We need motivation before we'll do any tasks, from the moment we get out of bed in the morning to the moment we crawl back in. While some forms of motivation, such as food, are easy to find, others, such as performing well at work, are more elusive. In a recent YouTube video, Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, explained some of the science behind motivation and happiness.

According to Ariely, when we think about what motivates people, we image what will make them happy, but often people make the mistake of pursuing momentary happiness instead of long-term happiness. For example, we tend to be more highly motivated to do things that will make up happy for the day, such as going out with friends, than things that are difficult and complex, but give us long-term happiness, such as running a marathon. However, it’s often the long-term happiness that will leave us more satisfied in the end.

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Ariely explained that we can find motivation to complete any task because happiness is the key to motivation, and anything that is useful or meaningful is capable of making us happy. In addition, not only can we find motivation in any task, but it'll also help improve our productivity. Humans may naturally be short-sighted, but if we understand motivation's value, we'll try harder to find it.

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