In every day life one will generally find a plethora of ways people motivate themselves. Some people write something positive and uplifting on their mirror that they will see and read aloud each day. They will listen to motivation speakers on the radio in their car on the way to and from work. They will take a picture of their dream car and look at it once a day.
Others will go the opposite route and use negative or fear motivation on themselves. They will create some way that shows them, “this is what will happen if you mess up” such as a picture of something they once failed at achieving or a pair of “fat pants” they once wore. These are forms of motivation that are to keep someone going towards a goal.
There are also a great deal of ways that people rewards themselves after a goal is met. This helps to keep one working and progressing. But more importantly I think are the rewards that we get from others when a goal is met. That, “hey your looking good, you been working out?” after the long runs really helps to boost confidence and replenish the motivational well.
And the High Five
The High Five (and its variants, the knuckle pump, the rear slap, etc) is one of the most simple forms of social motivation. If one is talking about something and someone says, “oh yea I totally agree, high five!” the talker will probably feel a bit awkward at the request at first but because of it will continue the discussion, usually with even more gusto than before. No one is going to take a high five and then say, “well that’s all I have to say about that”. Although “Slapping hands is the lowest form of male primate ritual” (Seinfeld, 1998) it is still effective in this manner. However I would not advise anyone to mix up these variants, as slapping your co-worker’s rear would probably not go over real well at the office.
In relation to finance, there are many ways that we reward ourselves, or give ourselves a mental high five. One of the effective forms of high fives is interest. If one sees interest accruing in an account it is unlikely that one will be inclined to withdrawal all that interest and spend it, the interest encourages frugality. When I see interest accruing it makes me want to increase my deposits into that account and keep that interest piling up.
Another common form is the bank statement. When you get a bank statement emailed/mailed to you or after you make a deposit and see that number continuously rising under ‘savings account’, that really helps to keep one motivated. To list a few others, dividend payments, lower service bills, and topping off that emergency fund are great mental high fives.
One of my personal favorites for various reasons is the mental high five of a lower check after eating out. When I see that bill coming, I am always afraid to look. I can ballpark what it will be because I add up everything we order in my head as we go but the anonymity of that little black one page book really freaks me out. So when I open it up and its under what we thought it would be, man that really gets me going. My wife will attest to this that I will go on for hours about how it was the perfect amount of food and just the right price.
So what mental high five’s get your frugal juices flowing?
Image by johnwiechecki br>