What really motivates you?

17 Jun

I’d like to share this animated video of a talk given by Daniel H. Pink based on his NY Times best-selling book – ‘Drive’. Quite remarkable; you just have to see it!

It’s been described as a ‘paradigm-shattering’ look at what really motivates us and how we can use that knowledge to work smarter and live better. 

The secret to high performance and satisfaction is actually a simple concept but long overlooked by our work culture. It was thought (and taught) that the best way to motivate individuals is with external rewards like money – the well-known carrot & stick approach. Pink explains why this thinking is outdated and reveals the three elements of true motivation (i.e. MAP):

  • Mastery – the urge to get better at something that matters.
  • Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives.
  • Purpose – the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.


An extract from Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

“We know that human beings are not merely smaller, slower, better-smelling horses galloping after that day’s carrot. We know – if we’ve spent time with young children or remember ourselves at our best – that we are not destined to be passive and compliant, but designed to be active and engaged. And we know that the richest experiences in our lives aren’t when we’re clamoring for validation from others, but when we’re listening to our own voice – doing something that matters, doing it well, and doing it in the service of a cause greater than ourselves”. (Daniel Pink)


**The visual recording technique from the video, known as ‘scribing’, is courtesy of Cognitive Media.


So what do you think? Are you doing what really motivates you? Have you found your MAP? 


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2 Responses to “What really motivates you?”

  1. Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha August 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    This is amazing. It resonates with me certainly. Unfortuntaley, I have been in working environments where the money is regarded as the higher principle. I think the money principle is overrated. But its the purpose that really matters.

    • Atticus August 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

      I agree, it should resonate well with all of us. But sadly we’ve become too accustomed to being interchangeable cogs in the proverbial wheel, where money oils the operation.

      This may explain why job satisfaction levels are at an all time low and a key factor in stress related ailments.

      Purpose adds a refreshing perspective to what otherwise would be a meaningless pursuit.

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