Do you remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? The one you may have read as a child before bedtime? Now, do you recall the part about the three different porridges, chairs, and beds? What if I tell you that those three things were the key to life motivation and happiness?
Confused? Let me elaborate it for you. In the story, Goldilocks did not like the porridges that were too hot or too cold for her. Instead, she settled on the porridge at the right temperature. And just like that, the Goldilocks Principle states that motivation comes when the tasks we face are right within the realms of our current abilities. Not too difficult, not too simple. Another thing to keep in mind is that, while we want to face challenges that are within our capabilities, it is crucial to pursue constant improvement. This is important in order for us to really thrive and grow during the process.
In practice, the application of the Goldilocks Principle can be seen from something as simple as playing games. Imagine playing against professional players despite just starting out in the game, your motivation to play will quickly decline because the match will be too difficult for you. Now imagine playing against younger children, in contrast to the previous scenario, the match will then become too easy, thus quickly boring you. Lastly, consider playing a match with someone of similar skills, in some rounds, you may win and in some others, you may lose. Your chances of winning will increase only if you really try. This challenge will be at a manageable difficulty corresponding to your abilities. The more matches you play, the more strategies and tactics you will learn. When testing them out, some may bring you success, some might fail. Either way, you learn new things with every match, this is how you know you are growing.
It is also important to keep a blend of happiness and hard work which ultimately leads to a longer-lasting feeling of motivation. For instance, seeing yourself make progress right at the moment can give you instant motivation to do more. Imagine trying out a new strategy and seeing that it got you a point in the game, it must feel as though you have just gotten a rush of positive feedback making you want to try again and again, maybe even look for more tactics that can help you win more points. The whole experience is addicting and incredibly motivating.
In life, we’ve all had those moments when we find it difficult to feel motivated. School, business, relationships may present us with challenges to face. However, it is important to note that ups and downs will always come in this journey we call life. Only through it, we can grow and experience living life to the fullest. That said, it is also crucial that we don’t lose motivation halfway, that is why knowing your own abilities and limits is important, adjust your day-to-day tasks to your abilities so you can avoid getting overwhelmed but also leaving enough room to grow and improve. There is no shame in taking a break to take care of yourself, especially when things get too difficult. After all, at the end of the day, nothing is worth more than your life.
Written by: Bianca Edward