Motivation, praise on the effort

Based on researches and experiments children can achieve more, when you switch the regular praises, like: “you’re smart/talented” to “good work”, “you put in real effort” to motivate.
So this way we referr to the effort as a cause, which is controlled and managed by us regarding the activity.
Until in the first case we point to an existing trait, which attributes the success to an outer influence. Then at the second case we emphasis the work and effort, which keeps the window of opportunities more open.

An extra part from the experiments: The participants were asked after the tests, how much they enjoyed the tasks? By using the beneficial praises the their impressions were much more positive.
While the internal control receiving group enjoyed more the activities, the other group enjoyed it less or not at all.

Why we’re working like this?

If we look at it on psychological level , our life is affected by a lot of factors. We live in a complex world, we receive more stimulus, then ever before in our history. All of these are could affect us higher or lower level.
This makes it important, what to take as we have control over and what and how we feel because of those. We see opportunities to improve, or we’ll pointing to external circumstances as consequence of our failure.

Locus of Control (internal/external)

The base of the concept is a healthy separation of things, which are in or out of our control in our life situations.
Our goals is focus as much as we can on the things, where we have control. We should find the solutions for those problems and challenges.
The things falling under the external control, we should accept and maybe somewhat ignore, and hope, the internal control solutions will affect eventually this part too in some ways.
This thinking has importance, it comes up also in a person responsibility and liability.
However we have to deem in a realistic way on those boundaries. A desire of an excessive control to regaluate and manage everything is a wrong goal.
Famous and successful people also have a bunch of failures. Mostly these aren’t advertised that much, when we’re presented by the success stories. This is called as iceberg illusion. A lot of times the only difference is that they keep trying despite of the failures, a different way or on a different field.

One of these famous people is Elon Musk, check out the infographics about him: Elon Musk failure

Fixed vs. Growing Mindset


  • belief, which states, the skills are given and cannot be changed
  • person, and skill based praise
  • motivation, with the reason to look smart
  • the fact of failure leads to giving up


  • belief, which states, the skills are improvable
  • process, the praise of effortand strategy
  • the motivation is the learnig and improvement
  • the failure points to the right direction and stimulates to new challenges


However there are studies , which saying by reachign the teenager-adult age this strategy is not always so effective.
At these ages they probably fall back to fixed mindset more so, because of the strengthened ego. The ego plays vital role at these peoples, but they lack of a fully developed healthy level self-evaluation and confidence.

THe Conclusion

Everyone can have experience, when the result was missing even after hard work. We can have disappointed, missing the fruit of the hard work. At these times referring to the effort could backfire.

Such as like a lucky or easy success can hinder you, that the hard work worth it. Like if we have a student, who has pure luck, by learning 2 of 10 thesis, but get an A. Then if he looses the luck he falls into a downwards spiral.

I think in general there is no generic method, a silver bullet. There are methods, which can have a higher or lower success rate. Sometimes all can fail, at a rebellious or contradictory period.
So the sad news it’s always depends on the situation, which method kicks on a mental state to the right way and stimulate to improvement.


Positive philosophy, this title can be deterring at the first glance, because there is a a lot of crazy explanations around, whole lectures for sale in this topic. These lecturers are mostly aware, this is an exaggeration, and still we have a bunch of these motivational trainers.
I won’t overly explain things, just trying to examine, what I think about this topic and what are the relevant evidences, which can backup my beliefs.

The positivity, the self talk can be helpful to make the correct decisions, could improve the success and move you closer to your goals.
It can give motivation to not give up, when we’re somewhat close to our goals.
We should have a healthy confidence, look at the problems as a challenge and see the upcoming opportunities for the further development.

The only problem is measuring. It’s hard to exactly define measures for the effect of this kind of viewpoint/philosophy.

Why could this work?

The self talk, affirmation affects the unconscious mind, which is responsible for 95% of our decisions.
We have to recognize, during our life we have enormous amount of small decisions. These are mostly working automatically, by patterns and habits, so they relief us from mental fatigue.

It could sound banal, but you can see many hyper-productive people who’re dressing always the same. (Jobs, Zuckerberg, Obama). The reason is partly: they require to make less decision at morning dressing and at buying new clothes.
This is sort of a minimalism, however also a clean but unique style. Which makes a brand and could have an influence on others. note: I’ll write about minimalism in a later time


I feel like motivation and positivity have a relationship.
While Positivity as I mentioned before, could help to overcome hardship and give strength, the Motivation is a support to starting and keeping on the right track.

It’s important to put the emphasis on the internal control and try to not worry and care too much about the external control.
But how we could change on things, if we are down and despondent?
Probably all of us had a moment, when a simple song cheered, energized us. This made you happier, more positive, maybe even energetic.
Of course, all of these are brain induced hormonal effects. But the weariness, melancholy are also in lot of cases are only feelings. In the reality, we have much more reserves, than we think both physically and mentally. A really good example for this is the 40% rule.

The 40% rule : it’s originated from the book Jesse Itzler – Living with a SEAL. It’s a rough estimate based on experience, even when you have a feeling of total fatigue, you’ll still have 40 percent in you, you just have to overcome a stalemate.

Maybe one of the most important guidance in motivation and avoiding procrastination:
Even if you don’t have the strength and motivation for a task, start it, but just for 5-15 minutes. Probably if you dived in you’ll eventually spend more time as your 5-15 minutes vow.

A lot of times even if you feel tired, it’s worth to try start the activity. Commit just for a small activity and finally most of the times you’ll be satisfied and more happy. You’ll realize, you haven’t been so tired after all.
However if you’re feeling tired or injured after the start, then you should skip. But this decision should come from a real reason.

So the connection is that you have ot overcome the hardships.
This can happen in mental or physical level. The mental can be inducted more so by the corresponding nervous system hormones. The physical activities in turn inducing hormones, which eventually helping to be more content, positive and happy.

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The potential trap

However, it’s also important to use positivity and it’s concept in the right way. Don’t lie to yourself, if you feel down or depressed. We have to be aware and handle these feelings. We couldn’t deceive our conscious mind with positive mantras.

Don’t let yourself believe, you’ll reach any result with simple positive attitude. The results and development requires hard work.
Moreover it’s also good to use the motivation in a right way.

therefor, what is this Positive philosophy?

In my opinion, the positivity is only a multiplier factor, which increases the potential results or could shorten the road to reach the goals. You could never replace the hard work and effort.
Also if you have a positive viewpoint, the hard work potentially would feel like a good, satisfying activity, and you could really value it and feel pride.

Eventually your goal is not just the joy of an end result, because you’ll never know where you’ll reach. You could end up in a different place what you’ve imagined. Still it’ll be perfect.
That’s why is so important, to enjoy the small wins, and the whole road, while we go ahead.