How to move from dream to business: 4 steps to motivation

Original author: bakadesuyo
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Do you have a business to do, but you still can't finish it? You need to move from thoughts to actions , it is difficult, but possible. There is a solution that can help not only simplify changes, but also increase motivation. This is WOOP , a technique developed from a study by Gabriel Oattigen.

You want to work more in the office , go to the gym, find a new job or study diligently at school ... but this does not happen. And what if you don’t even get down to business? WOOP can make you act if you are not motivated to achieve long-term goals.

Yes, WOOP. This is an abbreviation of 4 steps to achieve any goal. The algorithm is based on a study by Gabriel Oettingen:

  1. W ish - Desire.
  2. O utcome - The goal.
  3. O bstacle - Obstacle.
  4. P lan - Plan.

Can a method with the stupidest name in the history of sociology seriously work? Yes!
People who say they want to do more and use the WOOP method are much more effective:

The first step is to want to. We all do a great job with this point, but this is only part of the solution . In fact, if you want it wrong, then exacerbate the situation.
Here's how to do it right.

1) Desire (but do not stop there)

At the beginning of everything are desires. But if that's all - you're really in trouble.
A positive attitude is largely necessary, because a negative point of view increases the likelihood that we will abandon the case, or even not get down to it.

But when a positive outlook turns into a fantasy, the situation deteriorates very quickly. Yes, dreaming about success is bad.

Again and again, the results were unchanged. Positive fantasies, desires and dreams, divorced from estimates based on previous experience, did not turn into motivation leading to a more energetic and interesting life. They were transformed into something completely opposite.

Why? Derek Sivers explained this in his wonderful speech at the TED conference .

The emotional brain simply cannot distinguish fantasy from reality.

When you dream, the ancient parts of the mind believe that you have already reached the goal. Therefore, motivation does not increase, but falls.

So: one of the reasons for the low productivity of positive fantasies is that they do not create the energy necessary to strive for the realization of the desired.

Sorry, Secret fans - it just doesn't work. Dreams turn positive thinking into ordinary attempts to wishful thinking.

So if the method does not work, why do we still use it? Simple and clear: it cheers up (like another snack or checking mail 216 times per hour, this seems significant).

Dreams of a beautiful future seemed protection against sadness for a short time, but only kindled it in the future. They coincided with a short period of pleasure, which inevitably eroded and led to growing depression.

Want to lose weight? Those who just wanted lost 11 kg less than those who rated themselves more negatively.
Want to meet that one?
"The more students ... had fun in pleasant dreams ... the less likely they were to get in touch."

Trying to find a new job?
“The more often students practiced positive dreams, the less success they achieved.”

So desire in itself can be very harmful. What, according to the study, are we missing out on?

2) Define a specific goal

This part is simple. Oettingen's work says that you need to take a desire and shape it. Be specific.

- So, if you want "more money", the expected goal may look like "get a promotion at work."
- Do you dream of improving the balance of work and personal life? Your goal may be “lack of work for the weekend. Never".

So your desire has become clear. And here the most difficult begins. We need to move on to negativity.

3) Provide obstacles

Oettingen calls this "mental contrast." You need to think slowly about those tricks that can get in the way of achieving a goal.

And now something really interesting: some people do this, and their motivation is growing. At the same time, others are stacking with her fall.

Does this mean that the technique is less productive? No, this suggests that she is delicious. Why?
People who did not feel the rise realized that their current goal was unrealizable.
Mental contrast does not only motivate people. It also helps to realize what goals are really worth striving for.

When people looked at difficulties and realized that they had every chance to overcome them (“I want to get a promotion”), motivation grew.

And those who assessed obstacles and came to the conclusion that goals were unrealistic (“I want to become Australian Prime Minister on Thursday”) noted a decrease in motivation.

The latter lost confidence and did not waste time. Therefore, the results for both groups using mental contrast were positive.

And this is not just highbrow science, all this corresponds to ancient wisdom. The Stoics talked about this thousands of years ago.
Ryan Holiday, author of the delightful book Obstacle Is the Way, explains the Stoics concept:
... we assume that it may go wrong that will turn out wrong, in advance, before the start of activity. Too many ambitious undertakings failed for preventable reasons. Too many people do not have a backup plan, refusing to admit that something can go completely wrong.

Today, this technique not only helps CEOs make deals. She saves lives.

Dan Coyle, a specialist in specialist knowledge, says this is a necessary part of preparing American special forces for any dangerous mission:
... they spend the whole morning checking every potential mistake or emergency that might happen during a mission. Any possible puncture is subjected to a thorough examination, and the corresponding reaction is attached to it: if the helicopter makes an emergency landing, we will do A. If we are thrown out at the wrong point, we will do B. If we are in the minority, we will do B.

You looked into the eyes of difficulties. There is only one step left to what you want ...

4) Develop a plan

Mental contrast is so effective because it allows you to combine desires and reality. This is a stress test for a desired goal.

Exposing one's doubts to one's desires leads to an understanding of how to act in reality.
Verdict: Forget about Napoleon Hill and obey Bob the builder. Yes, this guy.

Napoleon Hill said: "Think positive." Tell yourself that you are capable of it. For example, "I will have a million dollars." This is the Secret again.

But Bob the builder does not say anything. He asks the children: “Can we build this?”

The difference seems small, but the questions are very effective. They make you really evaluate the problem:
Those who approach the assignments from the perspective of Bob the Builder, basing their internal dialogue on questions, are superior to those who use a more traditional encouraging declarative conversation with themselves.

Doubts create plans. And plans help to be more productive, overcome stress and even become happier.

A study of the "implementation of ideas" showed that you should create small "if - then" dependencies for working with tricks.
For example: "If I am on a diet and they offer me dessert, then I will only agree to a cup of coffee."

The study demonstrated that the method helps even addicted drug addicts get on their feet and get back to work:
... eight out of ten addicts who applied “implementation of plans” sent a resume. Of the dozen drug addicts who did not develop a preliminary plan, not one did.

So, we figured out four aspects of WOOP. Now we summarize all of the above and start using it in our life?


Try it now. This second. Read - do not.

Watching football will not make you a defender, the 60 years of the sitcoms have not made people more fun, and watching movies with Bruce Lee has not taught anyone to fight. Do you want to turn from a dreamer into a "doer"? Try it now:

  1. Wish. What achievements do you dream of?
  2. Set a goal. Be specific. What should be the result?
  3. Prevent difficulties. What is standing in the way?
  4. Develop a plan. What will you do when faced with an obstacle? "If ... happens, then I ...".

See how this drives away empty dreams and takes you on the path to a dream?

WOOP recalled one of the quotes from Stephen J. Ross:
There are 3 categories of people: a person who, coming to the office, puts his feet on the table and dreams for 12 hours in a row; a person starting work at 5 in the morning and plowing 16 hours without breaks in dreams; and a person who ponders for an hour with his legs on the table and then does something to fulfill his fantasies.

Blog posts cannot change your life. And can you.

PS We recommend another article on the topic - 8 steps to success from the most successful people .

The author of the translation is Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult .

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