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Keep a P.O.B. File

The expectancy theory of motivation explains that we will be motivated to work at something if we expect two things: 1) that we will succeed and 2) that our success will result in a reward that is personally meaningful. Belief that you will succeed is based primarily on past experience.

  • Take a file folder, shoebox, or large envelope and label it P.O.B. (for pat on back). Write "Success!" on the top of a few blank index cards, and place them in your file.
  • Now, what have you accomplished recently? Note each achievement on one of your "Success!" cards, date it, and file it in your P.O.B. file.
  • Look for any recent notes of appreciation from someone you helped, and add them to your P.O.B. file also. When you take a risk, learn something new, or break an old habit, file a success card as well.
  • Now put your P.O.B. file in a handy place. The next time you find yourself wondering if you're using your days in meaningful ways, pull it out — and look back on your successes.
Reviewing past successes helps keep a positive perspective regarding the future. You'll probably feel more resilient when you realize how far you have come and all the good that you have done.
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A series of "quick-lifts" excerpted from Recharge in Minutes, ©2003, by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.

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