This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

One motivation to rule them all

Dave Pollard has derived Nine reasons we don't do what we should do from two other articles that list 10 and 16 related problems.

  1. Fear (of failure)
  2. Lack of self-confidence (fear of acting)
  3. Lack of knowledge
  4. Trying to do too much alone
  5. Trying to do too much
  6. Loss of self
  7. Lack of energy
  8. Lack of reward
  9. It can't be done

This covers those times when we seem to act against our own interests: reading email all day, not completing that paper, being a couch potato, etc.  Even people who have read Getting Things Done or who are otherwise self-aware continue to do do the wrong things.  Is it simply human nature?  With respect to organization, David Allen seems to think so.

Everyone is already organized to the degree they need to be, to have the world match up to their internal standards. And usually "having to get organized" refers only to things they don't care that much about. In other words, oil painters have their brushes organized, fishermen their tackleboxes, golfers their clubs. When your life as a whole and what you're doing with it takes on the same kind of gut-level identification with an experience you have to have, you'll probably overcome the resistance to creating and maintaining structure to keep it that way.

A central tenant of TOC is the idea that a collection of problems in a given area are caused by a single root problem, whether that be in manufacturing, project management, or even human behavior.  Is there a core problem that explains all of these behaviors?  What motivates me to do anything?  Conviction that it is important to me.  At the same time, I need to see a path to change, and have some confidence that the path is going to lead me the right way while not creating any additional problems (or that I can overcome obstacles).  But without that critical conviction, I am not going to be interested in making the effort to change.

Pollard is obviously thinking about this a bit lately, as he has another recent article, Just Start, that reminds us how important it is to DO SOMETHING, rather than hiding out.

No putting it off until tomorrow. You might as well put it off a century. First step. Right now. Stop reading this. Tell yourself what the first step is, imagine yourself doing it, successfully, tell yourself you're going to do it. Stand up.

Once I have an inkling of motivation, I need to start taking action or that motivation will die along with my ability to change.

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