By Dan Gregory
Are small wins just as important as big wins? Depends who you ask.
Naval Adm. William H. McRaven famously suggested that one of the keys to feeling more motivated and driving personal success, was to start the day by making your bed.
A better strategy, in my opinion, is to start the day with Big Wins First.
Of course, if your life’s work and personal mission is defined by crisp linen and hospital corners, then have at it. But you may, in fact, be psychologically conditioning yourself to prioritise the trivial, or in fact, to not prioritise at all.
So how does one achieve a Big Win First?
This simple piece of motivation design requires little more than a blank sheet of paper, or a softly humming digital screen and interface.
Make three lists:
- Big Wins
- To Dos
- Week Plan
Determine what your Big Wins are – for me, it’s things like writing a new chapter for my latest book or authoring a new keynote speech, but it might just as easily be a core piece of a larger project. Yours will obviously be determined by your own personal and business ambitions.
Next, list the To Dos – those mundane activities that must be done, but are hardly inspiring.
Lastly, compose your Week Plan placing a Big Win at the top of each days’ list.
The point is, this should be the first thing that has your attention each day and the day should not encroach on your Big Win until you’ve won. At this point, it matters little what happens to the rest of your day, how many people interrupt you or what little failures you experience. You’ve already won… and won big!
More importantly, you’re conditioning your mind and your habits to prioritize your priorities, and over time, this leads to personal progress that truly matters.Read More
By Dan Gregory
So what is Mastervation? There’s a lot of misinformation around the concept of motivation – mostly perpetuated by so-called gurus who’s personal motivation is to lighten your wallet and line theirs.
We’ve been told to set goals (backed up by Yale’s 1953 goals study where those rare few who wrote down specific and measurable goals achieved far greater wealth, happiness and fame than their peers. A study that Yale contends never actually happened). Yet this so-called “historic precident” has informed business and personal motivation strategies for decades.
We’ve also been told to recite affirmations to ourselves in the mirror each morning, delivered in the present tense with vivid emotional expression (no doubt the mirror is there in order that our subconscious can observe our own spectatular hypocrisy – It turns out, “I am not a magnificent snow flake filled with the essense of pure potentiality” after all).
More recent psychological studies inform us that our minds, rather than simply accepting these affirmations, as some kind of inert mental computer programming, instead seek evidence for or against these statements and often come up with damning evidence to the contrary. This can in fact entrench the undesired beliefs, affirmations and outcomes we are seeking to avoid.
In fact, our 21st Centrury brains have become exquisite BS detectors for all but motivational spin.
So what is real motivation? Or are we all just jerk offs jerking off?
Well, yes and no.
Real motivation is something we all have experience of. When we’re engaged in something we care about or with people we care about we feel an emotion Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi describes as “Flow”.
So why the confusion?
Typically, when people talk about motivation, what they really mean is pushing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy or are not truly passionate about, like exercising or eating health food… eeeaaargh!!! This translates more accurately as mental compulsion.
That’s a problem, because this kind of ra ra style motivation is only ever a short term strategy. In other words it runs out!
Creating engagement around these challenging endeavours requires designing environments and processes that amplify engagement intrinsically, not just “mastervation”.
So, stop it, or you’ll all go blind…Read More
By Dan Gregory
If you’re like most people, you probably assume that most of your decisions are your own. However, virtually every decision you make is somewhat manipulated by decisions you have no part in.
Did you wake up this morning naturally, or through the use of an alarm clock?
Who determined what time you should wake up anyway?
Or go to bed last night? Was it just the TV Schedule?
Did you have a ‘healthy’ breakfast? How do you know? Do you know?
Did you start the day with a coffee or a juice? What brand did you choose? Decaf or Defibrillator?
Did you take the car? What model did you “choose”? Did you stay in your lane? Obey the traffic lights?
Did the morning news make you angry?
Who were you angry with? The government? The opposition? Foreigners? The locals? The presenters?
And that was just getting to work. Virtually every decision in our lives is to some degree, beyond our control. But rather than being a cause for alarm or an encouragement to live off grid, it’s a reminder to be conscious of the decisions we make.
For those of us who seek influence, who want to drive change, who desire to lead, it’s also a reminder that much of our capacity to persuade is unconscious and environmental.
If we want to be effective influencers, we need to do more than simply talk, we need to be strategic, to be curious and to design success into our processes and environments.Read More
By Dan Gregory
Working with organizations all around the world, I often enjoy asking people provocative questions to have them reflect on what they believe versus what is a default position. It’s a way of teasing out what they really feel about the concept of risk.
A question I often ask is, “In a situation, with an either/or outcome, are you more likely to base a decision on what is best for the organization you work for, or on what is the least risky for you personally?”
Now, in a public forum, few will admit to putting their own personal needs ahead of the greater good, but in fact, our behavior suggests that we regularly, if not mostly, do the opposite.
A recent Trulia Study revealed that whilst most Americans (79%) state they care about the environment and are concerned about such issues as global warming, in practice, they will do little to change the situation. Particularly if it requires personal effort or expense.
This is a critical understanding in human behavior. We often rely on such strategies as logic and emotional appeal to drive positive change, when in fact, a risk-mitigation strategy may be more effective.
Instead of harping on about the “rightness” or even “righteousness” of our position, we would do better to make ourselves easier to agree with.
This starts with reducing the risk of converting to our world view – physically, reputationally and financially.Read More
By Dan Gregory
Virtually every piece of information you take in, whether consciously or unconsciously, is laden with biases, judgement and meaning. It’s all to do with the language the information is framed in.
For instance, consider the following questions:
- “Are you more afraid of never doing great work… or of losing a job that will never allow you to do the work you were born to do?”
This is a plainly manipulative message designed to have you consider a particular outcome – i.e. a work-life bereft of meaning. Compare this to the following:
- “Are you more interested in providing the safe and reliable financial environment your family deserves… or do you consider your own professional ambitions to be more important?”
Again, clearly designed to persuade, just in the opposite direction.
Now these questions have been exaggerated for clarity, however, every conversation, every news article you read, every tweet, post, piece of marketing or sales pitch you are exposed to is laced with the language of leverage.
This makes applying a filter to all you hear, read and digest incredibly important.
But it is just as important, we should all remember to choose our words carefully.Read More
Dan and Kieran are this generation's Edward De Bono."
THOUGHT LEADERS GLOBAL, AUSTRALIA
Dan, as usual, you were the post man. You delivered."
An extraordinary ability to solve highly complicated and political problems."
UNITED NATIONS, SINGAPORE
Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan did a phenomenal job. Both Gregory and Flanagan were personable, professional and very engaging."
Kieran and Dan facilitated a highly engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking workshop around entrepreneurship, risk-taking and decision making within a highly regulated environment."
I learned a huge amount and the team feedback has been incredibly positive. "
CA TECHNOLOGIES, ASIA PACIFIC
We've had amazing feedback (on Dan & Kieran) - Very grateful!"
The feedback from your presentation has been bombarding! Which is bloody awesome!"
Kieran’s opening Keynote established the spirit of the conference from the outset. Embracing the theme in an engaging, relevant and lively presentation. She was the perfect choice."
AUSTRALIA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS, AUSTRALIA
Signs of genius."
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, AUSTRALIA
Delegates were literally buzzing through the hours of workshops that followed and we were able to achieve the directions we required to take us forward."
TOURISM & EVENTS QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
Dan had the room engaged from the outset and took our team on a 90 minute journey, resulting in eyes and minds being opened to new opportunities. The feedback after the event was overwhelmingly positive - we wouldn’t hesitate in working with Dan again in the future."
Kieran’s presentation was a breath of fresh air. She is a ball of energy, totally engaging, brilliant use of humour, super visuals and great delivery, but above all she was totally on message with great content. They loved her."
ROTARY INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIA
I have the opportunity to work with many speakers and presenters throughout the year, and I can say without bias that (Dan’s) presentation was the best I have seen in a very long time."
DG GLOBAL, THAILAND
Kieran delivered riveting speeches that kept a diverse audience engaged and wanting more."
Dan has that unique ability of entertaining an audience with humour while giving them a wide range of strategies that can make a significant difference to their bottom line."
AUSTRALIAN FITNESS NETWORK, AUSTRALIA
Kieran’s deep insight, cutting humour and ability to convey complex messages to our audience were the stand out features of her keynote. it's great to work with stage professionals who deliver."
Dan Gregory appeared at our annual top tier dealer network conference as our keynote presenter. Dan was engaging, entertaining and informative and we were so impressed that we are preparing to work with him again this year for another area of our business."
HUNTER DOUGLAS, AUSTRALIA
Kieran Flanagan’s presentation was so inspiring - thank you."
It was a pleasure to deliver the genius of Dan Gregory to our members at the Real Estate IQ Conference. Dan’s infectious enthusiasm, coupled with his brilliance, was incredibly well received by our audience with many following up on his presentation in months to come. I would personally recommend Dan’s services to any event manager who is looking to effectively engage, educate and inspire their delegates."
In 12 years of running SWB, Kieran is the first speaker to receive a 100% approval rating from all delegates!"
What a fantastic way to kick off the New Year! (We've been) flooded with phone calls and emails about Dan and what a wonderful speaker he was."
EXECUTIVES ASSOCIATION OF GREATER PHOENIX, USA
Rarely have I heard anybody articulate their thoughts with such clarity and vision. His intelligence and insight provides a much greater understanding of how to engage your customers, your team and the community. I would whole heartedly recommend Dan, you will never be disappointed."
HORTICULTURE AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA
I was laughing and learning... Dan is the Australian Ricky Gervais!"
THE ENTOURAGE, AUSTRALIA
He more that lives up to his own advertising!"
ASSOCIATION OF CORPORATE COUNCIL, AUSTRALIA
Our recent Business Partner Exchange event was a great success, largely in part due to Dan Gregory. Dan met our brief completely, with his presentation providing a strong and supportive storyline for our launch. We couldn’t have asked for more, and are looking forward to other opportunities to work with Dan in the future."