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Motivation 2.0

Motivation 2.0

At the core, humans are more than the sum of our biological urges. However, it also suggests that we aren’t much different than horses–that the way to get us moving in the right direction is by dangling a carrot (a reward) or wielding a sharper stick (punishment)

This is motivation 2.0 or Carrot and sticks model. Here people are driven by an external reward or punishment.

But what this operating system lacked in enlightenment, it made up for ineffectiveness. It worked well–extremely well up to a point. 



Humans are naturally inclined to seek purpose, to be part of a greater cause, and to make a contribution to the world.

Purpose Motivation expresses itself in three ways:

  1. In words that emphasize beyond self-interest
  2. In goals that use the profit to reach the purpose
  3. In policies that allow people to pursue purpose on their own terms



By giving one a degree of flexibility within a rigid framework with a choice of tasks, free time to work on side projects, choice of technique, and the opportunity to pick team members, a spark of the intrinsic drive of autonomy will be created. 

Author Daniel Pink calls these the four T’s of autonomy: The freedom to pick the Task, the Time, the Technique, and the Team.



Optimal experiences( or the state of 'Flow') when the challenges we face are exquisitely matched to our abilities. Set Goldilocks tasks, tasks that are not too hard and not too easy. Challenge yourself, but get it done. 

3 Rules of Mastery

  1. Mastery is a mindset because it requires you to see your ability, not perfect, but infinitely improvable.
  2. Mastery is a pain because it requires effort, deliberate practice, failure, trial and error, and grit.
  3. Mastery is asymptote because the overall lifetime result is impossible to fully realize, which makes it frustrating as well as learning.

3 Elements of Intrinsic Motivation

  1. Autonomy: The desire for you to direct your own life.
  2. Mastery: The pull to make progress and get better at something that matters.
  3. Purpose: The yearning to do what you want to do in the service of something greater than yourself.

Motivation 1.0

Motivation 1.0 presumed that humans were biological creatures, struggling to obtain our basic needs for food, security, and sex.

Sometimes we needed ways to restrain this drive–to prevent someone from stealing. And so in a feat of remarkable cultural engineering, we slowly replaced it with Motivation 2.0.


"Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives."



"For artists, scientists, inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us, intrinsic motivation-the drive to do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing-is essential for high levels of creativity."



"Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one's sights and pushing toward the horizon."


Motivation 3.0

"Motivation 2.0 presumed that humans also responded to rewards and punishments. That worked fine for routine tasks but incompatible with how we organize what we do, how we think about what we do, and how. we do what we do. We need an upgrade.

Motivation 3.0, the upgrade we now need, presumes that humans also have a drive to learn, to create, and to better the world.

Motivation 3.0 is intrinsic motivation.

daniel h pink

"Once we realize that the boundaries between work and play are artificial, we can take matters in hand and begin the difficult task of making life more livable."


Evolution of Motivation

Evolution of Motivation

Motivation 1.0 - Survival Instinct

Motivation 2.0 - Carrot and Stick Model

Motivation 3.0 - Intrinsic Motivation

Deadly Flaws of Carrots and Sticks

  1. They can extinguish intrinsic motivation.
  2. They can diminish performance.
  3. They can crush creativity.
  4. They can crowd out good behavior.
  5. They can encourage cheating, shortcuts, and unethical behavior.
  6. They can become addictive.
  7. They can foster short-term thinking.


“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.”


Type - I and Type - X

Type - I : Intrinsically motivated.

  • less concerned with external rewards.
  • more satisfied with the activity itself.

Type - X : Extrinsically motivated.

  • reaching for the external; material validation and satisfaction.

Type - I vs Type - X

  • Type I behavior is made, not born.
  • Type I’s almost always outperformed Type X’s in the long run.
  • Type I behavior does not disdain money or recognition. 
  • Type I behavior is a renewable resource.
  • Type I behavior promotes greater physical and mental well-being.

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