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Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It's the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be. Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward. Cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff looks at happiness -- the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it's untethered to our real circumstances, and its surprising effect on our bodies. When are humans most happy? To gather data on this question, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the surprising results: We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be. (Filmed at TEDxCambridge.) Does Money Really Affect Motivation? This article reviews the research. This article is titled The Top 9 Things That Ultimately Motivate Employees to Achieve. This lively RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.
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