Motivation and being happy

a snoopy day at work.jpg

Cleaning out – uploading ‘stuff’

Unexpectedly a couple of links to TED talks.

For some reason, I made notes about these on a plane… maybe they’ll make someone who hasn’t seen them, watch them.

Daniel Pink

(‘In the C20th…Management did not emanate from nature… somebody invented it. And it doesn’t mean its going to work forever…’)

Intrinsic motivation:

The desire to do things because they matter, because we like it, because because they’re interesting, they’re part of something important

Fedex time, 20% Time – the results only work environment

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose the building blocks of a new way of doing things.

Traditional notions of management are great if you want compliance. But if you want engagement, self-direction works better.

Think again about motivation – they don’t always work for every task.

3 Conclusions

1. 20th C rewards “if then” motivators we think are natural do work, but only in a surprisingly narrow band of circumstances
2. If…then rewards often destroy creativity
3. The secret to high performance isn’t rewards and punishments but that unseen intrinsic drive the drive to do things for their own sake, because they matter.

Alain de Botton

Happiness – A kinder, gentler philosophy of success (a lot of ideas and some deep implications packed in here!!):

Easy to get a good job, very hard to be happy.

Not necessarily materialistic – society has pegged emotional rewards to acquisition of material things – we crave the emotional reward


Meritocracy a ridiculous idea if you take it to its extremes self help books – you can do it – but any position in life becomes purely a result of merit – “an unfortunate” vs ” a loser” 400 years of evolution – who’s responsible for our lives? but too many random factors

envy (dominant emotion in modern society?) driven by equality – they’re just like me – when you can’t relate to somebody, you don’t envy them

Made to feel by media etc that likelihood of becoming Bill Gates is much greater than acceding to the French Aristocracy

A real correlation between a society that tells people they can do anything and the existence of low self esteem

Fear of ridicule linked to a lack of understanding/appreciation learning from Tragedy – Hamlet is not a ‘loser’ but he has lost

Lack of anything transcendent at the core of our lives, for the first time…

You can’t be successful at everything…

Definition of success (where does it come from? Are they our own?) Any vision of success has to admit where the element of loss is

Don’t give up on visions of success – interrogate them and own them.