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Home » Self-Worth Theory: The Key to Understanding & Overcoming Procrastination: Nic Voge (Transcript)

Self-Worth Theory: The Key to Understanding & Overcoming Procrastination: Nic Voge (Transcript)

Full text of Nic Voge’s talk: Self-Worth Theory: The Key to Understanding & Overcoming Procrastination at TEDxPrincetonU conference. In this talk, Nic unravels the surprising and perplexing motivational dynamics underlying our procrastination that lead so often to disengagement and burnout.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


Nic Voge – Senior Associate Director of Princeton University’s McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning

About two decades ago, when I was a PhD student at UC Berkeley, I found myself in a seminar taught by a psychology professor who was renowned for his research on self-worth theory, on motivation, teaching and learning.

I’d no business being there; it had nothing to do with my research interests, but I found it had everything to do with my academic life.

What I learned in that seminar and in the myriad of discussions over the last two decades with Marty has been a real gift to me. It changed my understanding of the human condition. It made me think back to those 20 years before that in school where I’d mastered the craft and art of procrastination: the mind games, the rationalizations, the justifications – anybody know about these? Oh, some experts in the room.

And so that gift is something that I’d like to share with you today, at least some of that.

Every person “should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”James Thurber

This quote captures a certain perspective, a way of thinking about procrastination, lots of ways to approach it. We can think of it as a bad habit, for instance. But I want to ask you to consider more deeply, to introspect, look inside, and look for the deep motivational roots of procrastination so that we can overcome that and flourish and truly thrive in our lives and in our work as teachers and as learners.

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