An Unexpected Way to Get Motivated

You may have heard the suggestion that if you want to achieve a goal, find a mentor or speak to someone whoís already achieved the goal and follow their advice. Surprising new research has found the exact opposite to be true, that giving advice actually motivates people more than receiving it. This could provide a helpful new approach to boosting your own motivation.


Researchers at MIT Sloan Management Review carried out a series of experiments on participants struggling with lack of self-control and poor motivation. Their motivation challenges were leading to a variety of issues in their lives, such as money, health and academic problems.

In their first test, researchers asked unemployed individuals to give job search advice to their peers. Then all the participants read a selection of job search tips and reported how they felt afterwards. Everyone had been able to give and receive advice, and 68 percent of the participants reported that giving advice made them feel more motivated to search for jobs than receiving it.

Similar tests in different areas of life also had inspiring results. About 72 percent of people struggling to save money were more motivated by giving advice than receiving tips from financial experts. Also, 77 percent of those dealing with anger management issues found giving advice to others more motivating than receiving advice from psychologists. Lastly, 72 percent of adults trying to lose weight were more motivated when they gave weight loss advice than when they received counseling from professional nutritionists.

Related: The Science Behind Motivation and How to Finish What You Start

In a final experiment, 318 middle school students were randomly assigned to be advice givers or receivers for a three-week period. In the month following the experiment, advice givers spent 38 percent more time on their homework than the advice receivers.

Researchers suggest that giving advice may naturally boost your confidence, which in turn gives you more motivation. You can easily feel deflated when you havenít been able to achieve a goal. But giving advice may help turn those feelings around by prompting you to look back on your life and see times when you were succeeding. It may also give you a different perspective to help see new solutions that you hadnít thought of before. And that different point of view can be transformational for achieving your own goals.


1. Find an accountability buddy.

Having an accountability buddy has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to achieve your goals. A Dominican University of California study compared people who simply wrote down their goals to those who wrote down their goals, shared them with a friend and then sent each other weekly progress reports.

Writing down goals was beneficial, and helped 43 percent of people accomplish their goals. But the group who was accountable to each other accomplished 76 percent of their stated goals, a 33 percent improvement over simply writing them down.

An accountability buddy helps keep you both on track as you support and motivate each other to work through your individual goals together.

2. Help others when asked.

No one likes being told what to do. Keep in mind that giving advice is beneficial for you, but not necessarily for the person receiving it. So please make sure you have another personís consent before dishing out any advice.

Although, if someone asks you for help, do your best to support them. Offer your best advice and help work through their issue together and find some solutions. This also may trigger some ideas for your own life.

And if you see a family member, friend or coworker struggling with a problem, find an appropriate time to politely ask if they would like any help or advice. If their answer is ďno,Ē consider that the end of the conversation. But perhaps they know they need a hand and a polite offer of assistance may be just what they need to get out of a rut.

3. Be an inspiration to others.

You donít always have to give advice directly. Living your own best life can communicate a great deal to others without using words.

Is your life everything you want it to be? Are there some areas you need to work on, or issues to resolve? Consider trying some techniques to improve your own motivation and start working on some of your most important goals.

As you make positive changes in your own life, those around you will notice. Finding your own motivation can inspire others to do the same, which can help everyone to get motivated and achieve their dreams.

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Lisa M
Lisa M3 days ago


Martin H
Martin H6 days ago


Gautam Gigoo
Gautam Gigoo8 days ago

thank you

danii p
danii p14 days ago

Thank you

danii p
danii p14 days ago

Thank you

tanzy t
tanzy t15 days ago

So true

Chad A
Chad Anderson18 days ago

Thank you.

Alexandra Richards

Thank you.

Rauni H
Rauni H22 days ago


Paulo R
Paulo R22 days ago