Per traditional self-help narratives, if you can’t accomplish your goal, you should ask for advice. Find someone who has successfully landed the job, gotten the promotion, made the grades, achieved the weight loss, or created the financial stability that you want. Tell this person you’re struggling. Then do what she says.
According to two leading psychologists, this theory isn’t just hackneyed, it’s wrong. Their research suggests that the key to motivation is giving advice, not receiving it.
Writing in MIT Sloan Management Review, Lauren Eskreis-Winkler, a Wharton psychologist who studies motivation, and Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioral science at University of Chicago Booth, explain that psychologists have long known problems related to self-control are connected to a lack of motivation to transform knowledge into action.