4 Popular Myths About Motivation - FocusU

4 Popular Myths About Motivation

Motivation is one of the most abused words in the English language. With all the unnecessary hype surrounding it, especially on social media, it seems to have lost its credibility. Everyone seems to be in search of that little something that gets their adrenaline going and gets them to #smashyouroals.

However, this is not to take away anything from the indispensable life saver that is motivation. From helping us pull out of a rough phase or dealing with a deep sense of loss, motivation is what keeps us going! Not too long ago, I had a habit of reading self-help books in order to seek inspiration but seems like life got in the way.

“People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
                                    – Zig Zigler

What remains undeniable is the fact that motivation is not a one-time thing; successful people find themselves motivated every single day. Many of them don’t even need an external help to be motivated. That’s how ‘Self-Motivated’ term may have got it’s origin from. I follow some great speakers online and while searching such videos across platforms, I often come across a host of motivational videos that seem to have garnered a lot of online buzz. However, these videos seem to have misrepresent motivation by mixing them up with gratification and misinformation. Here’s list of the most commonly misrepresented thoughts on motivation –

Money Matters


Internet is filled with hundreds of motivational videos with a very similar sounding storyline. It goes like this – I was very poor and broken earlier, I followed my unique formula and now I have a lot of money, a luxury car and a great villa, etc. Some videos even have ludicrous titles like, “See this if you want to earn 1 million dollars”. The basic marketing strategy behind these videos is actually hitting where it hurts!

Everybody needs money. Money does solve many problems. Money is indeed essential to live a respectable life. But only running after money is a recipe to failure. People often confuse earning money with actually being successful. These videos are further confusing for all of us. I fell prey to a similar misleading mindset a few years back. It was only almost after spending almost a decade invested in sales that I found my right place in The area of facilitation. However, I left the same to pursue a better pay-check. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care much about the work I was doing. And surely enough, other factors like the working hours, environment of that office, attitude of people, purpose of work and politics of that place started taking a toll on my performance and personal life. I eventually learnt my lesson and re-joined my previous organisation. And the nightmarish part of it all was I did this with not a lot of money, but with quite a handful of debt! Pursuit of money plays mysterious games. So, it’s best not to purely make it your life’s objective.

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The right way to get motivated and do the goal-setting is by following the popular method suggested by Simon Sinek in his book – “Start with Why.” In this book, Simon suggests to follow the “Circle of Why” – inside out!

The first thing to explore is your True-North. What is the “WHY” of your existence. What is the most important purpose of your life? Once we identify the WHY, then we can move on to figure out HOW we want to do that? What are the steps to get to our “WHY”? Once the “HOW” is sorted then it will help us nailing the “WHAT.”

What tends to hold one back is the fact that most of us tend to do this in the opposite way. We spend most of our time around “WHAT”. Money is a great example of that. So, it is critical to guide ourselves toward our true North.

Big Rewards keep us motivated

Another popular myth about motivation, especially applicable for workplaces and organisations –

“The bigger the reward, the better is the motivation level in the team.”

During my IT sales career, monetary incentives were the biggest topic of conversation, every quarter. There was a decent percentage of incentives based on the sales you cracked each quarter. However, this lucrative reward Failed to motivate team-members equally. Few people constantly underperformed on one side. While, there were a few who stopped putting in efforts for a new business, once they met the required numbers for the quarter. Thus, a very handsome monetary incentive was not able to ensure consistency in performance.


I earlier heard and read about the term “Intrinsic Motivation” but never really witnessed it until I joined my current organisation. We run on “Intrinsic Motivation”. Reward of great work is not limited to an individual but extended onto the whole team. Everyone is working for a cause, a purpose, and working for the benefit of all. The whole reward system is designed on the principal of #WeBeforeMe. The team works like a family to execute unconventional experiences to our clients. Furthermore, we live and breathe the core values of C.H.O.P.S.  The truth remains that whenever we add more heart to the incentives, it works far better than just monetary benefits.

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“Just do your best” syndrome

Many motivational videos and blogs speak about “Keep trying” and “Just do your best”. While this is a great behaviour that keep us in the fight, it also leads to mediocrity. Not giving up is a great spirit, but just holding the post is not enough. It does not ensure success. Trying to do “just your best” limits you to the radius of your natural play.

Successful people go beyond just trying hard and doing their best. They set higher goals, make a plan, list out the pitfalls, write down the method, and start working on all these with consistency. Great battles are won by right planning and not only by courage!

Set your eyes on the goal


I personally love “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. It is based on the belief of the laws of attraction, which claim that thoughts can change a person’s life directly. This may have worked for many as claimed in the book. I also find that many motivational coaches talk about this method. And even though it can be a great thing to set your goal to reach the most fascinating place in this world, if you don’t plan your route properly, reaching there may get quite difficult!


What I am more inclined towards is a methodology popularly known as the “Know-Do Gap”. It means that many of us know where to go, what is the right thing to do, and what is the correct path to success. However, we Still constantly fail to do it. It’s more like making that new year resolution every year and failing to follow it after a few days or weeks. Then again making the next resolution knowing our commitment pattern. Knowing and visualising your goal is great but the whole game is about working on it every single day. It takes grit and perseverance to make any dream come true.

I hope you find my take on these popular social media gimmicks informative. Do you know any other popular myth around success and motivation? Do share it below to help others.


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