How to Learn Something Important You Never Knew

What is more important to your personal success, knowing HOW to do what it takes to succeed, or WHY you want to succeed? Is it the skill-set or your motivation?

Are we talking about opinions or scientific research?

Does This Help

The LEFT frontal region of your brain is directly involved in experiencing POSITIVE emotions like laughter and happiness, while the RIGHT frontal region of your brain causes you to experience NEGATIVE emotions like fear and blame.

Don’t say, So What - yet.

Motivation Direction

The LEFT frontal region of your brain allows you to experience emotions related
to CLOSENESS to other folks. Your RIGHT frontal region is linked to emotions
that cause WITHDRAWAL from folks.

Happiness and joy are linked to the motivation of closeness, while fear and blame
are associated with the motivation of withdrawal. There is an exception to these
rules – anger.


The emotion of anger is experienced as negative, but it searches for CLOSENESS,
not distancing. Anger causes a greater activation of your LEFT (logic and language)
hemisphere. Maybe Anger saw Godfather I – Always keep your friends close and
your enemies closer.

Symptoms of Anger

During anger our heart races, arterial tension rises, along with a
testosterone increase. Get this – cortisol the stress hormone – decreases. Your left
hemisphere (brain) gets over-simulated in anger.

Inducing emotions create powerful modifications in our autonomic nervous system.
Anger excites our brain activity, especially in our frontal and temporal lobes. Your
entire 3-pound coconut goes wild in anger.

It activates your Sympathetic nervous system, and in particular the Flight-or-Fight
syndrome causing adrenaline (epinephrine) to flow.

Remember This

Your motivation WHY you want to lose 10 pounds is the key to weight loss success. Tell yourself enough WHYs, and you will stick to any weird diet. If you are going to your twentieth class reunion, and you want to dazzle those who mocked you back then – excellent and very sticky motivation.

If you are job interviewing and want to impress the Human Resources department, or if you are going to your sisters wedding or preparing for a trip to Australia – you are highly motivated to stick to less eating and drinking, and doing more exercise.

The time spent in a class to learn a specific system of how-to lose ten pounds of ugly fat - is less effective than WHY (motivation) because it does not engage your right-hemisphere (brain) and your emotions (limbic system).

School And Your Career

Does a powerful motivation to learn, take precedence over a list of how-to rules in school? How about motivation vs. how-to in your career? Motivation wins hands-down, according to Professor Julia Bayuk, University of Delaware, 12.04.2010.

Google: Journal of Consumer Research: Ask Why, not How. Focus on WHY you want to reach your goals, not how to do it step-by-step plan of attack.

Planning may often close your mind to other ideas to succeed. We miss out on other
opportunities if we are locked into only one exclusive way.

Often there are numerous routes to your objective; how important the goal is to you - is the essential element.

Motivation excites both your left and right hemispheres to work in harmony and
cooperation. In your career - motivation is paramount. Promotions often come to
those who want it the most, and are willing to do almost anything to make it happen.

Abstract or Concrete Mindsets

Abstract mindsets focus on WHY they MUST achieve the goal, while Concrete mindsets think they have all the brains and ignore motivation. The Concrete
makers worry exclusively about How-To make their goals a reality.

Concrete thinkers who planned every detail - fared the worse.

Google: the journal Hormones And Behavior, 2010, 57 (3) 276, lead author Neus Herrero, University of Valencia. Anger.

Six BAD Habits

Read these six lousy habits and see where they apply in your life and career.

1. You are trying to influence, persuade and convince folks, but you are
ashamed of what you are doing, you feel embarrassed and uncomfortable
in asking others to do things. Get out of selling.

2. You aim your arguments and reasoning of Why to do it – based on selling to
yourself. You aint the customer – what benefits are they looking for?

3. You believe in your feelings and emotions (intuition) and ignore the facts.
This makes you use too many glittering generalities. Our Knowledge Economy believes in specific details.

4. Decisions are best based on knowledge, not FEAR of what may happen in
the future. The fear emotion screws up your ability to analyze, and produces
weak decisions.

5. Tired of the OLD, and desire for Change. The public take years to get
comfortable with slogans and advertising. Change often occurs because the
insiders are tired and bored with the promotion – not plain folks. Leave well
enough alone, mostly.

6. Fear of Change: nothing lasts forever because your market changes their
needs and desires. Do you love the same stuff as your father and mother? Mostly we see their hot-stuff as old-fashioned and out-of-style. Review and consider change annually.

See ya,
Copyright © 2011 H. Bernard Wechsler

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Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's.
Business partner of Evelyn Wood, (1909-1995) creator of speed reading.
Graduating 2-million, including the White House staffs of four U.S.
Presidents: Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon-Carter.