Motivation works in some complex ways. There are reward systems, giving a person something they really want after completing a task. There’s reinforcement, punishing bad behavior and buttressing good behavior. These are ways to manufacture motivation, but sometimes it’s just not there. This is where the importance of having a growth mindset comes into play. In this video, Big Think expert, social psychologist, and Harvard associate professor Amy Cuddy shares her insights on how many people are focusing on the wrong thing — that it’s better to focus on achieving incremental change and not zero in on the intended final outcome alone. Borrowing from Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s research on growth versus fixed mindsets, Cuddy says that the idea of nudging is important to helping people reach their goals and to becoming stronger, more resilient individuals. This is done by looking at tasks or goals as opportunities to grow and learn rather than as opportunities to win or fail.
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