The Brain Science of Self-Motivation and Dopamine

We normally associate dopamine with pleasure, but there is new science indicating a link between dopamine and self-motivation. Dopamine has been found to show up in times of:
  • Stress
  • Pain
  • Loss
  • Pleasure
As a results, dopamine levels are now believed to be strongly linked to motivation. Self-motivation is one of the top five competencies in emotional intelligence.

A team of Vanderbilt scientists have demonstrated that dopamine has a strong impact on your willingness to work and get things done. They used brain-mapping technology to analyze the brain patterns of the Ultra-High Performers (UHPs). The team found that the UHPs had higher levels of dopamine than the lower performers.

Brain scientists are realizing UHPs rise above temporary setbacks faster and over come and manage depression through emotional health and life-balance. Their willpower and personal drive is sustainable. They also take breaks to re-charge and their dopamine fires and refuels their self-motivation.

Consider the following tips for increasing self-motivation:
1. Develop a winning routine
Sticking to a solid and regular routine minimizes the number of decisions to be made, allowing you to save and store energy for important priorities. 

2. Target high priorities
Dopamine levels decrease as the day progresses. Make sure you address your most important work priorities in the first-half of your day.

I often coach my clients to do “creative” work during the first half of their day, and “reactive” work during the second half of their day. 

3. Elimination is the king of production
Get in the habit of saying “no” so you can say “yes” to the best! Each commitment can put a drag on your energy. Focus on being selective, being smart, and being intentional. 

Today, think about your self-motivation. Remember, you are not a machine, you are a human being. Be smart and healthy!

Here’s to your self-motivation!
— Steve 

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

To book Steve today, contact Michelle Joyce!
(For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching.)

“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.