Dr. Adam Grant: How to Unlock Your Potential, Motivation & Unique Abilities

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Published 2023-11-27
In this episode, my guest is Dr. Adam Grant, Ph.D., a professor of organizational psychology at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an expert in the science and practical steps for increasing motivation, maximizing and reaching our potential, and understanding how individuals and groups can best flourish. He is also an avid public educator, having written five bestselling books, delivered several top-ranking TED Talks and is the host of two psychology podcasts. We discuss how to overcome procrastination, how to increase intrinsic motivation (even for dreaded tasks), identify blind spots and rethink our assumptions, and how we can build a persistent growth mindset. We also explain tools to improve creativity and discuss the surprising relationship between creativity and procrastination. We then explore how to effectively solicit useful feedback and grow from constructive criticism and how you can improve your level of focus and attention using science-supported methods. We also discuss mental tools to get out of negative thought spirals, how to nurture potential in yourself or others, and the dark side of perfectionism. The discussion delivers more than a dozen science-supported protocols that are readily applicable to anyone seeking to live a more productive, fulfilling, and creative life.

For the show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit www.hubermanlab.com/episode/dr-adam-grant-how-to-u…

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Dr. Adam Grant
Website: adamgrant.net/
Books: adamgrant.net/books
Podcasts: adamgrant.net/podcasts
Academic profile: mgmt.wharton.upenn.edu/profile/grantad
TED Talk: “Are You a Giver or a Taker?”: www.ted.com/talks/adam_grant_are_you_a_giver_or_a_…
TED Talk: “ The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers”: www.ted.com/talks/adam_grant_the_surprising_habits…
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X: twitter.com/adammgrant
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Timestamps
00:00:00 Dr. Adam Grant
00:01:37 Sponsors: Eight Sleep, Levels & Waking Up
00:05:56 Procrastination & Emotion; Curiosity
00:14:06 Creativity & Procrastination; Motivation
00:20:48 Intrinsic Motivation & Curiosity
00:27:59 Tool: Tasks & Sense of Purpose
00:30:52 Sponsor: AG1
00:32:34 Extrinsic Rewards, Choice; Social Media
00:42:24 Tool: “Quiet Time” Protocol, Chronotypes
00:49:20 Tool: Creativity: Mornings, Movement, Stillness
00:57:05 Sponsor: InsideTracker
00:58:14 Tools: Ideas & Filtering, Feedback & Opinions, Advice
01:07:15 Tool: Constructive Criticism, “Second Score”; Verbs
01:14:40 Tool: Growth Mindsets, Scaffolding; Job Innovation
01:21:50 Tools: Task Sequencing & Intrinsic Motivation; Tapering & Frame of Reference
01:30:03 Tools: Momentum, Confidence & Domains; Negative Thought Spirals
01:36:16 Tool: Phone & “To Don’t” List; Writing Ideas
01:39:54 Tool: Bias Blindspot, Reflected Best-Self Portrait
01:45:36 Helping Others, Synthesizing Information
01:50:24 Modes of Thinking, Blind Spots & Assumptions
01:56:10 Thinking Like a Scientist: Hypothesis-Testing & Discourse, Social Media
02:05:15 Tool: Authenticity, Sincerity & Etiquette, “Snapshot” & Online Presence
02:12:49 Realizing Potential: Motivation, Opportunity & Process
02:21:53 Skills to Realize Potential, Perfectionism
02:27:52 Tool: Early Success & Performance Cycle, “Failure Budget”
02:31:56 Future Projects, Complex Issues & Challenging Ideas
02:40:10 Artistic Hobbies, Magicians
02:45:55 Science Communication, Interest & Self-Relevance
02:52:16 Languishing, Descriptive Language & Emotions
03:00:09 Tool: Nurture Potential in Children, “Coach Effect”
03:10:16 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

#HubermanLab #AdamGrant #Science

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac - www.blabacphoto.com/

Disclaimer: www.hubermanlab.com/disclaimer

All Comments (21)
  • @sangiit01
    You know your life changes when you start to listen Professor Huberman.❣️
  • @dalemcmillen7547
    "Purpose of feedback is not to shame my past self but to educate my future self" Wow! Amazing, That. Hit. Deep. 😢❤😢❤😢 Thank you Dr. Hubermann
  • When Adam talked about asking his daughter for advice, I teared up. Thank you for sharing Adam!
  • I love how we are NOT the only ones learning, but Andrew Huberman as well. Humbleness is your biggest quality AH💪🏽🧠💜
  • @stephaniebotto
    This is my favorite episode hands down. I learned so much about myself and how to improve. I really appreciate the mix of casual conversation, personal examples, experiments, metaphors, hypotheticals, and science-backed insights. My 23 year old self was thoroughly engaged (which is rare) so thank you thank you thank you
  • Dr Huberman! Your work has greatly helped me in everyday life. Could you kindly do a podcast around self-esteem, please?
  • @Ramzo.K
    🎯 Key Takeaways for quick navigation: 06:06 🗓️ Procrastination and Creativity Relationship - The relationship between procrastination and creativity is explored. - Procrastination and creativity show an inverted U-shaped curve, with the peak of creativity in the middle of procrastination. 08:55 🚧 Why People Procrastinate - Procrastination is often linked to avoiding negative emotions stirred up by tasks, such as boredom, fear, anxiety, or confusion. - People may engage in activities requiring energy, like cleaning, as a form of procrastination. 15:36 🔄 Experiment: Procrastination and Creativity Control - A controlled experiment using tempting YouTube videos to induce procrastination is discussed. - Moderate procrastination in a naturalistic environment was found to lead to the generation of more creative ideas. 17:44 🤔 Adopting a Creative Process - Dr. Adam Grant discusses adopting a process that involves an initial dive into a project followed by delaying commitment to ideas, allowing them to incubate. - The importance of not rushing into the first idea and giving time for incubation for more creative outcomes. 19:46 🧠 Intrinsic Motivation and Curiosity: - Intrinsic motivation fosters subconscious processing and unexpected connections. - Boredom in a topic hinders active engagement and neural network connectivity. 20:58 🤔 Forced Interest and Self-Deception: - Dr. Adam Grant shares his university experience of creating interest in less appealing topics. - Deliberate self-deception and lying to oneself as a method of cultivating interest. 23:18 🗣️ Self-Persuasion and Cognitive Dissonance: - Elliot Aronson's research on cognitive dissonance and how self-persuasion works. - Lying to others about finding a task interesting can influence personal feelings about the task. 25:21 🌐 Finding Intrinsic Motivation in Tasks: - The concept of curiosity as an itch to scratch and fostering intrinsic motivation. - Connecting tasks to a sense of purpose when intrinsic motivation is challenging. 31:07 🍏 Nutrition and Cognitive Function: - The impact of nutrition on physical and cognitive health. - Importance of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and fiber for optimal cognitive functioning. 32:27 💡 Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation: - Evaluating the value of extrinsic rewards for both children and adults. - The dual nature of extrinsic rewards, influencing quantity more than quality. 37:05 🧘‍♂️ Presence and Intrinsic Motivation: - Being mentally and physically present enhances intrinsic liking and performance. - Intrinsic motivation's impact on focus, flow, persistence, and clarity of thought. 39:37 🧠 Academic Culture and Social Media Criticism - Thick skin developed in academic culture differs from social media criticism. - Surprise at knee-jerk criticism on social media without considering rigorous methods. 40:47 📱 Impact of Social Media on Experiences - Social media's role in shifting focus from intrinsic to extrinsic rewards. - Comparison of immediate sharing versus delayed enjoyment of experiences. 43:27 🕰️ Time Confetti and Uninterrupted Blocks - Discussion on time confetti and its impact on productivity. - Leslie Perlo's experiment on increased productivity with uninterrupted time. 45:17 🌅 Chronotypes and Optimal Work Times - Consideration of individual chronotypes and their impact on work. 51:13 🛌 Neural States, Divergent Thinking, and Creativity - Exploration of neural states during transitions between sleep and wakefulness. - Discussion on divergent thinking and activation of unconstrained neural networks. 59:31 📚 Importance of Feedback in Creative Work - Dr. Grant emphasizes the importance of feedback in the creative process. 01:01:08 🔄 Overcoming Resistance to Feedback - Discusses the common mistake of seeking feedback from only a few people and the resistance that may follow. 01:03:13 🚫 Dealing with Negative Feedback - Dr. Grant shares a personal experience of receiving discouraging feedback on a manuscript. 01:04:37 📊 Quality of Feedback Matters More Than Positivity - Discusses a meta-analysis on feedback, highlighting that the focus should be on task-oriented feedback rather than positive or negative sentiments. 01:05:20 🧠 Asking for Advice Instead of Feedback - Shifts the focus from asking for feedback to seeking advice for future improvement. 01:06:18 🛡️ Handling Feedback Constructively - Introduces the concept of the "second score" to evaluate how well feedback is accepted. 01:11:49 🔄 Applying Growth Mindset in Feedback - Relates growth mindset to stress and anxiety, emphasizing the combination's positive impact. 01:12:59 🔄 Context and Micro-Environment in Growth - Stresses the contextual importance of growth mindset, especially in marginalized or impoverished communities. 01:17:51 🌱 Growth Mindset Introduction - Growth mindset involves providing support initially and gradually removing it to foster independent problem-solving. 01:18:33 🧠 Enhancing Growth Mindset with Context - Growth mindset, while understood, is challenging to implement in real time. 01:21:05 🔄 Dual Mindset - The importance of intertwining growth mindsets, both in individuals and the overall culture. 01:22:15 🌐 Intrinsic Motivation and Performance - Exploration of the relationship between intrinsic motivation and performance on different tasks. 01:29:07 🎢 Managing Expectations and Happiness - The importance of managing expectations for sustained happiness. 01:32:20 🔄 Segmenting Negative Experiences - Effective strategies for segmenting negative experiences: distraction and reframing. 01:35:31 📵 Smartphone Boundaries - Implementing a to-don't list, including not scrolling on social media and avoiding phone use past 9:00 PM. 01:37:10 🖋️ Note-taking habits - Importance of physical note-taking over digital notes. 01:39:32 🧠 Unconscious mind and blind spots - The unconscious mind as a supercomputer and its role in driving blind spots. 01:43:52 🌟 Discovering strengths and reflective best self-portrait - The reflected best self-portrait exercise for recognizing strengths. 01:50:19 🤔 Mental modes: Preachers, prosecutors, politicians - The mental modes of preachers, prosecutors, and politicians. 01:54:46 🧪 Encouraging scientific thinking - Encouraging scientific thinking as an alternative to fixed opinions. 01:56:07 🧠 Unlocking Potential - Teaching people to be scientists involves understanding hypotheses and the importance of disproving them. 01:59:32 🔄 Following Disagreements - Importance of following people with differing views but respecting their thought process. 02:05:26 🤔 Authenticity vs. Oversharing - Balancing authenticity with etiquette and preserving public and private life. 02:12:50 🚀 Unleashing Potential - Common misconceptions about potential, such as underestimating starting abilities. 02:15:38 🚀 Embracing Discomfort - Overcoming obstacles and lack of natural abilities. 02:19:34 🧠 Mastery Through Friction - Facing challenges and initial academic struggles. 02:22:16 🌊 Creature of Discomfort - Keys to realizing potential: embracing discomfort. 02:34:08 🎙️ Starting a Podcast: Tag Team Format - Proposal to start a podcast where people debate controversial topics in a tag team format. 02:35:03 🏳️‍⚧️ Controversial Topic: Policies for Trans Athletes - Contemplating a podcast episode on policies for transgender athletes in sports. 02:36:25 🌐 Building a Better World: Challenging Ideologies - Discussion on bringing together individuals interested in pragmatic policy solutions to rewrite the Constitution. 02:37:48 🚀 Sci-Fi Novel and Evolving Beliefs - Contemplating writing a Sci-Fi novel and the internal debate about its utility. 02:39:01 🎭 The Role of Magic in Communication - Discusses the role of magic in communication and science. 02:41:48 🧠 Interest, Clarity, Actionability, and Surprise - Reflection on interest in content and the elements of clarity, actionability, and surprise. 02:51:55 🌍 Connecting through Shared Experiences - Highlights the power of language and shared experiences in fostering connection. 02:52:38 🌍 Understanding Languishing and Well-being - Languishing is the middle ground between mental illness and mental health. 02:55:38 🧠 The Impact of Cognitive Neuroscience - Cognitive Neuroscience plays a crucial role in understanding the neurological substrates of thoughts, feelings, and actions. 02:56:20 🤝 Evolution of Neuroscience and Psychology - Over the last decade, the fields of neuroscience and psychology have evolved to include various perspectives and training methods. 03:01:23 🧑‍👧‍👦 Parenting and Boosting Children's Confidence - The importance of making children feel that they matter and can contribute. 03:06:20 🚀 Tapping into Unexplored Potential - Dr. Huberman and Dr. Grant discuss the concept of realizing one's potential and the ide
  • @srleplay
    Dr. Huberman I'd like to contribute my experience with the journaling protocol you shared last week. I did it based on your recommendation alone, started the same day and pulled all the stops, picked the event that has certainly traumatized me the most in my life and did the half and hour of journaling four consecutive days. It was not fun experience, if discomfort scale 1-10 is assumed worst I ever felt was 9 (as I can imagine worse situations) and I've had many very, very painful moments, event in question was an 8 at the moment (I was not molested if anyone is curious) and a journaling was easily 6, for comparison freezing cold water immersion or debilitating muscle soreness I would put around 4 and being put on a spot by authority figure in front of my peers 3 at the most. By the day three I woke up early dreading the journaling and did it right away before anything else just to get it over with and I was cranky and anxious the whole day. I am usually very very happy person, in some part thanks to protocols you've shared over the years, but I'll tell you on the fourth day I don't remember when was I so happy for not having to go over journaling again. Aside from the momentary relief, pain/pleasure balance was certainly offset and damn if I am not proud for muscling through the whole process. As for the intrusive thoughts about the event, I feel like they are far less often, like I got drained of thoughts about it. When they crop up they aren't as harmful as I see how trivial they are in comparison with the real event or forced non-stop writing about it for half an hour in great factual and emotional detail, I think that has also a side effect of me not being afraid to trigger them as I was. I also haven't got a desire to ruminate on the subject, something I did occasionally, because now I know how that rumination can make me feel if taken far enough. So thank you for sharing this protocol with us, you are changing lives with your science communication.
  • @huberfan7
    Adam grant is like huberman for the social sciences-- always breaking down complex topics into easy to understand, actionable tools. So glad to see the worlds of biology and social science collide. Grant's books have helped me breakthrough so many mental roadblocks in my life and shift my perspective in profound ways, while the huberman lab podcast has helped me understand and improve my physiology. Two amazing human beings sharing their love of knowledge with the world. What an awesome conversation!
  • I usually never comment, but this is now my favorite podcast episode I've ever watched. It was just infectious to see how much respect they had for each other. They were able to relate so closely to one another's experiences while offering their own unique perspectives and insights. They were so engaged and genuinely interested in what the other had to say that the dance between listening and responding was so smooth that it almost felt coordinated. Their love and passion for the topics kept me engaged the whole episode (so much, in fact, that I watched this whole episode in 1 sitting while hungoveer on a sunday LOL). All this while dropping interesting, clear, actionable, surprising, AND self relevant insights 😂 I only recently got into Dr. Huberman's content, but now I'm a fan his AND Dr. Grant's. Thanks for this gem, good sirs 🙏💪
  • @darlenes520
    YouTube has fantastic opportunities to learn, like this. At 81 and a " learner," find it difficult to not listen to these 2-3 hour discussions or presentations. It presents a daily conflict that I am working on 😊
  • @aaronmillar5217
    One of the things that sets Andrew Huberman apart from other podcasters is his humility and graciousness in referencing by name his fellow scientists and their work and how they’ve contributed to the body of knowledge we all seek, rather than just referencing that knowledge. No doubt this attests to his unflinching efforts to seek truth from all sources and his ability to get such amazing guests on his podcasts. Thank you, and keep up the great work, Andrew Huberman!
  • @Anthony-bl4rc
    Dr Huberman is such an outstandingly engaging and present host/interviewer. Started out as a professor, evolved to S Tier knowledge advocate. He brings out the very best in each guest. This man will be doing this for 20-30 years. I predict 15+ million subscribers at his best.
  • @Zwieq
    Dr. Huberman is like a father who teaches us to change a spare tire....Except he makes us realize complex topics easily.
  • @moatasim7
    Andrew, your recent podcasts exploring diverse topics beyond the realm of pure biology have been profoundly impactful e.g. growth mindset, willpower, journaling, and mental health, among others. The best part is these topics incorporate so many zero-cost behavioral tools. Your dedication to helping people globally is evident, and your work is nothing short of tremendous the way you seamlessly weave together so many scientific concepts and tools in a single episode in such a digestible way for the listeners. Please, Andrew, continue to explore and share more of these thought-provoking topics. Thank you for your commitment to our knowledge and personal growth. ❤ p.s. would love to see episodes on cross-gender dynamics, purpose/meaning in life, and more topics on behavioral sciences like the episode of Maya Shankar
  • @Mohammadali_9999
    I'm 28 and feel like I have to start from zero again, I'm feeling lost and hopeless, i hope to find a way by listening to my favorite person ever Andrew Huberman ❤️. Lots of love from Iran.
  • @seanight8
    3:00:10 Adam’s story just moved me to tears😢. Looking forward to your parenting book! Please do it Adam and thanks Andrew for another exceptional episode.
  • @Spinks345
    Adam’s humor and slight nervousness makes him so approachable
  • @JenniferMyers
    I’ve adopted a similar practice to Adam’s, which is to loosely collect my ideas but then deliberately pause before drafting a creative idea and then start work on the end product. This conscious decision to pause (“shelf”) a project to allow for my ideas to get focused with more intentionality has repeatedly yielded greater success in the eventual outcome. If it’s not in your nature to practice this (or even if it is), I highly recommend you try it and either start or keep practicing it. I call it “pressing the pause button.”
  • @cgoodsonparker
    When I was an adolescent in the 1980s, there was no Andrew Huberman to guide me through challenging times, so I relied on the lyrics of the Clash. It was gratifying to hear you pay homage to the great Joe Strummer amidst many practical beliefs tested by research. This is probably my 30th podcast of yours I’ve listened to, and the respect only grows, with deep thanks.