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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Sticks and stones may break our bones, but do they motivate us?

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My second to last book to read at Proakatemia was Daniel Pink´s Drive. The book is about motivation and basically discusses the different types of thinking in order to be motivated.

Pink describes three different motivational theories in this book. As the human species has developed, new motivational theories have arisen. Back in the day, when everything that we did was done in order to survive, motivation had a very different kind of meaning in our lives. According to the book, motivation that is based solely on survival and reproduction is called motivation 1.0.

Motivation 2.0 is what Pink describes as an if-then kind of motivation. What this means is that the motivation is based on a reward or some other type of price. “If you make a hundred t-shirts, you will get paid 200 euros” – this type of motivation is motivation 2.0. It also works in the other direction. If you don’t make a hundred t-shirts, you will get fired. Basically, the motivation to do the task is based on extrinsic motivation. Pink refers to this type of motivation also as carrots and sticks. Carrots being the award and sticks being the punishment.

According to Pink, people used to think that motivation was solely based on the if-then type of motivational theory. Some psychologists started to study reasons why we are motivated as they figured out that the motivation 2.0 was not always a suitable reason for motivation.

Motivation 3.0 is an advanced motivational theory. In motivation 3.0 the primary reasons for motivation are intrinsic. This means that the reasons for doing something are based usually on something other than carrots and sticks. According to Pink, people are nowadays more creative and therefor can be motivated for also other reasons than rewards and punishments. In the book, Pink describes motivation 3.0 as todays motivational theory. Motivation 3.0 consists of three different elements: autonomy, mastery and purpose. According to Pink, these are the things that drive people to do things after the basic needs are met.

In my opinion, most of the stuff that I do, I get my motivation from something other than the reward. Of course sometimes, like Pink mentions in the book, if the task is simple and requires very little autonomy, the reward is the reason why I am motivated. But I would still say that most of my motivation comes from intrinsic reasons. I think this should be the way everyone gets motivated today, as the tasks and work that we today are largely dependent on our creativity. I think every member of Jumble should take into practice the tips and knowledge that Pink communicates in the book.

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