BOOK REVIEW OF “THE MOTIVATION MYTH: HOW HIGH ACHIEVERS REALLY SET THEMSELVES UP TO WIN” BY JEFF HADEN

by | Sep 19, 2020 | Review

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“THE MOTIVATION MYTH: HOW HIGH ACHIEVERS REALLY SET THEMSELVES UP TO WIN” BY JEFF HADEN

Kerry’s Book Review

I am a sucker for reading “high achiever” books so when this title crossed my path, I had no choice but to buy it. I am also a big fan of Jeff Haden and read his Inc. column “Owners Manual” frequently. This book did not disappoint.

First, Jeff is funny. I laughed out loud throughout the book, making it an even bigger win because so many achievement books are dry. This one is not. Jeff shares all kinds of gems worthy of consideration, some new, some reminders, but it’s packaged in a way that makes you want to do something with the “nuggets of goodness” you take away.

Second, I liked that Jeff dispels the myth that motivation comes from willpower and determination. Instead, he lays out the argument that motivation is a process that comes from taking small steps and celebrating ALL wins, no matter how small.

Kerry’s Key Takeaways

  1. Get clear on your goal, create a plan, and follow a process. Each day, work your process. Don’t skimp on the process and celebrate small wins.
  2. There are no shortcuts to doing the work and there is no doubt the work is hard. Do. Hard. Things. 
  3. Part of the process is doing repetitions. Or practicing. This one resonated with me because it inculpates why I started blogging. Why? I want to write a compelling book (maybe a NYT Bestseller???) someday so five years ago I decided that I better start practicing. Blogging was the answer. I have half a decade of content…now I just have to write the book! 
  4. Be a serial achiever. I loved this one, too, because he permitted me to try to be great at a lot of things. I CAN be a successful CEO, writer, podcast host, mother, mountain bike rider, yoga practitioner, etc.! YEAH! This goes against the advice that the only way to be great is to focus on one thing. Personally, I am happy to kick this piece of advice to the curb. 
  5. Use the 1% advantage to your advantage. Jeff explains how small, incremental improvements can lead to significant overall improvement. How do you do it? Select your task, break it down into minor components, and optimize on each element. The cumulative result might surprise you.

All in all, I highly recommend this book. You will walk away inspired to do great things.

Editorial Reviews

“This isn’t just a groundbreaking approach to making millions or melting off extra pounds. It’s a life-changing mental shift toward enjoying the process. Why the f*ck not?”
—Sarah Knight, author of Get Your Sh*t Together

“Jeff Haden knows what many people don’t: that success is less about searching for motivation and more about muddling through until you achieve something motivating.”
—Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg

“Jeff Haden upends a traditional trope: that motivation breeds success—by showing us that it is success that breeds motivation. Once you understand this, everything changes.”
—L. David Marquet, former Navy captain and author of Turn the Ship Around!