve. Leads to extraordinary success.

  • The writer initially thought risk-taking and guts were necessary to become a great motorcycle racer. This led to crashes and injuries.

  • Eventually the writer realized successful people don’t take big risks. Rather, they prepare systematically, train, experiment, and refine their skills incrementally.

  • Two proven learning methods are:

  1. REPS - Reaching and Repeating, Engagement, Purposefulness, Strong Speedy Feedback. This involves practicing at the edge of your abilities with emotional investment and immediate feedback.

  2. When in a repetitive rut, go slower, go faster, break tasks into components, or use different metrics to get new perspective and drive improvement.

  • Perseverance and networking, not talent, led to Jimmie Johnson’s opportunities in racing. He relentlessly networked daily to get his name out there.

  • Writing things down ensures you act on ideas and don’t forget. This constant effort compounds.

  • To build wealth, start your own business. Don’t get hung up on the perfect company name or business plans. Just take small steps each day to get the business registered and set up.

  • Get an Employer Identification Number, register a trade name, get a business license, open a business bank account, set up accounting, etc. Break it down into manageable daily tasks.

  • If you’re not sure what business to start, focus on helping others succeed. Look for ways each day to develop your team members and be generous in promoting their growth. Their success will fuel yours.

  • Jack Welch says “Success is based on people first and strategy second. Build a great team and you will accomplish things beyond your wildest dreams.”

  • The most rewarding use of “work your number” is to focus on doing one thing daily that helps others around you be better. Generosity towards others breeds personal success.

  • Great leaders exhibit generosity towards their people by caring for them, being transparent, praising them, and not taking credit. When you are generous with others, they will go the extra mile for you.

  • Ways to be more generous:

  • Give people greater autonomy and independence in how they do their work. This breeds engagement and innovation.

  • Provide clear expectations so people know exactly what is required.

  • Set meaningful objectives to motivate people.

  • Help people see the bigger purpose in their work.

  • Give opportunities for people to provide input and suggestions.

  • Foster a sense of connection by showing interest in them as individuals.

  • Be consistent and fair with everyone.

  • Criticize privately but praise publicly.

  • Help people gain skills for future growth, even if outside your organization.

  • Blend “working your number” with other strategies like Extreme Productivity Days. For example, the author challenged himself to compliment every person he encountered in a day. This shows how you can apply “working your number” to almost anything.

The key points are to be generous with others, help them feel purpose in their work, provide autonomy but have clear expectations, and blend “working your number” with other strategies.

  • The author tried an “extreme productivity day” where he committed to complimenting every person he encountered.

  • At first it was easy to compliment people’s pets, landscaping, etc. But it became more challenging in places like the grocery store where compliments were unexpected.

  • He learned to look for things people were proud of or wanted noticed, like a tattoo or car, which made compliments easier.

  • Asking someone for help can be a compliment in itself.

  • Make compliments personal and praise people’s efforts/risks rather than just outcomes.

  • Complimenting motivates people. More people leave jobs due to lack of recognition than any other reason.

  • Try an extreme productivity day of giving compliments. It’s rewarding but not easy.

  • You can use the gratification to motivate you to try the next strategy - finding a “pro” who can help you achieve something you didn’t think was possible.

The author wanted to challenge himself by training for and competing in a grueling 107-mile cycling event organized by pro mountain biker Jeremiah Bishop. Though initially excited, the reality of the immense difficulty soon sank in. On their first training ride together, the author struggled up a hill while Jeremiah easily pedaled alongside him.

The author realized that to accomplish big goals, you need to follow the examples of those who have already succeeded, not seek coaching and coddling. Pros like Jeremiah lay out the blueprint of what it takes, through their habits and routines. The responsibility lies with you to do the work. The author stopped trying to “hack” his way to success through minor tweaks and positive thinking. He committed to fully emulate a pro, taking complete responsibility for achieving his audacious goal.

  • Don’t just follow generic advice, ask a real pro for specific guidance on what to do in your situation. Their experience and expertise will provide personalized direction.

  • Connect directly with pros in your field by first fitting into the community quietly, volunteering for unglamorous work, asking for only verbal help at first, and offering practical assistance.

  • Help others feel they belong too. Making connections is not just about you.

  • Our biggest limits are often self-imposed based on false assumptions. With motivation and example from pros, we can push past what we assume are our limits of effort and skill.

  • To accomplish big goals, follow the Vikings mentality of doing whatever it takes. Clive Standen pursued acting relentlessly to support his family.

  • Tamara Taylor overcame shyness by pushing herself to act, even though it scared her. She focused on improving rather than external measures of success.

  • Embrace challenges and push yourself outside your comfort zone. Every time you stretch yourself, you’ll feel motivated to do it again.

  • Keep your eyes on the ultimate prize to stay focused when things get difficult. Let your big goals drive you.

  • Doing whatever it takes and hanging in there will fuel your motivation to continue pursuing your dreams. Don’t give up.

  • Living the life you want requires commitment, perseverance, and a willingness to go the extra mile. Keep pushing yourself and you’ll get there.

The key points are to emulate those who have achieved great things, stay focused on your big goals, do whatever it takes even when it’s hard, and keep motivated by pushing your limits. This Viking mindset and commitment is what leads to success.

  • To achieve success, focus on being the best you can be at what you choose to do, rather than trying to be the absolute best at everything. Be the “biggest fish” in your own pond.

  • Find ways to maximize time spent in your “sweet spot” doing what you do best, by delegating or eliminating other tasks. Say “no” to things that don’t benefit you or align with your goals.

  • Ask yourself two questions when deciding whether to take on an opportunity: 1) Will this benefit me somehow? 2) Is this more important than what I’m currently doing?

  • Start saying “no” more often to free up time for priority goals and tasks.

  • Eliminate unnecessary permissions, reports, and sign-offs that clutter your schedule. Train others to respect your time and process. The more you streamline, the more you can thrive in your sweet spot.

Here are a few key points summarizing the advice on making small improvements in a relationship:

  • Ask your partner for help more often - it shows respect and trust. Even asking for minor personal help can strengthen your bond.

  • Set a slightly better example when it comes to responsibility and conscientiousness. Your good habits can positively influence your partner.

  • Compliment and recognize your partner’s achievements, big or small. Consistent praise can help motivate them to reach their potential.

  • Give your partner more privacy and space sometimes. You don’t need to know everything to care deeply. Allow them to share on their own terms.

  • Spend a little more quality time together. Prioritize your partner and make your time together more meaningful.

  • Be a little more affectionate physically and verbally. Small acts of thoughtfulness and affection make a difference.

  • Listen more attentively to your partner’s needs and concerns. Better understanding leads to more support.

The key is making many minor improvements in how you treat your partner and nurture your bond. Small changes can have a big cumulative effect on your relationship satisfaction.

  • Take time to look for opportunities your partner may have missed. Help them achieve their goals by opening doors for them.

  • Find happiness in your partner’s successes. Be willing to sacrifice to make them happy.

  • Be sincere in showing appreciation and disappointment. Be real and human.

  • Long commutes can negatively impact relationships. Weigh the practical against the personal.

  • Use the 1% advantage to improve all areas of life. Break tasks down and optimize components.

  • Focus on your plan, not just goals and dreams. With the right plan, you can achieve big goals.

The main message is to make small, incremental improvements in your relationship and other areas of life. Look for opportunities to help your partner succeed. Prioritize the relationship while still pursuing professional goals. Have a detailed plan to achieve big dreams.

  • Everyone starts out insecure, hesitant, and uncertain. Successful people found a way to overcome their doubts and try anyway.

  • Outward signs of success like wealth and credentials often mask underlying feelings of nervousness and insecurity. The playing field is more level than it seems.

  • If you have fears and doubts, you’re not alone. Take heart knowing others feel the same, then push forward anyway.

  • Focus on your process and take it step-by-step. Improvement and motivation will follow.

  • Set specific, measurable goals with clear deadlines. But stay focused on the process, not just achieving each goal.

  • Hard work and determination are more important than luck or genius for success. Keep grinding.

  • Ask for help when you need it. Offer help to others. Community and belonging lead to happiness.

  • Do more for your employees, spouse, and loved ones than expected. Giving leads to fulfillment.

  • Eliminate unnecessary decisions and distractions. Do less but achieve more.

  • Success takes consistent effort over time. Don’t get complacent. Keep finding ways to improve.

  • Interruptions and distractions can derail productivity. Stay focused on your most important tasks.

  • Pay taxes properly and on time. Don’t let IRS issues sidetrack you.

  • Connect with pros and coaches for advice and support. But don’t become fully dependent on them.

  • Set limits and stick to them. Say “no” to obligations that don’t align with your goals.

  • Build good daily and weekly routines. Make time for exercise, proper nutrition, and refueling.

  • Give sincere praise and recognition to others. But don’t seek external validation yourself.

  • Specialize and develop unique skills over time through deliberate practice.

  • Cultivate tenacity and a philosophy of willpower. Stay persistent despite setbacks.

  • Make steady progress through small successes. Don’t get fixated on perfection.

  • Blend strategies for success - process, skills, mindset. There’s no single magic bullet.

The key is blending small consistent actions over time to make progress, supported by the right mindset and skills.

Here is a summary of the key points from the articles:

  • Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret is to consistently write jokes every day and mark an X on a calendar for each day he writes. This helps build the habit.

  • Saying “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” can motivate people to pursue goals by making them feel empowered.

  • Joe Walsh said fame leads to getting labeled and having to live up to that image.

  • Seinfeld says the key to comedy is observing and noting details of everyday life. He carries a notebook for writing down observational jokes.

  • Judges are more likely to grant parole early in the day and after food breaks when they are fresh. Timing of hearings affects outcomes.

  • Richard Branson and others carry a notepad to constantly capture ideas and thoughts throughout the day.

  • Research shows your spouse’s personality influences your career success. Neuroticism in one spouse hurts the other’s career.

  • Long commutes can negatively impact relationships and increase strain on families.

  • Long commutes tend to decrease happiness and life satisfaction, even accounting for income.

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About Matheus Puppe