Finding Motivation the Neuroscience Way - Deepstash
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The glorification of busy

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Did you read platitudes today?

Did you read platitudes today?

Content on max-ing motivation and productivity is everywhere. You probably have a mental list of all the platitudes or hacks. Motivational quotes trick us into feeling like we’ve accomplished something.

Then why do we have days when we check off items from To-Do's and days when we just can’t get ourselves out of bed on time?

And when we do get motivated, why is it so hard to keep it up?


636 reads

Patience or Impulse?

Patience or Impulse?

Author Robert McKain quoted “Action precedes motivation.”, but we always read that motivation is what makes us act. So what is it? So should I wait for that drive to get stuff done, or not?

There exists an elaborate process of brain activity that pushes you to pursue goals YOU REALLY WANT TO ACHIEVE and the performance tasks that are demanded from you irrespective of interest.


593 reads

80% of NY Resolutions Fail??

80% of NY Resolutions Fail??

Having resolutions and not following through is not because you didn't have the time. It's the Neurochemistry of your Motivation & Reward Systems.

Motivation is 

  • A complex process in the brain
  • Involves multiple brain regions
  • Several Pathways
  • Release of Neural Messengers (Neurotransmitters like Dopamine)


516 reads

Craving and Prediction of Rewards

Craving and Prediction of Rewards

Dopamine (DA) is synonymously used with happiness and reward. It helps feel pleasure and relays 'motivational salience'. 

Motivational Salience means DA

  1. Indicates positive rewarding stimuli and 
  2. Responds to negative non-rewarding stimuli like stress

This means, that both external environment and mood play a role in your drive to act. 


473 reads

Quick - Think of cheesecake!

Quick - Think of cheesecake!

DA is released when we work towards something we think is rewarding - a video game or desire for something tasty. 

DA is released while predicting and craving rewards, not so much while experiencing it. The process : 

  1. Release in Planning Network in Pre-frontal Cortex (does most of the thinking)
  2. Release in Motivation Generating Network in Striatum

Parts of the striatum read motivational variables & push you to act on them. This can sometimes go awry - depending on the path and timing of this DA release, you may feel motivated to carry on a task like reading a book or you just don’t feel like it.


363 reads


“I only write when inspiration strikes, Fortunately, it strikes at nine every morning.”



474 reads

What will boost my motivation?

What will boost my motivation?

Reward/Incentive - achievability of a task and the perceived pleasure/reward from it decides your motivation levels. But the aim is to conquer your goals without waiting for that drive. So what else?

  • Indulge in Challenges/ Competition: Activity of Glutamine and Glutamate determines motivational stamina (our ability to continue a difficult task)
  • Unexpected Rewards: Finding money on your walking path one day, will raise your hopes of finding more.
  • Habit: Once you start acting on those goals/tasks, a routine will act as a cue for your motivation.


377 reads

Purposeful Self-Motivation

Purposeful Self-Motivation

Ways you can consciously increase and sustain your motivation : 

  • Anticipation of Rewards: Visualize a completed task and act towards it, it activates the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC)
  • Record your Progress: Track your progress and accomplishments while taking small steps
  • Health & Intake: Regular exercise can remodel your entire reward system, allowing increased dopamine release and availability. 


397 reads



Neuropsychology and Employees |Understanding passions and habits


Something we need to know the science of before we blame ourselves for unproductivity.

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