The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Once the task called for even rudimentary cognitive skill, a higher reward led to poorer performance.


This week’s lesson is so important I wanted to do something special. I thought it would be neat to write this week’s post longhand…on paper…you know, like we did back in elementary school. But after significant number crunching (and evaluating my own penmanship) I realized that wouldn’t help anyone.

Then I thought I would just point you to the book I read last year and trust that you would all run out, buy it and read it. Then I laughed and laughed and laughed. (Seriously, people. I thought I was going to spew my milk.) Do people even read anything but Facebook and Twitter anymore? Half of you haven’t even read this far because it’s more than 140 characters. So book reading was out.

Then I remembered I have a 3-year-old at home. And he likes reading books. Short books. With lots of pictures. In fact, he doesn’t even care about the words. He wants to see the pictures and he wants daddy to explain the pictures again and again and again. And really, have we evolved that much beyond our 3-year-old selves? Sure, we eat with utensils and use correct verb conjugations, but really, don’t we still wish all our books were filled with bucket loads of awesome pictures? Of course we do.

So hat tip to Thomas Maddox for sending me the equivalent experience for Daniel H. Pink’s 2009 book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us. (Aside: Kind of wish you had sent this to me before I read the book. That would have saved me some time.)

So sit back and relax because today we’re having a special audio/visual experience. That’s right! I’ve dusted off the old internet film projector (aka the YouTubes) and greased up the Internet cables. Put on your headphones, crank up the volume, and enjoy not looking at boring spreadsheets for the next few minutes.

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

(The video is only 10 minutes, and I just saved you from reading a whole book with no pictures. I’ll be receiving “thank you’s” and “atta boys” in the foyer after the show.)

Lesson of the Day: Being too busy is the best way to stop growing. Twenty-three percent of you won’t watch the video because you’re too busy. Don’t stop growing.

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