Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 58 – Praise Is A Motivator

Today’s giving: Spent a few, happy hours of my day off playing Monopoly with the kids. Also a DI meeting this afternoon.

positive and negative smiley faces

Praise is a motivator. Whenever someone gives us praise or appreciation, especially if its from someone we want to please, or if its unexpected, it motivates us to do better.

Consider some (admittedly) over-simplified positive & negative feedback loops. They should look familiar. Then look at the role praise plays.

Positive Feedback Loop Negative Feedback Loop
  • Give something.
  • Get praised.
  • Feel happy.
  • Want to give more.
  • Repeat
  • Don’t give anything.
  • Get no praise.
  • Feel unhappy.
  • Want to give less.
  • Repeat.

There’s something motivating about hearing praise, especially unexpected praise. Here’s an article by Dr. Robert Brooks which talks in more depth about a “praise deficit”.  It’s worth a few minutes.

People aren’t always going to praise you when you want it. But when you give your time, you will often get thanked and be appreciated. That praise is a motivator not only to give more, but in other parts of your life.

I would never recommend giving your time just to seek out praise. But it certainly helps us want to give more.

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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