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Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example by Steve McClatchy

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Chapter 1

Two Forms of Human Motivation

Gain and Prevent Pain

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

—Mark Twain

What decisions or pursuits produce significant results in our lives—and are we giving them enough time and attention? Which of the many things that we do each day actually move us forward, and which just keep us running in place?

According to popular psychology, we all have the same reasons for doing the hundreds of tasks that we do each day. Many psychology studies have agreed that we can divide all sources of human motivation into two categories: to move toward Gain, or Prevent Pain. Every time you've felt compelled to do anything —from making a phone call, to getting up off the couch, to spending money, to going to work, to traveling, you were either motivated to move toward something you want (Gain), or prevent the loss of something you have (Prevent Pain).

We can illustrate this concept in almost any part of your life: health, finances, eating, career/work, even family and hobbies. Let's look at your health first. Do you exercise regularly, take vitamins or medications, or see doctors for checkups or when you feel ill? Every time you're motivated to do something about your health, it has either been to Gain in that category (get healthier than you are now, lose weight, lower ...

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