A coworker of mine recently said in a staff meeting, “Easy is for losers.” It’s a startling statement, but also an absolute truth. Especially in cases like creating innovative mortgage software. There’s no room for easy or shortcuts in real success.
Instant gratification can be tempting, whether it comes in the form of reality TV, microwaved dinners, or the latest diet pill. But there’s a psychological relationship between effort and satisfaction. Successful parenting, getting in shape, graduating from college. Achieving these goals isn’t easy, but that’s why they’re so rewarding.
In Fact, Our Brains Actually Crave Self-Determined Action.
When you reach for what’s hard or unfamiliar, dopamine is released in the brain—further motivating you to complete a hard task. That feel-good effect is your brain’s reward for your hard work.
Researchers say “intentional activity,” is the best way to increase and maintain happiness. Effort is your friend—and it’s something you can actually control, beyond health, environment, geography.
But How Do You Sustain Effort?
With the right motivation behind your goals. If you’re just doing something for external reward — praise, status, money — it will be harder to keep going when those things take longer than you’d like to materialize. (And usually, they do.) Studies show focusing on external satisfaction or validation makes it hard to keep going.
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, who has studied motivation since the 1960s, has found that students who enjoy learning for learning’s sake—even when they aren’t doing well—will stick with it longer than those who are simply after a good grade. Those who just want a good grade tend to lose interest in subjects at which they don’t excel—with “excel” being a relative term here, because it can easily be argued that those who are learning for learning’s sake are exceling too as they remain engaged in the face of setbacks.
I can attest to the findings above. My short time in mortgage technology customer service has been one of the most rewarding chapters of my professional life. It’s been a welcome challenge to introduce customers to the best way to do mortgage closings, when they may never have thought to do it differently than they always have.
ATS Secured’s Beginnings Are Inspiring, Too.
Five years ago when our company business plan was written on a napkin, our founders probably didn’t realize the level of effort it would take to bring a transparent, secure mortgage loan process to life.
But their intrinsic motivations clearly were not praise, status or money. They were motivated to simply do the right thing in the face of the mortgage industry’s challenges with TRID, and the opportunity to reduce fraud and the financial ruin that consumers and business owners alike can experience as a result.
But the pull of the easy and comfortable doesn’t just go away. We’re all human, and we all need to rally in the face of thoughts like, “I’m too tired,” or “Why bother?”
Easy gets you by and takes shortcuts. It’s only real effort that provides a sense of pride and rewards that were hard to imagine when you started. Who wouldn’t put in some effort for that?
Find out more about how ATS Secured is changing the mortgage industry: