Daniel Pink on Incentives and the Two Types of Motivation
There are many examples of scandals, and scams, like managers tweaking their reports to show better results, or athletes using steroids. These shortcuts do not work in the long run. If we are having a spark of intrinsic motivation, the reward is the work itself, and there can be no shortcuts if we love our work.
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When we know that our work will make a difference to someone else, it makes us work harder.
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When Ivan Pavlov and his dogs led to the discovery of learned behaviour through repeated exposure, and Edward Thorndike discovered the Law of Effect that stated that rewarded behaviours tended to increase, many psychologists were impelled to separate psychology from armchair introspection and formulated their theories as mathematical formulas.
Donald Hebb realised that existing theories were too focused on reacting to the immediate environment. Thoughts, ideas and goals could be just as strong for triggering action as sights and sounds.
Together with John Atkinson, they noted that the study of motivation had undergone a "paradigm shift", where motivation couldn't be seen as how actions get started, but how the organism decides to change its behaviour from one thing to another.
Every choice has a price, but when we are motivated, it is easier to bear the inconvenience of action than the pain of remaining the same.
In other words, at some point, it becomes more...
Motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Getting started, even in very small ways, is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces momentum.
Newton’s First Law applied to habit formation: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
Once a task has begun, it is easier to continue moving it forward. In other words, it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it in the first place.