Brain circuitry determines how we respond to obstacles for goals:

People w/ activation in the left prefrontal cortex are more persistent in the face of obstacles. They are more likely to become angry, frustrated and irritated, but these emotions provide energy and attention to overcome the obstacles.

People w/ right prefrontal cortical activation give up more easily, are risk-averse and generally anxious.


There are three types of motivations:

1. Motivation for power or influence on others. This can be ego-centric (w/o caring if impact is positive or negative) or socially beneficial power (positive influence).

2. Motivation for affiliation and being with people. Great team members exhibit this motivation.

3. Motivation for achievement. How am I doing relative to my goal? These people always strive to be better.

The key to a healthy drive to achieve is having a very high internal standard for performance that you hold yourself to—but if that standard is too high, you fail to appreciate your accomplishments while obsessing about any little imperfection. It’s the drive to achieve gone into overdrive. The price you pay may be in a series of failed relationships, never taking time out for things you enjoy, or the health costs of chronic stress.




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