Being Well Podcast: Motivating Yourself

Being Well Podcast: Motivating Yourself

We all have things we know would be good to do, but it’s hard to do them. Equally, there are things that we know are bad for us, but we keep doing them anyway. Why don’t our brains just automatically want to do those good things?

On this episode, Dr. Rick Hanson and Forrest focus on a key aspect of motivation: how we can incline our minds to break bad habits, and want the things that are good for it.

During this episode they explore:

  • How to “hack” the motivational circuit of the brain.
  • The importance of forming clear relationships between action and reward.
  • Why different people have different issues with motivation.
  • How we can sustain motivation over time, rather than just going through short bursts of intense effort.
  • The differing impacts of self-nurturance and self-criticism.



0:40: Why doesn’t just knowing that something is bad stop us from doing it?

2:55: How does motivation work biologically?

7:00: The importance of connecting good behaviors to direct rewards.

8:50: Becoming good at imagining rewards.  

12:40: Internalizing reward along the way.

14:20: Imbuing simple tasks with meaning.

17:30: Bringing playfulness to what you do.

19:30: Is there genetic variation in how easily motivated people are?

23:35: Having empathy for biological differences between people.

27:40: The relationship between nature and nurture.

33:35: The value of fulfilling expectations.

37:25: Identifying novelty.

39:40: Finding the fun factor.

41:00: Self-nurturance vs. self-criticism.

46:15: Recap


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