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Effectiveness is what you do. Effort is how much.
For example, when you study, active recall is most effective. Only looking at the information over and over requires effort, but is not effective. However, once you've chosen an effective method, the level of intensity is up to you.
The hard way is about effectiveness and effort.
Effectiveness is the part to be most careful about. Walking the hard way can often be done slowly and patiently. However, the fake path will go nowhere.
If a pursuit has a deadline or steep costs, going slowly won't do. The choice is not between easy and long versus hard and short. The way forward is often long and hard.
What works will depend on your destination. You may work hard on a path that may end up going nowhere. That's okay. Reduce the risk by talking to people who know the way, read a lot, and try stuff out. You won't fail for long.
Moreover, you may know the path, but ignore it and instead apply half efforts with the hope of reaching the same result. This attitude creates self-deception and will not self-correct.
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External rewards do not work because we don't do rule-based routine tasks. Instead, we need to create environments where intrinsic motivation thrives, where we can gain satisfaction from the activities themselves.
They generate an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought.
By forming a habit, the brain frees the mind to do other things without deliberation. So behaviors that require concentration, deliberation, or extended effort, are not habits.
Motivation is not driven by pleasure and pain, but rather by the desire to escape discomfort.
Our brains get our bodies to do what they want through discomfort. And the same rule applies to psychological discomfort.
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Neurologically speaking, motivation is the desire to escape psychological discomfort or a life situation that is not giving us any kind of ‘pleasure’.
Most behaviors are prompted by discomfort. If we are hungry, we eat. If we are lonely, we call up a friend. If we are bored, we turn on the TV.
If we are procrastinating instead of doing a certain task, telling ourselves that we would it later, it is a sure sign that the task isn’t a habit which can be done on autopilot but is, in fact, a routine.
Anything that requires effort is easy to forget or postpone.