New Year’s Resolution 2011: Motivate Other People

[Editor’s Note: This article was originally written for BostInnovation]

I’ve never been very good at keeping my New Year’s resolutions. Get more exercise. Eat better. Study harder. I can do all of those, but somewhere along the way, like many other Americans, I lose a bit of steam. That’s why this year I’m making a New Year’s resolution that has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with those around me.

That’s right. My New Year’s resolution for 2011 is to motivate other people. I want to push those around me to work harder, smarter and with more efficiency. This holds particularly true for those who share my professional and academic space. I fully believe that by making those around me more motivated, I can in turn convince them to do the same for me.

recent study was released that determined that many core human emotions are actually contagious. One of the studies authors, Harvard’s David Rand, stated that he found that people who are surrounded by happy people are much more likely to be happy. Conversely, individuals surrounded by sad people are more likely to be sad as well. Rand makes the point that he is not suggesting that you ditch all of your sad friends in favor of happier ones, but rather find ways to make your sad friends happier.

I believe that the same theory holds true for motivated people versus lazy people. The most motivated people I know are surrounded by other motivated people. They are always doing something – anything to stay ahead. Meanwhile, I often find that lazy people tend to find other lazy people. Birds of a feather…

Therefore, the point is not to ditch our lazy friends in favor of more motivated people. Yes, it’s great to proactively seek out people who do things and make things happen, but I’m also going to take this year to simply motivate those around me. I’ll turn them into the most efficient, productive humans I know, and they will soon do the same for me.

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2011?

[Photo: Tutorial Lounge]

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