I hadn't had a chance to begin reading Daniel H. Pink's book today due to other activities that I have going on this summer until today. I was at work when it started raining hard and I had to come home. Finally having time to read the book, I picked it up and didn't stop reading it until now that I finished it.
The purpose of Pink's book is to present a new view on the topic of motivation. Although it might come as a surprise to some people to learn that external motivation isn't the best tool to coax a person into doing something, it makes sense to me that internal motivation is the better medium available. I had been contemplating this idea before, but after reading Drive, there is no doubt in my mind that a persons true motivation comes from within.
It makes sense that you would motivate yourself to do something as a result of interest rather than reward. The reason that I think this is true is that I think that there is more to life than waiting around for the next paycheck, or recognition for that matter. When I think about it, if people lived to enjoy their lives rather than worrying about superficial matters then the world would be more productive. Pink argues that this is true because we have an internal drive to be active rather than sit idly waiting for the world to pass us by. We all have share this. Even the monkeys that are presented to us in the introduction. They solved the puzzles for the simple joy of accomplishing the task, in a way this is self fulfillment, this is the same way that I have seen myself behaving. I do what I do because I enjoy it, not because I expect anyone to give me anything. I want to constantly push my limits to see what I can accomplish, however I don't do it for anyone's benefit but my own.
I agree that money is an important factor in life, but it's not the most important thing out there. I work during the summer, from six to five; the pay isn't that good, but I find myself working just to do something. Nothing feels better than coming back home from a long day at work to a cold shower, knowing that I have done something, the pay is a bonus. Honestly how many of you feel bored when you have nothing to do? Doing something should be it's own reward because it inhibits our life from becoming dull, like a knife that is never sharpened. Pink proposes that a person's salary should be able to meet that person's necessities and that that should be it, the employee must be left to enjoy their work. He even points out how companies that employ this tactic are developing at better rates than companies who remain stagnant in a changing world. When the world changes, different innovations arise to keep up with it, it seems that for the 21st century there won't be an innovation, simply more attention should be paid to something that we all have in ourselves, our internal motivation. Jobs are indeed changing, no longer are they boring, there are a lot of jobs out there that you can find pleasure in and it's these jobs that hold the key for prosperity because routine jobs can be condensed into a series of on and off signals which can be used to program machines to complete them. A robotic vacuum already exists, how long is it until a lawn mower can be programed to mow by itself? I don't think that it will take that long, but the one thing that no machine can replace is human ingenuity; the designers and innovators can't possibly be replaced because the brain is the best machine there is.
Pink makes an important point in voicing Mar Twain's opinion of turning play into work and vise-versa. Nobody likes to be told what to do (or at least i don't) and that is essentially what work is "you do this and I'll pay you" but what if we choose to find a job we appreciate and where we decide what we do?, then work would no longer seem like work and we regain control of our lives, something we all wish for. I myself wish to leave nothing to chance and cease whatever control I may. I don't want anybody trying to direct my life, standing over my shoulder, breathing down my neck, I hate it. It's the same way at any job, if your boss is constantly hassling you to do something, then you begin to resent him, but he's the one who pays you so you'll probably put up with what he throws your way hoping to get a raise, chances are you're probably miserable, meaning you won't do more than asked to. However, if your boss isn't a complete idiot, then you find yourself with more liberty and have viable options as to how to do something, and chose what method may please you, this environment allows for greater possibilities and that is why in the long run you will find yourself enjoying your job and maybe working overtime, not out of necessity, but by your own will. Truth is we all love going what we want whenever we want.
Throughout the beginning of the book Pink talks about our internal motivation then he reaches part two, where he talks about three elements for success in a work environment: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. Autonomy has to do with control and the ability to direct our own lives, mastery deals with becoming proficient at something, and is it's own reward, while purpose is what drives us to accomplish anything we desire. Of these three I value mastery the most. Why? Because I want it, my purpose is to attain it. According to Pink mastery is reached by being involved in something, by immersing yourself so deep in something that nothing else matters, by reaching a state of flow, that's when greatness is achieved. It takes time, dedication, and work to reach mastery, it is a hunt that is never finished because it always eludes the pursuer; but like any good hunter will tell you, it's the thrill of the chase that matters.