What Motivates Us

I recently read Daniel Pink’s thought provoking book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.”
If you can’t get your hands on the book, check out Dan Pink’s TED talk on the same topic. Here’s the link.

In his book, Pink reminds us that we are not motivated by the old school carrot and stick approach. Instead we are motivated in an environment that allows us the opportunity to express and achieve our potential.The elements of true motivation are : Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

When you have the autonomy to explore and find creative solutions to problems, you feel motivated.

When you strive towards self-improvement and mastery of a subject, you feel motivated.

When you can translate this into a purpose that is larger than yourself, you feel motivated.

We are all born with curiosity, with a drive to understanding and exploring the world. Ultimately, we want to know that we are positively contributing to the world, and living our purpose.

Unfortunately, for many people, life derails these natural drives. Adulthood results in the death of dreams and the relinquishment of the idealism of youth is mistakenly seen as a hallmark of maturity.

But in my work with organizations and individuals, I often see what happens when a person relinquishes personal fulfillment and instead embraces stagnation – anxiety, depression, fatigue, unhappiness, and a sense of emptiness.

If you feel any of these symptoms, it might be an indication that you have to re-evaluate the course of your work life.

Ask yourself and answer these questions

a) Am I doing what I can in order to realize my potential?

b) If not, what are my strengths and talents?

c) How can I achieve mastery in one area of my life, and build on my talents?

d) How can I translate this into a purpose that will benefit others?

By pursuing your passion, by engaging your talents, by striving harder to constantly improve and learn, you will be happier, more motivated and purposeful. The money and the success will happen as a natural consequence of these endeavors.