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Elements of Mindset

From Quota Triumph to Square One: Maintaining Motivation

9 min
Average Score

Andrew Huberman

Professor and Neuroscientist at Stanford University and Host of the Huberman Lab podcast

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Imagine you have a big, important target to meet at work, like selling a certain amount of products in a month. When you're trying really hard to reach that goal, and it's the last day of the month, you're feeling stressed because time is running out. You might even be working late into the night to try and make it happen.

Now, let's say you manage to hit that target right at the last minute. You should be really happy and want to celebrate, right? But here's the tricky part – the next day, when the new month starts, it's like all your hard work is forgotten. You have to start from scratch, and that can make you feel really unmotivated because it feels like you're not getting a chance to enjoy your success or take a break.

So, this feeling is like a mix of frustration and exhaustion because you're constantly chasing goals and don't have the time or energy to enjoy your achievements before the cycle starts all over again.

In this enlightening session, explore the fascinating realm of dopamine and its role in keeping sales reps motivated, especially when they find themselves struggling to meet their quota on the very last day of the month, knowing that the quota stress will start anew the next day.

Stay Motivated After Struggling to Hit the Sales Quota

Dopamine, often associated with rewards, plays a pivotal role in motivation and craving. Understanding this molecule's influence on our brain can be a game-changer for sales professionals. Dopamine isn't just about seeking rewards; it's about seeking, pursuing, and building things, driving us to want new challenges and achievements.

The Quest for Dopamine

Our brains continually seek to assess our life's progress, whether on a short-term or long-term scale. Dopamine serves as the internal scorekeeper, determining if we're doing well or struggling. It compels us to pursue more, create more, and aspire to achieve new heights. But sometimes, this quest for dopamine can lead to behaviors like mindlessly scrolling through social media or indulging in excess calories.

Indulging in excess pleasures without a balance can lead to diminished motivation. Think about scrolling through social media—sometimes, it feels like a pointless activity that doesn't bring joy. This phenomenon occurs because our dopamine system can become akin to an opioid system, numbing our motivation.

The Dichotomy of Dopamine and Opioids

Dopaminergic drugs, like cocaine and amphetamine, trigger intense dopamine release, making individuals highly focused on their pursuit, often leading to addiction. On the other hand, opioid-like effects occur when we indulge excessively in pleasures, dampening motivation.

The Art of Balancing Dopamine

To stay motivated, one must grasp that the pursuit itself is the reward. Celebrating too much upon reaching a goal can set you up for future failure. Balancing the pursuit and celebration is crucial. If you experience a dopamine surge while pursuing a goal, don't let it escalate to a point where the celebration overshadows the pursuit itself.

Reward prediction error is a critical concept. If your expectations for a reward are sky-high, and reality falls short, your dopamine baseline drops. This not only leaves you feeling like you've lost but also reduces your motivation for future pursuits. Understanding this can help you manage your responses to successes and setbacks.

After a big win, you might experience a post-win slump. Instead of immediately chasing the next high, allow yourself some downtime. Recognize that the scale will reset, and you'll need a few days to regain the same level of motivation. Embrace the moments of lower excitement as part of the natural cycle of motivation.

The Endless Potential of Dopamine

By understanding and effectively working with dopamine, you can tap into an infinite source of motivation. The pursuit itself becomes the reward, enabling you to tackle new challenges, build your sales career, and achieve remarkable success. Remember, the key is to keep seeking, learning, and growing.

Watch this session to learn more about staying motivated in the face of quota challenges and utilizing dopamine to fuel your sales journey.

You can also benefit from some hacks to control your stress before sales calls.

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