How Reward Influence Change

This is a second post in what is becoming a miniseries. The firs post (Changing Behaviour Patterns – Yes it’s difficult) commented on why the quick fix solutions provided by some self-development and self-improvement programs do not provide a lasting and permanent change to some people’s lives.

This post will focus on finding ways to overcome this difficulty.



The key is REWARD


I does not matter how insane it sounds but we as humans almost never do something without some reward in mind. A child gets reprimanded while doing something naughty, which is the receipt of attention when he / she would not have received it otherwise. As adults we repeat this behaviour in almost all facets of our lives.

So the stinger is – You will not maintain the actions associated with a change event if:

  • The reward of the actions exceed that of the behaviour that it replaces
  • The ultimate reward (of the entire process) exceeds the reward of the behaviour pattern it replaces

We would like to think that instant gratification is confined to children and immature beings. The truth is that it is not.


Instant Gratification

Instant Gratification

We may be able to envisage the grand goal up in the sky, the amazing outcome in the near future but we will sabotage that process simply because we need something NOW…


The second element that is of real importance here revolves around external and internal rewards.

We all have a requirement of both external and internal recognition and reward. What makes each of us unique is the specific mixture in terms of requirement. This mixture will change almost constantly as we progress through life and our perceptions change.


So what is the silver bullet, the magic formula, the secret that can potentially change our lives?

  • Identify the rewards you get (positive and negative) from the “old” behaviour patterns
    • Separate the immediate from the long term
    • Separate the internal and the external
  • Be honest with yourself and see if there are “deal breakers” when moving into the “new” behaviour patterns
  • Find replacements for the rewards (try and find something of more value than the ones in place)
  • “Manufacture” the ones that you can not replace
  • Identify and secure external recognition sources for the ones that you can not sustain internally


New You

New You

If you do this with honesty and enthusiasm, you will find that the new will be more pleasurable than the old.


Change will lead to more change. The will be unexpected benefits.

The reward of the change will exceed the expectations – That would be the most amazing motivator in itself.


So now that you have the rule….


Have an awesome day…



5 thoughts on “How Reward Influence Change

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