Be a Go-Giver, Not a Go-Getter

The Go-Giver is a fable written by Bob Burg and John David Mann about a go-getter struggling to meet his quarterly target at work. He seeks the help of a mysterious man who connects him to people who have succeeded in the business world. He learns that being a self-motivated go-getter isn’t enough to succeed, and it’s making him unhappy at work as well as at home with his wife.

It’s only when he adopts a new approach to go-give, by proactively helping one of his competitors by giving him one of his prospects he couldn’t help himself – he ends up getting a big lead in return which helps him hit his quarterly target.

Being a go-getter is generally seen as a positive trait, especially in the world of work. But the whole purpose of business is to help people, and if we are only participating to help ourselves, it can lead to corruption, greed, or simply being ineffective. By switching to the mindset of giving and serving others, we not only get more in return since people will feel the need to repay you, you can also inspire others to use the same default mindset to give to others.

Why Motivation Doesn’t Work

The issue with motivation is that it never lasts. Motivation comes from emotion, and emotion is temporary. It’s tough to always feel like doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Sometimes you just don’t feel like it.

When you only do things when you feel like it, behavior and results are erratic. When emotions or moods go down, productivity stops. And then it’s a mission of trying to get back the motivation that was lost. You begin to question yourself and you feel stuck. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The solution: Do it anyway. Through taking action in spite of emotion, the job gets done. You grow, become empowered and in turn can become more motivated from taking the action you needed to. Self-trust and integrity grows, and you really begin to believe you can keep to your word, and self-image and self-esteem grows along with it.

The next time lack of motivation gets in the way of doing what you’re supposed to be doing, do it anyway.

Why the Need to Be Right Is Holding Us Back

It turns out that being right is the primary motivating factor in almost anything we do. Here are a few examples:

I was once on a hike up a mountain with some friends. Once we reached the final saddle, I asked one of my friends how long they thought it would take to reach the summit. My friend estimated another hour. I disagreed and said we could probably do it in half the time. Instantly, and unconsciously, I picked up the pace. The leisurely stroll turned into tough work as I tried to summit faster. After a few minutes, my friend told me to slow down. “Stop walking so fast just because you want to be right.”

A friend was telling me about some health problems they were having one time, where they were visiting with doctors to find out what was wrong. My friend had to wear a monitoring device so the doctor could have a better idea of what the problem could have been. I told my friend, “I hope everything is normal and healthy and you don’t have to go back to the doctors again!”

My friend replied, “I don’t, I just want to find out what’s wrong with me.” I was taken aback. My friend would have preferred being right about the belief that there was something wrong with them, than simply just being healthy.

People who fall out with others because their social or political views get challenged. They confuse opinions and viewpoints with facts, and don’t understand or tolerate anyone who may have an alternative view to what they have. They’d rather be right and make others wrong, even if they were initially close friends or family members.

Being right also helps us reinforce anything we believe in ourselves. If we truly believe ourselves as hard-working, intelligent and courageous, we want to make ourselves right about it and do things to confirm those beliefs. On the other hand, if we see ourselves as drug addicts, failures, or unhealthy, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we get a small kick in telling ourselves we were right all along. We’d rather be right than be at peace.

The need to be right comes from a lack of security, and the need to feel good. This is because it feels good to be right and it feels bad to be wrong. But if we are trying to make ourselves feel good at the expense of others’ feelings by making them wrong, it comes from a lack of consciousness. We can often even make ourselves right at the expense of ourselves! Eckhart Tolle describes in A New Earth that the need to be right comes from our ego, and that we aren’t the same as our ego. The ego isn’t something we should take too seriously, it’s just something that pops up from time to time, craving your attention. If we identify with it, that where it starts to grow and we become unconscious again.

What Does It Mean to Be Emotionally Intelligent?

Emotional intelligence is a phrase we see loosely throw about in conversations, but what does it actually mean to be emotionally intelligent?

Yale psychologist, Peter Salovey, split emotional intelligence into five domains:

Knowing One’s Emotions

The more we understand our own emotions as they arise, the more self-aware we become and better able we are to describe how we are feeling. We are also better equipped to deal with whatever emotions crop up from moment to moment. An inability to recognize emotions in ourselves leaves us at their mercy. Being in tune with our emotion leads to more certainty in decision-making and we trust ourselves more.

Managing emotions

This builds on the self-awareness of emotion. When we recognize that we are irritable, sad, angry, or anxious, can we soothe ourselves or find a way to act towards a goal despite of these negative emotions? An inability to do this can lead to impulsive decisions or a constant battling of distress.

Motivating oneself

Success towards a goal is largely attributed to delayed gratification and impulsive control. The more we can manage our emotions and still do what we set out to do, the more chance we have of succeeding. Emotions can hijack the brain and without the willpower we can go astray. Being able to enter a ‘flow’ state is another skill emotionally intelligent people are adept at, so that time passes by without distraction.

Recognizing emotions in others

This is probably what most people think of when they hear the term ’emotional intelligence’. How empathic are we? Can we recognize when someone is starting to get irritated, or feeling sad or happy? The more that we understand how someone is feeling, the more we will understand what they need and want. This is crucial for career paths in sales, management, teaching, and caring professions.

Handling relationships

This all culminates in how we are able to handle our relationships effectively. Our quality of life is often attributed to the quality of our relationships, so the better that we can manage the emotions of ourselves and others in our important relationships, the more fulfilled we will be. Having a high emotional intelligence will enable us to become better intimate partners, better to work with, and better to spend time with.

Each individual varies in how well they rank in the five domains of emotional intelligence. Some people may be better at soothing someone else when they are upset, but when they are upset themselves they may find it difficult. Others may be self-aware but oblivious to the subtle cues that others give to them in a social setting.

Even so, what we should all recognize is that our emotional intelligence can be learned, even if some people seem more naturally adept than others. Our brains are remarkably plastic – they can be shaped and biologically influenced based on our input.

Personally, I found that I became much more attuned to other people’s emotions after working in sales because I was engaging in much more face-to-face communication, and it was important for me to get better at it.

Daniel Goleman puts forth in his book Emotional Intelligence that EQ is much more predictive in success than IQ. As a social species, it’s hard to disagree.

Power Hour: The Importance of the First 60 Minutes Everyday

Power Hour is a book by Adrienne Herbert, a modern fitness ambassador who also hosts the weekly Power Hour podcast. From her writing it seems that she is a highly motivated, organized and productive individual. In her book she writes that the birth of the “Power Hour” was in 2017 when she accepted an invitation to run a marathon for the first time after already having a packed schedule of other commitments. The only way she could find the time to train was to wake up earlier and to go on training runs as soon as she woke up.

Herbert explains that it doesn’t make a huge difference whether the power hour is before the crack of dawn or towards the end of the morning, as long as it’s the first hour upon waking. This is the hour that should be assigned a task that will propel us forward in some way. It could be doing a work out, journaling, or writing the book we’ve always wanted to. It could even be a combination of things.

Although the book is very basic in terms of the level of its ideas, it is very effective in getting the reader to think about whether their current habits are working for or against them, and how to change them if they need changing. There’s actionable exercises in the book to reconsider purpose and to dream up goals.

If you knew this was your last year what would you start doing right now?

It asks thoughtful daily questions like “Who would love to hear from me today?” and “How can I have more fun today?” It also invites us to define our goals, and then think of potential blockers in the path towards them.

The beauty of the power hour is that the new habit we choose is anchored to a task that we do every single day – waking up. What’s more, we end up finishing a task that is important to our wellness and long-term future before we have even considered breakfast! Doing something that we know is good for us so early sets us up perfectly to make good choices for the rest of the day.

Sometimes a book like this is the perfect medicine when we find ourselves snoozing the alarm everyday because of the lack of motivation and clarity in which direction to go in life.