Thursday, August 25, 2011

Motivation? Purpose?

Many of us are having a hard time thinking about our Senior Project. Some of us, at least in my case, the main concern is answering: What motivates you? Do we have internal motivation, or do we only have external motivation? Is there a purpose for what motivates us?

This summer we were assigned to read Drive by Daniel H. Pink. It caught me off guard when he would explain how many of us where influenced in our every day life; giving us examples of how people coped at work when giving money or incentives. This summer I got "a real job" per-say. I finally did something out of my comfort zone (baby-sitting), and got a different job, at the New Flea Market (making copies of keys). My first day went well, my boss had given me my cut for the day plus a bonus. On my first day of work! I asked him why? And his response was, "you did very well and many costumers came by, and you made me big bucks!" I was flabbergasted, I wasn't expecting to get a bonus, specially not on my first day of work. Nevertheless, on my second day of work I was smiling all day, being nice to all the people that came by to get keys, I wanted my bonus again! I was only disappointed, at the end of the day when I didn't get that bonus. I went home that afternoon, and Drive came to me. What was my purpose and goal for the day? It was to get that monetary reward as I'd gotten the first time. My motivation? Money! Was I really happy with the outcome? Of course not! I did the same work as the day before, maybe a little more, trying to literally sell myself of with my good behavior, but at the end of the day, I didn't get that monetary reward.

Do I regret it? No. I personally think it made me a better employee. I do wish I would get that monetary reward more often, for I do bring plenty of costumers, but it makes me work harder. Like psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi told Daniel H. Pink, "Purpose provides activation energy for living"(134). In my case, the monetary incentive provided me with energy to do well on my job and get that incentive once again; it was that external motivation that made me pursue that joy I felt when I got my bonus.

I know that many of us are the same way. We let external components in our life change the way we accomplish our work, either in school or at our job. This year, our Senior year, should be based primarily on internal motivation. Pleasing ourselves with what we have accomplished this year. Stop trying to please others, and step up and let Motivation 3.0 take upon us, and make sure the purpose of this project and this year be to better ourselves and accomplish our hopes and dreams; which YOU only know what those are.

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