James Adonis: The Motivation Hoax – Book Review

James Adonis, The Motivation Hoax

James Adonis, The Motivation Hoax – A smart person’s guide to inspirational nonsense, Schwartz Publishing, Carlton, 2018.

James Adonis - The Motivation HoaxInspirational nonsense! Yep, that pretty much sums it up for me. Instagram and Facebook and to a lesser extent Linked In are full of mindless truisms masquerading as inspiration from some enlighted heroes we’ve mostly never heard of.

It’s one of my pet hates – People just filling up their timeline and others with dribble. Sorry, I’m just not one for small talk.

And I’m guessing James Adonis is not either. In his latest book, The Motivation Hoax, he takes aim at the dribble and aims to sort the facts from the fictions.

I was particularly interested in this book based on my own. When I researched my book Done and my program Project Done, I realized a lot of what people thought was true, simply wasn’t backed up by the research. Or, at the least, what people thought was true was only partly accurate.

It seems we human beings have a tendency for short-cuts rather than reading things thoroughly. Something to do with our lazy brains…

Three Examples from the Motivation Hoax

Let’s look at a few examples from James Adonis’ brilliant book…

  1. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life (Confucious) – A neat sentiment we’d all wish to be true. Alas, there’s no evidence it’s true. Wishful thinking.
  2. It’s a journey, not a destination – This is a neat trick to comfort yourself when you don’t reach your goal. Let’s face it, almost every goal we create is a destination and we want it. Often, we want it really badly. Yes, we will learn some things along the way. But, really? Do you want the goal or the experience?
  3. Many hands make light work (John Heywood) – We naturally presume this to be true. It’s logical, sensible and not always true. This is the big presumption behind teams at work. If you want something done, throw people at it. However, if you want a fast result, you’re better off turning to a single individual who can just get started. Beware of applying truisms to all situations – they may not be so true.

(James also picks up the theme ‘to follow your passion’ is bad advice – as I also wrote about in my book Done.)

Love this! If you want to find out what really works #mythbusters

This book could have been called Mythbusters for Motivation – although I suspect there might be a copyright claim on that title.

Read this if…

Read this book if you want the low-down on what really works. Or, if you want to cause a lot of mischief by challenging all the truisms filling up the Internet.


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