Jason Hartman interviews research scientist, Heidi Grant Halvorson regarding the science behind human motivation and success. There are many successful people in the world who are highly motivated and have concise goals, but how many actually understand why they’re successful or why they fail? The common belief is that certain people are just genetically wired to succeed or fail.

Heidi states this is not entirely the case and shares the findings of scientific research on achievement. She talks about strategies that people use, principles that people can count on and apply to their own life, and states that our own intuition about what helps us succeed or causes us to fail can often be incorrect. It’s not about ability or IQ.

Heidi explains the psychological factors behind how people react to challenges, the beliefs and mindsets that people have as they try to reach a goal. Defining success is personal, dependent on an individual’s sense of well-being, lasting happiness and autonomy. She says it’s important to be specific about goals, to break them down into manageable, specific pieces that are planned out with when and where, and taking the time to define success for ourselves.

Jason and Heidi also discuss the relationship between money and happiness, expressing that there is a money point where it does make it easier to make choices and pursue the things individuals find interesting in life, plus containing a sense of accomplishment and opening the door to help others. Unhappiness comes about when a person makes and uses their money for the wrong reasons, lacking sensibility, leading to dissatisfaction. Heidi emphasizes motivation and realistic goals are important. Jason shares his own opinion on wealth, noting that, on the one hand, having more “things” can actually become a burden, but it does allow a person to help others and create experiences and memories. Heidi states that what people do with their wealth is the important factor for fulfillment and happiness.

Heidi Grant Halvorson is a rising star in the field of motivational science. She is a an Expert Blogger for Fast Company, The Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, as well as a regular contributor to the BBC World Service’sBusiness Daily, the Harvard Business Review, and SmartBrief’s SmartBlog on Leadership.

Her writing has also been featured on CNN Living and Mamapedia. Heidi is also Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University Business School. In addition to her work as author and co-editor of the highly-regarded academic book The Psychology of Goals (Guilford, 2009), she has authored papers in her field’s most prestigious journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,European Journal of Social Psychology, and Judgment and Decision Making.

She has received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation for her research on goals and achievement.  Her work has been praised by Carol Dweck and Matthew Kelly, among many others.

Dr. Grant Halvorson is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and was recently elected to the highly selective Society for Experimental Social Psychology.

She gives frequent invited addresses and speaks regularly at national conferences, and is available for speaking and consulting engagements, primarily in education, marketing, and management. She received her PhD in social psychology from Columbia University.

Episode: CW 260: The Hard Science of Success and Motivation with Author Heidi Grant Halvorson

Guest: Heidi Grant Halvorson

iTunes: Stream Episode

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