One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to give yourself a reward. What kind of reward works best for you?
Positive reinforcement is a good way to train your body and mind. When you exhibit a behavior you like, giving yourself a reward sends a positive message. In theory, you will come to associate good behavior with getting a reward.
That might sound a bit clinical, but the truth is we use these positive reinforcements every day. If, for instance, you have a cup of coffee each morning, you probably come to think of morning and coffee going together.
Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss a related question: ‘How do you define success?’ We also discuss bonus question, ‘Is happiness the most important purpose of life?’
However, finding the right reinforcement to use in any given situation can be tricky. One bad example is to reward an exercise session with a dessert. That might make you look forward to working out so that you can get a sweet treat, but the reward might well be more calories than you burned working out. If the goal is to lose weight, it might well be counter-productive.
What sorts of rewards work best for you? Are their specific ones you use in certain circumstances? Are there “bad” examples you have adopted in the past?
As our society becomes more polarized, finding common ground can be difficult. For two people bitterly divided, how can they bridge the gap between them?
At times, it can feel like there is more dividing us than there is uniting us. Whether it is politics, religion, gender, age, income, skin color, or any number of other differences, the distance between two people can seem like a chasm.
And yet, there is a need for two people to bridge that distance and talk, no matter how far apart they might be. Doing so might be necessary to build a working relationship at a job. It might mean a harmonious atmosphere at a family dinner table. It may even lead to a political committee with adversaries accomplishing meaningful change.
Of course, finding common ground is easier said than done. What are the elements necessary for two people who disagree, perhaps even strongly, to build a bridge between their two viewpoints? Particularly if the environment they are in encourages or rewards polarization and divisiveness?
How do you bridge a divide between two people who are far apart in several different ways, and have little in common? After all, each one of us may find ourselves in such a situation.
Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. When your to-do list is frustratingly long, what can you do to be more productive?
While there is something to be said for the need to relax in our over-scheduled society, sometimes you just need to get stuff done. That might include running errands, preparing a work project, or performing home maintenance. Whatever the task is that you feel is crucial, how can you avoid procrastination and distractions, and actually accomplish said task?
Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What is the value of inefficiency?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How can we encourage debate?’
Productivity has been steadily increasing in our modern society, thanks to tools like the computer and the internet, as well as the labor-saving machines that magnify the effort of an individual. Not to mention increasing the weekly hours spent at work, or even working during “off hours” like answering emails from home.
Are there further advances to be had? Do productivity programs or apps actually work? Are there routines or practices that can further improve how much we can accomplish? Or is the attempt to increase productivity bound to further increase daily stress and unhappiness?
If you feel that your list of tasks — for work, home, or even for enjoyment — is too long and needs to be reduced more efficiently, what can you do about it? How can we be more productive?