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Jon and Bryan dive into Frederick Herzbergs’s two-factor theory of motivation and what makes us happy and unhappy, motivated and unmotivated, and maybe even successful and unsuccessful:

– Herzberg researched workers in various businesses and found that there were two types of factors that affected their satisfaction and motivation at work, which he called hygiene factors and motivating factors
– Hygiene factors include things like social status, compensation, work environment, company policies and management practices
– Hygiene factors will make you very dissatisfied with your job if they are bad, but if they are good the best you will feel is “not dissatisfied”
– Motivating factors include things like your mission, interest in your work, solving challenging problems, taking on responsibility, and personal growth
– When motivating factors are bad, they leave you feeling “not satisfied” and when they are good, they create satisfaction and happiness in your job
– We tend to make the mistake of thinking improving our hygiene factors will make us happy, when that is not actually the case
– Jon connects this to the freelance marketing projects he undertakes and how for him, it simply isn’t worth pursuing a project that pays money if he isn’t passionate about it
– Regardless of what we are pursuing in our lives, we need to have positive motivating factors to feel fulfilled
– Improving hygiene factors can reduce your dissatisfaction, but it follows the 80/20 rule in that the more you focus on it, the less benefit you will get for each improvement
– There is a limit to how much happiness you can get by pursuing making more money; money makes you “not unhappy,” but it is not what will make you feel fulfilled
– When you start a business you don’t often have hygiene factors, and everything is based on the motivating factors
– This model applies in school, in that the hygiene factors–grades, assignments, environment–need to be good enough for you to not be dissatisfied but they will not truly motivate you to enjoy school
– In sports, hygiene factors are the facilities and your gear and your workout schedule, whereas your motivating factors are doing your best and achieving your goals and potential
– In families, hygiene factors are our chores, responsibilities, and obligations, whereas our motivating factors are the positive experiences we create and the moments we share together
– Reversing something that makes you unhappy doesn’t often lead to happiness, it simply leads to “neutral”.
– We can be both unhappy and happy at the same time, because the causes are different. There are two different spectrums.
– We may be able to apply this kind of thinking, about two spectrums for one general idea, to other areas like success. We have success relative to others and success relative to our expectations, and they do not always align
– How easy it is to judge yourself based on one set of factors when you the other might lead to less stress, a more positive mindset, and a happier outcome
– Why our clothes represent more than a slogan, but the pursuit of self-improvement and exploration that we do in all of these podcast conversations


Frederick Herzberg – Wikipedia

Two-Factor Theory – Wikipedia

You Need to Know Your “Why” – Go Be More Podcast

The 80/20 Rule – Go Be More Podcast



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