Why it’s Good to Question Your Motivation

New research shows it’s better to ask “Will I?” than to say “I will.”

The study, published in the April Psychological Science, found participants spending a minute thinking about whether they would complete a task scored better than those who affirmed their ability to do so. In both cases–a short word problem and taking time to exercise the following week–the group posing an internal question produced better results.


It seems the first gives “how” more immediacy. A firm statement brings the hammer down, it has finality with its certainty.

The buck has stopped.

Proceedings are closed.

As any parent of a toddler knows, an inquisitive mind is open to all sorts of answers.

Perhaps by “priming the pump,” so to speak, the brain is able to bring forth a more fruitful and pointed examination–the kind that creates results.

A police interrogation is concerned with details. Perhaps your mind is the same way.

By beginning a line of thoughtful consideration–instead of uttering one sentence with emotional force–you engage in exploration. You are able to contemplate actions and possible outcomes.

Like a wandering tourist, you lay out a map between your current location and dozens of destinations.

With all your options in front of you, commitment and desire come into play.

You’re able to measure risk and reward.

Inspiration has a chance to strike.

And suddenly, you’ve figured out what you must do.

You’ve asked the right questions–and the answers say you will.


Are You Yearning to Breathe Free?

5 Steps to No Doubt

Finding “How” After You’ve Got “What”


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