Motivation is a huge driving force behind our ability to get things done. If you’re not motivated to do something, you’re probably not going to stick with it for long (if at all). So how do you maintain motivation and really get things done?
In Drive, Dan Pink identifies three key sources of motivation:
1. Our biological desire to survive (‘animal’ desires)
2. External rewards and punishment (extrinsic motivation)
3. The enjoyment, satisfaction and challenge inherent in a task (intrinsic motivation)
Most efforts to motivate people focus on number two – people are rewarded for good work, punished for bad work. Pink suggests that number three should instead be the focus – we should look to maximise our intrinsic motivation.
In practice, this means identifying the aspects of a task that are inherently enjoyable, satisfying or challenging and then maximising those aspects to provide a sense of motivation.
The book really is a blueprint for maximising your own motivation — it includes tons of examples and specific tips for applying the ideas to your own life. Check out my post on how to avoid killing your enthusiasm for my own take on Pink’s ideas.