The Motivation Hacker – Nick Winter Book Summary

The Motivation Hacker – Nick Winter | Free Book Summary

The Motivation Hacker – Nick Winter

Craft your life structure.

The four most expensive words in the English language are, “This time it’s different”

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The Success Spiral

Make a tiny, achievable goal that you can’t forget to do.

Track your success in achieving this goal.

Give your goal a completion date.

Once you complete your goal, up it to a bigger goal.Free book, podcast summaries

Focus on input based process goals (write for five minutes) rather than output-based results goals (write one page). And keep the required inputs minimal at first.

The Playbook Of Motivation Hacking

Precommitment: Using a commitment device to choose now to limit your options later, preventing yourself from making the wrong choice in the face of temptation. Putting money on the line, publicly announcing your goals, etc.

The Burnt Ships

List out all of your possible distractions, and then make it so that it’s impossible to do those things when you want to be working toward your other goals. This saves you from having to use willpower to resist them.

Rejection Therapy: Get over your fear of starting things by going out and trying to get rejected by asking for odd things from people.

Exercise: Goal Picking

Imagine your ideal day. What do you do? Who do you talk to? Where do you go? Pick a few goals that will bring you closer to that ideal day.

Make a list of every crazy goal you can think of. Then rate each goal based on three factors: how much the goal excites you, your probability of success if you tried as hard as you could, and how long it would take in hours. 


Sort them by excitement, probability of success, and time, and pick the most efficient goals.

Imagine you’re another person more competent than yourself who has just dropped into your current life at this moment with none of your issues.

The CSI Approach

  • Challenging (motivating and exciting)
  • Specific (not abstract)
  • Immediate (avoid long-delayed goals and focus on what you can do now)
  • Approach-oriented (as opposed to avoidance goals)

If you track your happiness during activities, you’ll get a more accurate picture of how much you enjoyed them without giving in to the peak-end effect.

How To Learn Any Skill

Get excited about a skill

While you’re excited, make time and hack up motivation to practice it

Learn how to practice it from reading or from a teacher

Start doing it right away

Whatever goals you pick, you should have some way of measuring the results. Many goals are about making you happier, so make sure you’re measuring your happiness.

Increasing Expectancy

Success Spirals: Win at something small then keep levelling it up

Vicarious Victory: Hang out with motivated people

Mental Contrasting: Visualize the success you want to have and then contrast it with where you are now

Guarding Against Excessive Optimism: Don’t get trapped by the planning fallacy

Increasing Value

  • Find Flow
  • Find Meaning: Look for ways to connect tasks to major life goals
  • CSI Approach goals(mentioned above)
  • Optimize Your Energy
  • Productive Procrastination: If you can’t do your main work, get other little tasks out of the way
  • Create Rewards: When you succeed, celebrate it, by congratulating yourself or giving yourself a treat
  • Focus on Passion: Know what you’re passionate about and steer your life towards those passions
  • Task Trading: If you don’t want to do something find someone who will trade that task with you

Reducing Impulsiveness

  • Make a recommitment
  • Burn your ships
  • Set goal reminders
  • Timebox your tasks
  • Build useful habits
  • Schedule play before work, so you know when you’re taking a break

Reducing Delay

  • Break your goals down so the ends feel nearer
  • Let yourself plan fallaciously so you’re more motivated

The motivation hacker learns to steer his life towards higher values and to have fun demolishing boring necessities in his way.

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