The Motivation Hacker - Deepstash
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The Hack Technique

First pick your goals, then figure out which motivation hacks to use on the subtasks that lead to those goals—and then use far more of them than you need, so that you not only succeed, but that you do so with excitement and joy.

The Formula: Motivation = (Expectancy x Value) / (Impulsiveness x Delay)

  • Expectancy = confidence of success.
  • Value = how rewarding a task will be when you finish it & how fun it is when you’re doing it.
  • Impulsiveness = distractibility, how likely you are to put a task off and do something more pressing.
  • Delay = how far off the reward seems to be.


2.58K reads


By increasing Expectancy or Value, or decreasing Impulsiveness or Delay, you hack motivation.



2.72K reads


The will is a process of making personal rules for ourselves that will help us reach our goals, and how much willpower we can muster is precisely how good we are at setting up these personal rules so that we prefer to keep our rules than break them.


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The Success Spiral

  • Make a tiny achievable goal that you can’t forget to do.
  • Track your success doing this goal.
  • Give your goal a completion date.
  • Once you complete your goal, up it to a bigger goal.

Focus on input based process goals (write for five minutes) rather than output-based results goals (write one page). And keep the required inputs minimal at first.


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The four most expensive words in the English language are, “This time it’s different"



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The Playbook Of Motivation Hacking

  • Precommitment: Using a commitment device to choose now to limit your options later, preventing yourself from making the wrong choice in the face of temptation. Putting money on the line, publicly announcing your goals, etc.
  • Burnt Ships: List out all of your possible distractions, and then make it so that it’s impossible to do those things when you want to be working toward your other goals. This saves you from having to use willpower to resist them.
  • Rejection Therapy: Get over your fear of starting things by going out and trying to get rejected by asking for odd things from people.


1.11K reads

Exercise: Goal Picking

Imagine your ideal day. What do you do? Whom do you talk to? Where do you go? Pick a few goals that will bring you closer to that ideal day.

Make a list of every crazy goal you can think of. Then rate each goal on three factors: how much the goal excites you, your probability of success if you tried as hard as you could, and how long it would take in hours. Sort them by excitement x probability of success / time and pick the most efficient goals.

Imagine you’re another person more competent than yourself who has just dropped into your current life at this moment with none of your issues.


943 reads

The CSI Approach

  • Challenging (motivating and exciting)
  • Specific (not abstract)
  • Immediate (avoid long-delayed goals and focus on what you can do now)
  • Approach-oriented (as opposed to avoidance goals)

If you track your happiness during activities, you’ll get a more accurate picture of how much you enjoyed it without giving in to the peak-end effect.


1.03K reads

How To Learn Any Skill

  • Get excited about a skill
  • While you’re excited, make time and hack up motivation to practice it
  • Learn how to practice it from reading or from a teacher
  • Start doing it right away

Whatever goals you pick, you should have some way of measuring the results. Many goals are about making you happier, so make sure you’re measuring your happiness.


966 reads

Increasing Expectancy

  • Success Spirals: Win at something small then keep leveling it up
  • Vicarious Victory: Hang out with motivated people
  • Mental Contrasting: Visualize the success you want to have and then contrast it with where you are now
  • Guarding Against Excessive Optimism: Don’t get trapped by the planning fallacy


868 reads

Increasing Value

  • Find Flow
  • Find Meaning: Look for ways to connect tasks to major life goals
  • CSI Approach goals(mentioned above)
  • Optimize Your Energy
  • Productive Procrastination: If you can’t do your main work, get other little tasks out of the way
  • Create Rewards: When you succeed, celebrate it, by congratulating yourself or giving yourself a treat
  • Focus on Passion: Know what you’re passionate about and steer your life towards those passions
  • Task Trading: If you don’t want to do something find someone who will trade that task with you


658 reads

Reducing Impulsiveness

  • Make a recommitment
  • Burn your ships
  • Set goal reminders
  • Timebox your tasks
  • Build useful habits
  • Schedule play before work, so you know when you’re taking a break


922 reads

Reducing Delay

  • Break your goals down so the ends feel nearer
  • Let yourself plan fallaciously so you’re more motivated


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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.



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The motivation hacker learns to steer his life towards higher Value and to have fun demolishing boring necessities in his way.



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