Motivation has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Sure money matters, but not too much. A few times I’ve been offered a job that I didn’t much want to do. Rather than saying no (What if they never ask me again?) I’d light on some random figure, usually two or three times the going rate, and gaily offer them that. If they did accept, which some did, the job was never any more satisfying.1 And now I bloody well had to do it.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past year as I’ve tried, with some great help, to work out what I like to do and why. You might say then that I was fertile ground for Dan Pink’s seeds of wisdom. He gave a Tedtalk on motivation. Watch it, and see if you don’t agree with him.
Autonomy, mastery and purpose are the things that make life and work enchanting.
That’s why I bake and cook. That’s why I futz around with the internet. That’s why I do almost everything I love to do. That’s why I garden. That’s why I write, and talk.
While watching Pink’s presentation I confess I had no idea who he was. Now that I know, it hasn’t affected the impression his talk made on me. The trick now would be either to act, or to hope against hope that other people see it (or this) and that they act.
Strange, but I never tried the same trick with a job I did fancy doing. What if they never ask me again? ↩