instant motivation

in the contest between a benefit now and one in the future, now always wins



  • People who want to motivate themselves, improve their health or adopt a new habit
  • Suitable for a corporate audience but not specifically designed to increase motivation at work. (For work motivation see Instant Sales Habits).
  • Typically, people get motivated to exercise, lose weight, study with discipline or change and aspect of their lifestyle. 


See, the problem is, having an ice cream is a benefit in the NOW. Healthy eating is a benefit in the FUTURE. And our brain has a strong preference for NOW. 

This is a talk about the behavior change intervention called staking. 

Staking is putting money at stake, which you forfeit if you don’t keep your weekly promise. Staking harnesses the brain’s hard-wired aversion to losing what it already has.

So imagine you have a ‘healthy eating’ stake, where you forfeit $100 if you eat ice cream. Now we have a COST in the present.

Most people are unwilling to pay $100 for an ice cream. So pretty quickly we have some evidence for the brain that we don’t actually have to eat ice cream every time it’s offered to us. 

Hope that gives you a flavour of the talk. 

Attendees will get a good understanding of how risk activates the survival circuitry of the brain, how motivation actually works, and how they can influence their own quality of life.

A bit of storytelling, some humour and lots of interaction, because who wants to listen to some smart arse talking science when you could be eating ice cream? 


Can be delivered as a keynote, an informal talk or a workshop.

What distinguishes the workshop is that attendees complete an exercise in which they take on an area of their behavior they’d like to change.

Close to 100% of people take an action in the session towards the change they want.

Duration: workshops run 90 minutes. Talks and keynotes generally range from 20 minutes to an hour.


(+61) 0409 908 133

re this talk