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Minimal Motivation

Minimal Motivation

I’ve been wondering about this for a while and still can’t understand my/human behavior. I’m a grown-up adult, who knows about responsibility. I know I’m responsible for my own career, growth, etc. I give enough advice to others about extreme ownership and how they should own their career growth. I also understand how doing just the bare minimum might not always be the best.

Even with all the knowledge I’ve seen only the bets I have with other friends have helped me in my growth so far. I have this bet with others (folks who are accountability partners) to ensure make I do things that I want to do. Manas explains about the bet here.

The first bet I have with many many people is writing a blog every month (the first weekend).

I write exactly one blog per month. I’ve always wondered what is stopping me from writing two blogs a month. Why do I stop at just one post a month? And how many I am able to achieve one per month easily, but one extra post seems like a herculean task. Another fact is that I started writing the blog on Sunday morning when the bet deadline was about to expire. It is almost like I’m writing the blog just to not lose the bet. Without the bet, I might never a blog (even though I understand why it is good for me)

The next bet is to ensure I walk a given number of steps per month. This one is even more interesting. At first, the number of steps I had to cover was 70K/week. For months, my step count was around 70-75K per month. Then we decided to increase the number to 100K (since we found the 70K goal) to be too low. Again, this bet I had with multiple people, but the amount of steps to cover varied for different folks. Here is the simplified version of the number of steps I covered every week.

Week #Bet #1Bet #2Bet #3Bet #4Actual Steps

Strange observations from the table

  1. I’ve never lost a bet. I’ve made sure I’ve walked what is required for that week.
  2. I’ve walked just enough to win the bet. If the goal is too low, then that’s all I walk.
  3. When I had no bets with anyone, I almost stopped walking or doing any physical activity.
  4. Some of the numbers I considered impossible (100K steps a week) were actually possible once I had the bet.

My inferences so far

  1. I’m a competitive person. I hate losing and hence will do anything/everything to win the bet.
  2. It is hard to focus on things that help us grow in the long term. One needs help in ensuring we stay on track to focus on the right things. Help = having the right accountability partner.

I still don’t know what is stopping me from doing more than what is required as a part of a bet. Still exploring!

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