Essay On My Future Life Quizzes

  • Money and 'Higher Things'

    In his consulting room at Berggasse 19, in central Vienna, Sigmund Freud came…

  • Businesses for Love; Businesses for Money

    Many of us want to start our own businesses. Public space is filled with…

  • Countries for Losers; Countries for Winners

    We all, naturally, want to be winners. And so, consequently, a great many…

  • Towards a Solution to Inequality

    One of the most troubling aspects of our world is that it contains such…

  • Free Trade - or Protectionism?

    One of the most pressing choices facing modern economies is whether to adopt a…

  • Should We Work on Ourselves - or on the World?

    When we’re struck down by emotional issues, like depression, anxiety, or love…

  • Romantic vs. Classical Voters

    We’re used to dividing how people vote in elections according to the…

  • Artists and Supermarket Tycoons

    Xu Zhen’s Supermarket The Shanghai-based artist Xu Zhen is one of the most…

  • Business and the Arts

    Throughout history, in most societies, bitter feuds have broken out between two…

  • Sentimentality in Art - and Business

    In modern times, one of the criticisms you’ll sometimes hear people make…

  • Good Materialism

    It doesn’t seem to make sense to suggest that there might be such a thing as…

  • How to Make a Country Rich

    Most of what we call ‘politics’ really revolves around the question of what…

  • First World Problems

      We've grown used to belittling things that don't happen to be…

  • Good vs Classical Economics

    Our societies are guided by a discipline that we can still usefully refer to as…

  • What Is a Good Brand?

    Many people today instinctively recoil from the concept of a brand. The word…

  • How to Better Understand Customers

    Every business tries to satisfy its customers. Its products or services may be…

  • Good Salaries: What We Earn - and What We’re Worth

    When it comes to earnings, there’s an emotionally appealing desire: ideally,…

  • On Good Demand

    In the economy, consumer demand is hugely important. The term ‘consumer’…

  • Good Economic Measures: Beyond GDP

    Over several decades, the measurement of Gross Domestic Product has become the…

  • What Good Business Should Be

    Business is a central human activity. In some form or another most of us are…

  • On Glamour

    Glamour is the reflexive sheen afforded to people and things by the approval of…

  • How to Live More Wisely Around Our Phones

    Introduction The dark truth is that it’s become very hard to find anyone…

  • Why We Are All Addicts

    We operate with some stock images of the addict: a person with a heroin needle…

  • Why We Are So Bad at Shopping

    It sounds very strange to suggest that we might need to learn how to shop. We…

  • Business and the Ladder of Needs

    Business is focused on addressing a multitude of human needs; for everything…

  • Consumer Self-Knowledge

    We are always making consumption decisions: where to go on holiday; which…

  • The Entrepreneur and the Artist

    The entrepreneur is one of the key figures of the modern economy, though what…

  • What Advertising Can Learn from Art

    Our societies are exercised around the question of whether the advertising…

  • What the Luxury Sector Does for Us

    A substantial portion of the modern economy is devoted to the production and…

  • On Novelists and Manuals

    The average manual that accompanies a product - maybe a domestic appliance or a…

  • On Using Sex to Sell

    We're used to the idea of sex being used to sell stuff. It happens all the…

  • Understanding Brand Promises

    A little to the side, or on top of, what it produces and sells us, the average…

  • Consumer Education: On Learning How to Spend

    Society takes the business of making money very seriously indeed. Much of our…

  • Why We Hate Cheap Things

    We don’t think we hate cheap things - but we frequently behave as if we…

  • Why We Continue to Love Expensive Things

    Despite the widespread availability of good quality cheap products (watches,…

  • Why Advertising Is so Annoying - but Doesn't Have to Be

    Advertising has made a very bad name for itself. We don't trust it or want much…

  • Adverts Know What We Want - They Just Can't Sell It to us

    Patek Philippe is one of the giants of the global watchmaking industry, with…

  • On the Responsibility of the Consumer

    One of the big convictions of our times is that the fast food industry is to…

  • On the Dawn of Capitalism

    Generous, thoughtful, sensitive people are often drawn to the view that we…

  • On Philanthropy

    Our society really admires it when rich people give away huge piles of surplus…

  • On the True Desires of the Rich

    It’s late and, across the nation, people are sinking back into the soft…

  • In Praise of Bias

    A presumption among many thoughtful people is that the great enemy of a good…

  • The News from Without - and the News from Within

    We know that we must, to lay claim to any respectability or competence, keep up…

  • History as a Corrective to News

    We tend to get very gloomy about our own era: the state of society seems…

  • Why We Need to Speak of Love in Public

    It can sound strange to hear the way religious leaders and politicians, at…

  • Why We Do - After All - Care about Politics

    We live in societies in which it is hard to count as a good and intelligent…

  • What's Wrong with the Media

    We are likely to have grown up thinking that the mainstream media was our…

  • On the Dangers of the Internet

      Over the past century, technologies have completely changed the…

  • On Taking Digital Sabbaths

    The news is the best distraction ever invented. But, if we pay too much…

  • On the Role of Censorship

    We believe in censorship. Sometimes. Of course, that’s a very unpopular view…

  • On Children and Power

    Cate Blanchett is on a roll, winning multiple prizes of late, and she’s been…

  • On the Role of Disasters

    Kew Gardens: here, too, death may come at any time A New Zealand-born accounts…

  • On Pleasure in the Downfall of the Mighty

    We like it, though we might not always admit that we do, when a celebrity falls…

  • On the Role of Art in News

    Yuan Zhouming makes a meagre living polishing people’s shoes twelve hours a…

  • Tragedies and Ordinary Lives in the Media

    Media organisations want us to care about the bad stuff that is happening out…

  • On the Failures of Economic News

    In their more serious moods, news organisations tell us they want to explain…

  • On the Faultiness of Our Economic Indicators

    Last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average started on Monday at 16,162.70 and…

  • On Health News

    While most of its energy is devoted to briefing us about the gruesome ways in…

  • On Failure and Success in the Game of Fame

    Andrew Ridgeley recently turned fifty. In the mid-1980s, he was one half of the…

  • On the Desire for Fame

    We don’t always feel comfortable admitting it to our friends; it is…

  • On the Envy of Politicians

    There’s general agreement amongst the public that most politicians are…

  • On Fame and Sibling Rivalry

    When we see a picture of the siblings of celebrities, we instinctively think,…

  • On News and Kindness

    Nastiness is currently deeply prestigious in the world of news. An interviewer…

  • On the New and the Recurring

    It feels like there is always an infinite amount of news, so much is happening…

  • On the Role of Cheerful News

    We’ve grown up expecting that the task of the news is to introduce us to…

  • On Guilt-trips and Charm

    The church of the fourteen helpers in Bavaria was built about two hundred and…

  • On Maniacs and Murderers

    Californian chef David Viens and his wife Dawn were having problems in their…

  • What Is Love?

    The world is sick for a surprisingly modest-sounding reason: we don’t…

  • On Changing the World

    The world needs to be changed in many urgent ways: the great question is how…

  • On Seduction

    Seduction is the attempt to get any set of tricky ideas into the mind of…

  • Why Pessimism is the Key to Good Government

    It might be normal to imagine that a good society would be one in which a…

  • A Guide to Good Nationalism

    Among most intelligent people, feeling proud of one’s country is a deeply…

  • The Importance of Utopian Thinking

    To be accused of ‘utopian thinking’ is a particular insult in our times. We…

  • Why Humanity Destroyed Itself

    One day, if human civilisation ever wipes itself out, aliens or one of our…

  • Art is Advertising for What We Really Need

    At the centre of our societies is a hugely inventive force dedicated to nudging…

  • Why Socrates Hated Democracy

    We are used to thinking very highly of democracy - and by extension, of Ancient…

  • Political Emotional Maturity

    We’re used to interpreting the problems of nations principally in political…

  • The Fragility of Good Government

    It is an enormous and very rare privilege to live in the days of good…

  • Emotional Technology

    It's always exciting to think about what kinds of technology are going to be…

  • On the Desire to Change the World

    Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (1818) The world needs…

  • Utopian Collective Pride

    For the average citizen of a developed nation, the World Cup generated a deeply…

  • Envy of a Utopian Future

    It can be strangely appealing to be very down about the future of humanity.…

  • Utopian Artificial Intelligence

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the science of making clever machines. It’s…

  • Utopian Education

    It is almost universally agreed that education is hugely important. But we are…

  • What State Broadcasters Should Do

    Almost every developed nation boasts of having a rather unusual institution at…

  • Utopian Marriage

    Modern societies are deeply invested in the idea of big, glamorous weddings. We…

  • Utopian Festivals

    We’re used to the idea that a year should be punctuated by a sequence of…

  • Utopian Culture

    We generally hold culture – by which we understand art, museums, cinema,…

  • Utopian Film

    Cinema is the most prestigious cultural activity in the modern world. It is for…

  • Utopian Business Consultancy

    It doesn’t from a distance seem as if philosophy and business would have…

  • Utopian Media

    Calling an idea ‘utopian’ is normally a way of saying it’s pie-in-the-sky…

  • Utopian Government

    For hundreds of years now, humans have tended to believe that the best sort of…

  • Utopian Capitalism

    The system we know as Capitalism is both wondrously productive and hugely…

  • Utopian Celebrity Culture

    Serious people are used to thinking badly of ‘celebrity culture’. This is…

  • Utopian Tax

    The UK government, like so many around the world, is desperate to crack down on…

  • What Art Museums Should Be For

    Things seem to be going really well with the institution of the art museum. All…

  • The Future of the Banking Industry

    If you asked an average customer-oriented bank what they were in the business…

  • The Future of the Communications Industry

    We are, apparently, in a golden age of the communications industry. This is a…

  • The Future of the Hotel Industry

    The competition among resort hotels is fierce and, in order to secure our…

  • What Is That Sunday Evening Feeling?

    It descends, normally, between around 5pm and 7.30pm and can be at its height…

  • The Creative Itch

      For many of us, our strongest and at the same time vaguest desire is…

  • How to Find a Job You Can Love – a Questionnaire

  • Broadening the Job Search

    One key thing that can go wrong in our thinking about a career is that we get…

  • The Challenges of Choosing a Career

    Our brains are fatefully badly equipped to interpret and understand themselves.…

  • The Vocation Myth

    The difficulty of defining a professional goal may be both serious and…

  • On Career Crises

    In 1700, in Western Europe, there were some 400 different kinds of jobs you…

  • The Job Investment Trap

    Quite often the prospect of moving to a job you can love looks very difficult…

  • The Output/Input Confusion

    A very common way to identify what job we might like to do is to set our sights…

  • Finding a Mission

    Missions are things we tend to associate with astronauts.   If…

  • How to Serve

    Understanding how to serve customers well is a major factor in the success of…

  • How to Sell

    1. The Shame of Selling A lot of the reasons why our efforts to sell things go…

  • How to Find Fulfilling Work

    The idea that work might be fulfilling rather than just painfully necessary is…

  • On Becoming an Entrepreneur

    The modern world is in love with entrepreneurship. Starting your own business…

  • On Being an Unemployed Arts Graduate

    Arts graduates across the developed world complain bitterly about the…

  • What is Empathy?

    We know that empathy is a deeply important quality, which enables us to see the…

  • The Need for Eloquence

    Eloquence is the attempt to get a set of tricky ideas into the mind of another…

  • How to Become an Entrepreneur

    Starting one’s own business is one of the most creative, meaningful and…

  • In Praise of Networking

    Networking has a bad name. It’s associated with self-enrichment, egoism and…

  • Why Creativity is Too Important to Be Left to Artists

    ‘Creativity’ is one of the most prestigious ideas of modern times and as a…

  • Authentic Work

    We end up asking ourselves, often in some distress, what we should do with our…

  • In Praise of Teamwork

    We are, each one of us, severely limited creatures. We can only ever get good…

  • Why We Need to Work

    The wider world will always be a mess. But around work, we can sometimes have a…

  • On Doing Better Than Our Parents

    One of the most important - but necessarily rather secret - indicators that we…

  • How We Came to Desire a Job We Could Love

    One of the most extraordinary and yet quietly routine features of our age is…

  • Why Work Is So Much Easier than Love

    We’re a culture that’s highly attuned to what’s beautiful and moving…

  • What Art Can Teach Business About Being Fussy

    It’s easy to get irritated by people who are very concerned about details.…

  • The Good Sides of Work

    We're used to thinking about the good sides of work purely in terms of money…

  • Work and Maturity

    One of the ideas that circulates below the surface of modern life is that work…

  • The Good Office

    People more or less give their lives to their office jobs. They'll make huge…

  • Innovation, Empathy and Introspection

    When companies think about innovating new products and services (or just…

  • Innovation and Creativity

    ‘Creativity’ has become one of the most highly praised and prestigious…

  • Innovation and Science Fiction

    Science fiction has, quite unfairly, developed rather a bad name for itself.…

  • The EQ Office

    Offices exist to help people collaborate. But lots goes wrong in the attempt.…

  • The Collaborative Virtues

    Collaborating with other people is hard. Few of us are born knowing how to do…

  • Towards Better Collaboration

    Although collaboration – the extraordinary business of having to work with…

  • On Keeping Going

      A big reason we give up on projects is the perfectionist belief that…

  • How To Make Efficiency a Habit

    Imagine someone who is deeply efficient. Their life is full of the best sorts…

  • On Raising the Prestige of 'Details'

    We find tasks irksome and frustrating – and so perform them less efficiently…

  • Monasticism & How to Avoid Distraction

    Human beings are pathetically prone to distraction. It’s almost comically…

  • How to Dare to Begin

    It’s natural to think that it must be a huge advantage for artists living in…

  • On Meaning – and Motivation

    Of course we go to work for money and the people you meet can be great. But a…

  • On Gratitude – and Motivation

    In certain companies and offices around the world, there is a crisis of…

  • On Devotion to Corporations

    Karen Lloyd died recently at 51 from cancer. She liked drinking coffee so much…

  • On the Origins of Motivation at Work

    Getting people to work hard and do their best – to be highly motivated – is…

  • On Bounded and Unbounded Tasks

    One of the big causes of stress is that we often face problems that can’t be…

  • On the Pleasures of Work

    You might think this bit would be easy, but one of the hardest things about our…

  • The Nature and Causes of Procrastination

    Introduction The history of every life is made up both of the life we lead,…

  • How Parents Get in the Way of our Career Plans

    For most of human history, what we did for a living was decided for us by our…

  • The Need to Keep Believing in Luck

    We don’t anymore nowadays much believe in Luck - or what was, in earlier…

  • Why Modern Work Is So Boring

    One of the overriding reasons why modern work is so boring is that we keep…

  • The Sorrows of Colleagues

    One of the most frightening aspects of working life is that we will, unless we…

  • The Sorrows of Competition

    At the heart of how modern individuals work, there is a dream of security:…

  • The Sorrows of Commercialisation

    A complaint regularly aired around many careers is that, in order to succeed at…

  • The Sorrows of Standardisation

    When we speak of an interesting job, we tend to refer to work that allows for a…

  • Confidence in the System

    There is no more common response, when we take our ideas out into the world,…

  • Job Monogamy

    We are meant to be monogamous about our work, and yet in any given week,…

  • The Duty Trap

    We start off in life being very interested in pleasure and fun. In our earliest…

  • The Perfectionist Trap

    We typically aim for a particular career because we have been deeply impressed…

  • On the Origins of Confidence

    We don’t often dwell on this – and may never discuss it with others – but…

  • On the Dangers of Success

    We might imagine that in an uncomplicated way, our parents (and siblings,…

  • Our Families and Our Careers

    One of the most daunting obstacles to choosing a fulfilling career for…

  • Success at School vs. Success in Life

    We want to do well at school for an obvious reason: because - as we’re often…

  • On Professional Failure

    To survive in the pressured conditions of modernity, we have to get very good…

  • How to Survive Bureaucracy

    Most of us grow up at the centre of a very responsive world. Parents…

  • Nasty Businesses

    Certain industries have a reputation for being nasty, not in terms of the kinds…

  • Machismo and Management

    Broadly, we like to think we are becoming a less macho society. But this style…

  • "Giving Customers What They Want"

    Many new and potentially very worthwhile ideas for products and services are…

  • Why We Look Down on People Who Don’t Earn Very Much

    We’re not necessarily involved in this kind of judgement ourselves - but we…

  • How to Be a Good Teacher

    In theory, we respect teachers. But being a teacher isn’t glamorous. It’s a…

  • How Your Job Shapes Your Identity

    When we meet new people, we’re tempted to ask: 'what do you do?' We’re…

  • The Pains of Leadership

    We tend to be pretty clear why it might be nice to be in a leadership role.…

  • Would It Be Better for Your Job If You Were Celibate?

    For much of history, the question was taken very seriously – and quite often…

  • How Not to Let Work Explode Your Life

    It’s 4.30pm, Thursday. The plane is still on the tarmac at Milan-Linate…

  • The Acceptance of Change

    For most of human history, people did not believe that the world changed very…

  • On Stress and Inner Voices

    We don’t often think about it – and may never discuss it with others at all…

  • On Being Wary of Simple-Looking Issues

    One of the reasons we sometimes don't think things through properly is that…

  • Why Work-Life Balance is an Illusion

    Engines Audi 3.2 V6 FSI This is one of the most efficient petrol engines ever…

  • On Falling Apart at the Office

    I. Office Victorians In the 19th century, British explorers were famous for…

  • The Psychological Obstacles Holding Employees Back

    In the modern economy, some of the fundamental obstacles to the growth of…

  • On Feedback

    For most of human history and in almost all places it would have seemed absurd…

  • On Commuting

    It is six o’clock on a late-February morning, in a village fifty kilometres…

  • On the Sorrows of Work

    Almost certainly, you’ve been having a bad time at work. In a perfect world,…

  • The Cure for Love

    For intense periods of our lives, we suffer the agony of unrequited love. Our…

  • How to Seduce Someone on a Date

    On a first date with someone we like, we really want - of course - for the…

  • What is Love?

    - Care One way to get a sense of why love should matter so much, why it might…

  • Why Flirting Matters

    Flirting has a bad name. Too often, it seems a supreme form of duplicity, a sly…

  • How Romanticism Ruined Love

    To fall in love with someone feels like such a personal and spontaneous…

  • How We Choose a Partner

    How do we choose the people we fall in love with? The Romantic answer is that…

  • Our Most Romantic Moments

    It’s an odd feature of love that some of our most romantic moments include…

  • Reasons to Remain Single

    Anyone who lives alone and manifests no longing to be in a relationship is - in…

  • A Short History of Love

    The strange thing about love is that even though we experience it in a deeply…

  • Loving and Being Loved

    Curiously we speak of love as one thing rather than discerning the two very…

  • The Problems of Being Very Beautiful

    It sounds paradoxical to talk of the problems of being beautiful, when we’re…

  • On Romanticism

    Romanticism is one of the most important historical events of all time. Unlike…

  • How to Enjoy a New Relationship

    The most exciting thing about a new relationship isn't so much that it's them.…

  • On Flirtation

    There’s a person at another firm you quite often have to speak on the phone -…

  • On Finding the 'Right' Person

    Match.com is one of the world’s leading dating sites. Officially it is all in…

  • Artificial Conversations

    Conversation and communication are generally held to lie at the heart of a…

  • On the Role of Stories in Love

    It sounds strange to ask what a novel might be for. We tend not to wonder too…

  • On the Madness and Charm of Crushes

    You are introduced to someone at a conference. They look nice and you have a…

  • On Being Romantic or Classical

    We are – each one of us – probably more one than the other. The categories…

  • On Marrying the Wrong Person

    Anyone we might marry could, of course, be a little bit wrong for us. We…

  • Coping with Betrayal

    It feels, right now, unbearable. Of course. Someone you trusted and believed…

  • The Importance of Atonement

    'Atonement’ is a slightly unfamiliar, old-fashioned and alien word. It means,…

  • What is Wrong with Your Partner - and Why?

    It sounds deeply unromantic to devote sustained attention to the flaws of…

  • How Are You Difficult to Live with?

    The idea that one is in many ways an extremely difficult person to be in a…

  • The Importance of Relationship Counselling

    At present relationship counselling is widely seen as a thing you do because…

  • For Moments of Marital Crisis

    There will be times when you will feel very bleak about your marriage. You will…

  • How to Argue in Relationships

    Arguments in relationships are typically so regrettable and often so bitter,…

  • Why Tiny Things about Our Partners Drive Us Mad

    Lovers who’ve been together awhile tend almost universally to get maddened by…

  • Be the Change You Want To See

    We spend a lot of time trying to change other people. There is, after all, so…

  • I Wish I Was Still Single

    One of the haunting thoughts that can make us especially snappy and bitter in…

  • Why We Go Cold on Our Partners

    The story of the path to coldness in love is well known. We start off full of…

  • The Standard Marriage and Its Seven Alternatives

    In so many areas, we’re used nowadays to questioning the status quo - and…

  • Love and Sulking

    One of the most exciting aspects of the early days of a relationship can be the…

  • Teaching and Love

    One of the most delightful and thrilling aspects of the early days of a love…

  • An Instruction Manual to Oneself

    Most machines of any degree of complexity are offered to us with an instruction…

  • How to Get Over a Rejection

    It will happen to all of us at some point. Negotiating the agony with a measure…

  • How to End a Relationship

    It’s a skill that’s just as important, but far less studied, than knowing…

  • Beyond Feminism

    Before there was Feminism in the wealthy developed nations, there reigned a…

  • Stay or Leave?

    The decision whether one should stay or leave is one of the most consequential…

  • Why Affectionate Teasing is Kind and Necessary

    It may not seem like it, but teasing done with affection and skill is a…

  • The Couple Courtroom Game

    Many of us are outstanding lawyers, not so much in professional contexts, as in…

  • Getting over a Row

    It was horrendous while it was going on. You said some awful things - though…

  • How to Get Divorced

    © Marc Hatot/Flickr It is, when one thinks about it, remarkably hard to…

  • On the Fear of Intimacy

    Nowadays we're pretty tough on people who have a certain type of fear: people…

  • The Secret Problems of Other Couples

    Generally, we see other people's relationships from the outside. We see couples…

  • On the Dangers of Being Too Defensive

    It's not easy, trying to have a relationship if you're both so defended and…

  • On How to Defuse an Argument

    The simplest way to defuse your partner's fury is not to tell them to calm…

  • How Not to Break Up with Someone

    Telling someone you don't want to be with them is always difficult. But there…

  • Why You Resent Your Partner

    One of the couple has been out all day: they’ve been to three meetings,…

  • A Lover's Guide to Sulking

    They have a habit of ruining embarrassingly long stretches of our lives. They…

  • If You Loved Me, You Wouldn't Want to Change Me

    There are – when you start adding incidents up – rather a lot of things…

  • How 'Transference' Makes You Hard to Live With

    You’re flicking through a fashion magazine and playfully suggest that your…

  • Why It Is Always Your Partner's Fault

    You and your partner are waiting, and waiting, at the airport carousel for your…

  • If It Wasn't for You...

    There are many nice things we want, but are somehow a little scared of getting,…

  • Why You Are So Annoyed By What You Once Admired

    One of the things that makes us fall in love with people is realising they can…

  • Why You’re (Probably) Not a Great Communicator

    One of the ideals of modern relationships is that both parties will be ‘good…

  • The Problems of Closeness

    In order to survive in the world, we have little option but to spend our lives…

  • What to Do on Your Wedding Night

    Unfortunately, tradition has encouraged the idea that the night of the wedding…

  • On Still Being a Virgin

    When the sexual revolution began in the 1960s, there was a standard…

  • The Meaning of Infidelity

    Infidelity is commonly interpreted as close to the greatest tragedy that could…

  • Love and Sex

    One of the great burdens which our Romantic culture has imposed upon long-term…

  • How to Seduce with Confidence

    We are never as shy and gauche as we are when attempting to seduce someone we…

  • Impotence and Respect

    A man is with his female partner, foreplay is going well, it’s time for more,…

  • Why Polyamory Won’t Work for You

    Perhaps some nights you lie awake next to your partner. Probably, they’re not…

  • Loyalty and Adultery

    Long-term relationships almost inevitably confront us with one highly…

  • Sexual Non-Liberation

    We are repeatedly given messages that we live in sexually enlightened times,…

  • The Excitement of Keeping Clothes On

    There's an assumption at large that sexiness is at heart about nakedness and…

  • The Excitement of Kissing

    Mutual desire is normally signalled by a pretty weird act; two organs otherwise…

  • The Appeal of Outdoor Sex

    For a lot of people, the idea of having sex outside is a big turn on. Why…

  • The Sexual Fantasies of Others

    From adolescence onwards, one of the great struggles we face is how to…

  • On Art and Masturbation

    No two subjects could seem further apart. The one: the summit of the human…

  • The Psychology of Cross-Dressing

    Cross-dressing (and here we refer particularly to men dressing up as women)…

  • The Fear of Being Bad in Bed

    At moments of low self-esteem, it can be hard to avoid the fear that we may -…

  • The Sex-Starved Relationship

    Being in a relationship where it doesn’t feel like there is enough sex sounds…

  • Why People Have Affairs: Distance and Closeness

    Too often, affairs are seen as the outcome of random horniness - or just plain…

  • How to Start Having Sex Again

    It's easy to get stuck in a position of not having much sex. Often we stop…

  • On Forgetting Lovers

    It can be frighteningly hard to remember every person one ever slept with...…

  • The Poignancy of Old Pornography

    People have been making pornography for a very long time. It’s been on the…

  • On Porn Addiction

    It could seem like a strange topic to be discussing. It doesn't come up much in…

  • A Brief Philosophy of Oral Sex

    Why is it so interesting and exciting? Few philosophers have explored the topic…

  • On Being a Sleazebag

    You are queuing to go through to Departures; one of the guards at security has…

  • Why We Go Off Sex

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    How motivated are you to reach your goals?

    Are you motivated to achieve what you really want in life?

    And how hard do you push yourself to get things done?

    Wanting to do something and motivating yourself to actually do it are two different things.

    So, what's the difference between those who never reach their goals, year after year, and those who achieve one goal after another? Often, it's their self-motivation.

    Self-motivation is the force that keeps pushing us to go on – it's our internal drive to achieve, produce, develop, and keep moving forward. When you think you're ready to quit something, or you just don't know how to start, your self-motivation is what pushes you to go on.

    With self-motivation, you'll learn and grow – regardless of the specific situation. That's why it's such a fundamental tool for reaching your goals, achieving your dreams, and succeeding, in this journey we call life.

    So, how self-motivated are you? We've put together a short quiz to give you a better understanding of how self-motivated you are. After the quiz, we'll discuss some specific tips for improving your self-motivation, so that you can achieve still more in your life.

    The Self-Motivation Quiz

    Instructions

    For each statement, click the button in the column that best describes you. Please answer questions as you actually are (rather than how you think you should be), and don't worry if some questions seem to score in the 'wrong direction'. When you are finished, please click the 'Calculate My Total' button at the bottom of the test.

    Your last quiz results are shown.

    You last completed this quiz on , at .

    12 Statements to Answer

    Not at All Rarely Sometimes Often Very Often
    1 I'm unsure of my ability to achieve the goals I set for myself.
    2 When working on my goals, I put in maximum effort and work even harder if I've suffered a setback.
    3 I regularly set goals and objectives to achieve my vision for my life.
    4 I think positively about setting goals and making sure my needs are met.
    5 I use rewards (and consequences) to keep myself focused. For example, if I finish my report on time, I allow myself to take a coffee break.
    6 I believe that if I work hard and apply my abilities and talents, I will be successful.
    7 I worry about deadlines and getting things done, which causes stress and anxiety.
    8 When an unexpected event threatens or jeopardizes my goal, I tend to walk away, set a different goal, and move in a new direction.
    9 When I come up with a really good idea, I am surprised by my creativity. I figure it is my lucky day, and caution myself not to get used to the feeling.
    10 I tend to do the minimum amount of work necessary to keep my boss and my team satisfied.
    11 I tend to worry about why I won't reach my goals, and I often focus on why something probably won't work.
    12 I create a vivid and powerful vision of my future success before embarking on a new goal.
    ScoreComment
    12-27

    You allow your personal doubts and fears to keep you from succeeding. You've probably had a few incomplete goals in the past, so you may have convinced yourself that you aren't self-motivated - and then you've made that come true. Break this harmful pattern now, and start believing in yourself again. The tools and tips below will help you get back your motivation.

    28-43

    You're doing OK on self-motivation. You're certainly not failing - however, you could achieve much more. To achieve what you want, try to increase the motivation factors in all areas of your life. Read the relevant sections below, and work on them to strengthen your self-motivation.

    44-60

    Wonderful! You get things done, and you don't let anything stand in your way. You make a conscious effort to stay self-motivated, and you spend significant time and effort on setting goals and acting to achieve those goals. You attract and inspire others with your success. Treasure this - and be aware that not everyone is as self-motivated as you are! (Read below for more.)

    Factors in Self-Motivation

    Self-motivation is complex. It's linked to your level of initiative in setting challenging goals for yourself; your belief that you have the skills and abilities needed to achieve those goals; and your expectation that if you put in enough hard work, you will succeed (or at least be in the running, if it's a competitive situation).

    Four factors are necessary to build the strongest levels of self-motivation:

    1. Self-confidence and self-efficacy.
    2. Positive thinking, and positive thinking about the future.
    3. Focus and strong goals.
    4. A motivating environment.

    By working on all of these together, you should quickly improve your self-motivation. Let's look at each of these factors individually.

    (Questions 1, 2, 6, 8)

    Your score is 0 out of 0  

    Part of being self-motivated is having good levels of self-assurance, self-confidence, and self-efficacy. More on these below!

    Being highly self-assured means you will set challenging goals for yourself, and it's also a resiliency factor for when you encounter setbacks. If you don't believe in yourself you'll be much more likely to think, "I knew I couldn't do this" instead of, "This one failure isn't going to stop me!"

    Albert Bandura, a psychologist from Stanford University, defined self-efficacy as a belief in our own ability to succeed, and our ability to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. This belief has a huge impact on your approach to goal setting and your behavioral choices as you work toward those goals.

    According to Bandura's research, high self-efficacy results in an ability to view difficult goals as a challenge, whereas people with low self-efficacy would likely view the same goals as being beyond their abilities, and might not even attempt to achieve them.

    It also contributes to how much effort a person puts into a goal in the first place, and how much he or she perseveres despite setbacks.

    By developing a general level of self-confidence in yourself, you will not only believe you can succeed, but you'll also recognize and enjoy the successes you've already had. That, in turn, will inspire you to build on those successes. The momentum created by self-confidence is hard to beat.

    Take these steps:

    • Think about the achievements in your life.
    • Examine your strengths to understand what you can build on.
    • Determine what other people see as your strengths and key capabilities.
    • Set achievable goals for yourself, work to achieve them, and enjoy that achievement.
    • Seek out mentors and other people who model the competencies, skills, and attributes you desire.

    As you begin to recognize how much you've already achieved – and understand how much potential you have – you will have the confidence to set goals and achieve the things you desire. The more you look for reasons to believe in yourself, the easier it will be to find ways to motivate yourself.

    Our article on Building Self-Confidence teaches you how to develop this self-confidence, and gives you steps you can use to start feeling great about yourself. It will also put you firmly on the path to self-assurance and self-efficacy.

    (Questions 4, 9, 11, 12)

    Your score is 0 out of 0  
    Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today. - Author Unknown

    Positive thinking is closely related to self-confidence as a factor in self-motivation. It's important to look at things positively, especially when things aren't going as planned and you're ready to give up.

    If you think that things are going to go wrong or that you won't succeed, this may influence things in such a way that your predictions will come true. This is particularly the case if you need to work hard to achieve success, or if you need to persuade others to support you in order to succeed. Your thoughts can have a major influence on whether you succeed or fail, so make sure those thoughts are "on your side."

    Positive thinking also helps you think about an attractive future that you want to realize. When you expect positive results, your choices will be more positive, and you'll be less likely to leave outcomes to fate or chance. Having a vivid picture of success, combined with positive thinking, helps you bridge the gap between wanting something and going out to get it.

    To apply "the power of positive thinking", do the following:

    • Become aware of your thoughts. Write down these down throughout the day.
    • Challenge your negative thoughts, and replace them with positive ones.
    • Create a strong and vivid picture of what it will be like to achieve your goals.
    • Develop affirmations or statements that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day. These statements should remind you of what you want to achieve, and why you will achieve it.
    • Practice positive thinking until you automatically think about yourself and the world in a positive way, every day.

    (Questions 3, 7)

    Your score is 0 out of 0  

    As we've said above, a key part of building self-motivation is to start setting strong goals. These give you focus, a clear sense of direction, and the self-confidence that comes from recognizing your own achievement.

    First, determine your direction through effective goal setting.

    When you set a goal, you make a promise to yourself. Part of the strength of this is that it gives you a clear direction. Part is that you've made this promise to yourself, and you'll want to keep this promise. And part is that it's a challenge, and it's fun to try to meet that challenge!

    But don't set just any goal. According to Locke's goal-setting theory, your goal should have the following characteristics:

    • Clarity - Effective goals are clear, measurable, specific, and based on behavior, not outcomes.
    • Challenge - Goals should be difficult enough to be interesting, but not so difficult that you can't reach them.
    • Commitment - Goals should be attainable, and should be relevant - that is, they should contribute in a significant way to the major objectives you're trying to achieve.
    • Regularity of Feedback - Monitor your progress towards your goals regularly to maintain your sense of momentum and enthusiasm, and enjoy your progress towards those goals.
    • Sufficient Respect For Complexity - If the goal involves complex work, make sure that you don't over-commit yourself. Complex work can take an unpredictably long time to complete (particularly if you have to learn how to do the task "on the job").

    When you have a variety of goals, be sure to schedule your time and resources effectively. You can achieve the "focus" part of self-motivation by prioritizing and establishing a schedule that will help you succeed. It doesn't make sense to work until you're exhausted or give up one goal to achieve another.

    Using tools like Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle and the Action Priority Matrix, you can quickly and easily see how each goal activity fits into the bigger picture of your overall objectives. If you fully understand your priorities, you probably won't feel as pressured to do everything at once. This can reduce stress and help you to concentrate on the most important strategies.

    See our article on Prioritization for a summary, and for links to our top time management and prioritization tools.

    (Questions 5, 10)

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    The final thing to focus on is surrounding yourself with people and resources that will remind you of your goals, and help you with your internal motivation. These are external factors – they'll help you get motivated from the outside, which is different from the internal motivation we've discussed so far. However, the more factors you have working for you, the better.

    You can't just rely on these "environmental" or outside elements alone to motivate you, but you can use them for extra support. Try the following:

    • Look for team work opportunities. Working in a team makes you accountable to others.
    • Ask your boss for specific targets and objectives to help you measure your success.
    • Ask for interesting assignments. See our article on Maximizing Job Satisfaction for tips on getting the most from your job.
    • Set up some goals that you can easily achieve. Quick wins are great for getting you motivated.
    • Buddy up with people who you trust to be supportive, and ask them to help keep you accountable.
    • Try not to work by yourself too much. Balance the amount of time you work from home with time spent working with others.

    When you start your self- motivation program, you may tend to rely heavily on these external factors. As you get more comfortable and confident with your self-motivation, you'll probably use them only as needed, and for a little extra help.

    Key Points

    Self-motivation doesn't come naturally to everyone. And even those who are highly self-motivated need some extra help every now and then.

    Build your self-motivation by practicing goal-setting skills, and combining those with positive thinking, the creation of powerful visions of success, and the building of high levels of self-efficacy and self-confidence.

    Your attitude and beliefs about your likelihood of success can predict whether or not you actually succeed. Set goals, and work hard to achieve them. Examine ways to improve your self-motivation, and regularly reassess your motivation levels. If you actively keep your internal motivation high, you can significantly increase the likelihood of achieving your hopes, dreams, and visions of the future.

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