Humans are motivated to achieve victory over challenges but only when things are within their optimal zone. The challenge should neither be difficult nor too easy, but just manageable. Carrying out such tasks keep you motivated and make you feel confident about yourself.
Let’s understand this with a simple object lesson:
Suppose, you are playing badminton, and you attempt to play the game with a 5-years-old kid; it will be comfortable for you to win the match. Perhaps you will lose all the interest in the game.
On the other hand, if you play a match against Carolina Marin or Saina Nehwal, who are experts, as a matter of fact, you are more likely to lose the match. This will leave you discouraged. But when you play against someone who is equal to your level, it will increase your interest level in the game, whether you lose or win, you will learn and stay motivated for the next match.
Here, the important mantra is not to gain a match simply to keep yourself motivated but to learn from your drawbacks so that you can improve the next time.
Carrying out such tasks which are under the optimal zone of your difficulty level will keep your fighting spirit up. It will keep you in the game. Always begin with small steps to accomplish something great. Achieving in small tasks will keep your mind directed and positive in the main task given.
Steve Martin, a born stand-up comedian is the best exemplar to this rule. He was having enough victories to keep him motivated and enough mistakes to continue playing hard. He was motivated due to his hard work and happiness. Martin’s had dropped 10 years in learning, 4 years in refining and 4 years in wild success. He was at the top in his genre and became one of the most important comedians of his time.
Now the question arises how to choose “Just Right”?
You want to read a book. The book should be “just right” for you. Neither easy nor that difficult, but something to which you can learn and savor.
- Too Easy: Do you recognize all the words in the book? Are you reading the book faster? Have read the book earlier? Can you restate the story easily?
- Just Right: Do you know most of the words in the book? Do you understand what are you reading? Are you reading the book in the steady pace?
- Too Hard: Do you find lots of tricky words in the script? Are you forgetting the main story line? Are you reading it too slow?
Which one is suitable for you? The second one. Keep the “too hard” for next time and go with the “just right”. After completing the second one you will be fit to go for “too hard”.
At last, I would conclude that choose a task which will keep you motivated and happy so that you can achieve the difficult one easily. At that time you will visualize your pros and cons and can act on them, accordingly.