Skip to navigationSkip to content

Psychologists have surprising advice for people who feel unmotivated

Unsplash/Kinga Cichewicz
Motivate yourself to get out of bed by telling someone else to.
By Leah Fessler

Reporter, Quartz at Work

Published Last updated on This article is more than 2 years old.

Per traditional self-help narratives, if you canโ€™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 youโ€™re struggling. Then do what she says.

According to two leading psychologists, this theory isnโ€™t just hackneyed, itโ€™s wrong. Their research suggests that the key to motivation isย 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.

Are you a top company for remote workers? Whether youโ€™re fully remote or distributed with a strong remote contingent, you may be eligible for Quartzโ€™s Best Companies for Remote Workers, a new, global ranking to be published later this year on Quartz at Work. Registration is free. Click here to apply.

Enrich your perspective. Embolden your work. Become a Quartz member.

Your membership supports our mission to make business better as our team of journalists provide insightful analysis of the global economy and helps you discover new approaches to business. Unlock this story and all of Quartz today.

Membership includes:

Quartz Japanใธใฎ็™ป้Œฒใ‚’ใ”ๅธŒๆœ›ใฎๆ–นใฏใ“ใกใ‚‰ใ‹ใ‚‰ใ€‚