Module 16 – Threat and Reward


Differentiate between threat and reward stimuli, gaining insight into their distinct characteristics, while also comprehending the benefits of implementing stretch goals and crafting your own personal stretch goal for transformative growth.


Download your worksheet and additional reading using the link here.

Register here to download your worksheet and additional reading immediately.


So, we spoke yesterday about the five levels of focus. And hopefully, you’ve been able to spot examples of drama and when you’re in the vision state. Today, I want to talk a little bit about motivation and how we tap into motivation, and how we might create stretching goals for people. Now, this is quite a big area, so we’ll have one go at this, then we’ll come back to it in future segments.

Now, we spoke about the brain and how the brain looks to avoid threat situations and how it becomes inefficient when we’re in the threat situation. Now, the converse is true when we see reward. The brain becomes highly energized, very efficient, and also will become highly motivated when we see reward. At a primitive level, reward is as simple as food and shelter and what we might call companionship. We though, in the more modern sense, can see reward in other ways. But we become highly positively motivated to seek reward and to seek more reward. The problem with threat is we simply move to avoid the threat.

So, when you’re leading somebody, and it’s about trying to motivate them, we can use carrot or stick, or the brain research tells us, is that if we hold a stick above people, and we create a threat, they will simply only move as far as required to avoid the threat, to avoid the big stick. But they will move far harder, far faster, and be far more motivated if they can see reward, and that they will maximize their reward through maximizing their performance. And what this does is it energizes the brain and when they can see possibilities, they start to create new wiring in the brain, excited brains, new wiring, and they will move powerfully towards that reward. And believe me, we are not talking financial rewards, we’re talking more about social rewards around status. And we’ll talk about other parts of that in the agenda in another segment.

But for now, let’s just think about how we motivate somebody, and in particular, how we set goals for people. Now goal needs to be something which energizes somebody. It then needs to be a stretch. It needs to be a challenge. But not a challenge too far, but something which energizes the brain, creates new wiring, creates towards a state, and a motivated state.

There’s lots more to read in the material, so go ahead and read it. Think about today, writing a stretching goal for yourself, one that energizes you, and then feel how you feel once you’ve got that energizing goal written out. And tomorrow, we’ll talk more on this subject and the importance of being positive. Until then, all the best.