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Three Motivation Beliefs that Consistently Contribute to Success

By: , Posted on: May 14, 2015

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So, what do billion dollar financer Bernard Madoff, Emmy-nominated actress Cheryl Hines, and world-class poker expert Alec Torelli have in common?  Your first guess might be extraordinary wealth, which is actually false, as Mr. Madoff is currently serving 150 years in federal prison for his financial crimes, earning $40.00 per month.

Perhaps, you believe the linkage among the three celebrities is a strong desire to be in the publics’ eye.  However, Alec Torelli, although appearing at the Las Vegas World Series of Poker final tables twice, is far more content when not standing out in a crowd.

Thinking of Cheryl Hines, who played Larry David’s contentious wife for eight years on the hit HBO show “Curb your Enthusiasm,” you might believe that extraordinary talent is the common bond bridging these three unique individuals together.

Actually, two major themes unite the three. First, each person espoused a similar pattern of motivational beliefs, despite growing up in diverse cultures, choosing very different careers, and having wide age differences.  Specifically, each individual when contemplating behavior or choice proactively set pre-determined and well-planned goals that guided their important decisions. Known as exhibiting an intrinsic locus of control, all three believed that they possessed the capability to control their personal destiny, with little, if anything left up to chance.

Read more from Dr. Hoffman on motivation on SciTech Connect

In addition, each person attributed both their successes and failures to themselves.  None suggested that bad luck, poor timing, or rigorous competition was responsible for their achieved outcomes.  Last, each individual was keenly and accurately aware of their ability.  None overestimated their talents and abilities to a point where it affected their perception or negatively impacted their motivation or performance. Perhaps most importantly each person admitted encountering obstacles, making mistakes, and experiencing dejection, yet universally all three used adversity as a catalyst to consider alternative strategies which ultimately contributed to their personal and professional growth.

Second, the three personalities are profiled in a new book Motivation for Learning and Performance written by Dr. Bobby Hoffman, scheduled for a July 2015 Elsevier release.  Hoffman personally interviewed Madoff, Hines, and Torelli, as well as several other well-known individuals, as a novel way to illustrate examples of motivated behavior.  Hoffman blends the latest scientific evidence from education, psychology, biology, business, and athletics as a means to show how evidence-based findings can be converted into specific strategies designed to accelerate adaptive motivation and optimal performance in the self and others.

Although not all of the individuals featured in Motivation for Learning and Performance are rich and famous, all of Hoffman’s “motivational leaders” minimally exemplify the three common principles of motivated behavior described above; principles that are well-supported by strong scientific evidence across disciplines, cultures, and performance domains.


motivation for learning and performanceFor information on the 50 foundational principles of motivational science, full length video of the author’s interviews, and a complete list of personalities profiled in “Motivation for Learning and Performance” access www.findingmo.com.

For more information about Motivation for Learning and Performance and for pre-orders, click here. Apply discount code STC215 to receive 25% off the list price when you pre-order the book.

About the Author:

bobby hoffmanDr. Bobby Hoffman, Associate Professor in the School of Teaching, Learning & Leadership at the University of Central Florida (UCF) is a 2006 graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a PhD in Educational Psychology. He joined UCF in August 2006 after a 20-year career in human resources management and performance consulting working with the world’s most successful companies including GE, NBC, KPMG, the NBA, and other global organizations.  Currently, Hoffman teaches a variety of classes at the graduate level in motivation, learning, cognition, and intelligence.

Dr. Hoffman has numerous scholarly publications in leading scientific journals in the field of educational psychology.  Additionally, Dr. Hoffman has authored over thirty publications in the field of management and organizational development related to his previous consulting practice. Hoffman’s current line of research focuses upon motivation and specifically on cognitive efficiency, which investigates the role of optimal cognition when considering the costs related to learning such as working memory limitations and strategy use.

Dr. Hoffman is co-creator and former program director of UCF’s highly coveted Applied Learning and Instruction Master’s program.  In addition, Hoffman was program co-chair in 2011 for Division 15 of the American Psychological Association and serves on several journal editorial boards including Contemporary Educational Psychology, Educational Psychology Review, and Educational Technology, Research & Development.

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