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The surprising truth about what motivates us

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This lesson illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace. You'll be surprised, no doubt -- but watch out! You might find that your motivations are misplaced.

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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.
Avatar for Nicolas Putnam
Not everyone has a strong sense of direction or motivation. For instance, my father gains motivation by improving on his skills, but my mother (who I mostly take after) needs other people's positive feedback to drive her motivation.
09/27/2014 • 
 4 Responses
 / 4 Updates
Avatar for Bruce Newcomer
Bruce Newcomer • Fredericksburg, VA, United States • LESSON IN PROGRESS
Charlie Harayz's presentation on motivation was for businesses and businesspeople. However, much of what Hararyz discussed applies to American education as well. We often hear how our schools would perform so much better if private businesses were allowed to manage the schools. If this is the case, shouldn't corporate America first figure out what to do with its own systems of rewards and incentives?
03/30/2014 • 
 2 Responses
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Avatar for katherine parsons
So, is this stuff just wishful thinking or could this become a reality in your organisation? If not, what's stopping it- really?
02/27/2014 • 
 7 Responses
 / 7 Updates
Avatar for David Chester
David Chester • Petach Tikva, Israel • LESSON IN PROGRESS
What motivates is not simply the mechanical ability and financial reward, but the ethical value in the results. This list is somewhat more complicated and detailed than the two motivations given in the lesson! This is how I classified it. No, Inspiration--Description of the Developed (Logical or Intuitive) Motivation 1. Due to frustration. For vengeance – taking revenge against someone or something as the result of hatred. 2. As an escape or distraction from danger, fear, pain, anger, great embarrassment, despair or boredom– by supplying a service, without the provider having a good reason for doing it (by his/her masochistically, slavishly or blindly following the demands of a leader or of a situation) and unequivocally accepting whatever motivations are implied– alternatively in extreme cases, by committing suicide. 3. From selfish desires, by seeking personal benefit. For reasons of pride – so as to obtain due recognition of ability or talent, by means of a demonstration of it to oneself and to others. 4. For the sensation provided--of answering curiosity, getting a thrill or sense of adventure, for the love of the action or the pleasure experienced by its execution. This includes the healthy aspects of the associated physical activity, felt or known to be present. 5. For individual (material-property or social-position) benefit, both work-related activities and ego-building in general--the planning, fabrication and distribution of goods items or the supply of services having commercial value. It includes the organization of employees and the control of and payment for their activities. 6. For "soul-status" – with the optimistic belief that the activity will enable the doer to obtain a better place in an after-life. Logically this consists of the voluntary acceptance of social responsibility for doing good deeds, to transfer credit into a Heavenly account. To give practical help to others, and by the adoption of a compassionate non-materialistic or idealistic style of contribution. 7. As an expression of love or deep affection for someone, where the associated actions and their results are shared-- in many cases, this includes the conception and raising of children, thereby establishing a beneficial connection with posterity. 8. By the search for universal knowledge – to meet the need for the discovery/disclosure of scientific or technical facts and their greater understanding, with the intention of making the practical applications of these findings possible or easier to use. 9. By discussion of developing theories and common experiences-- for the subsequent spread of knowledge and technique, by teaching and the use of educational programs. 10. To provide social justice and for its means, by making some order and improvement to the world, by the conscious giving of ones time, money, energy, skill and intellect, for the benefit of neighbors, community and even for an enemy. 11. As a sign of religious faith, by spiritual identification. To glorify God, by religious observance.-- This includes the reciting with sincerity of various prayers, performing charitable deeds, joyful celebrations (feasting, singing, dancing, music, and generally showing happiness), the fabrication and use of well-illustrated books (for children), decorated articles of religious use, communal gatherings in elaborate or beautified prayer places etc.
12/30/2013 • 
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Avatar for David Chester
David Chester • Petach Tikva, Israel • LESSON IN PROGRESS
Man seeks to satisfy his desires with the least exertion. But his desires are without limit! This does not mean that laziness and greed comprise his nature, but that the motivations in economics have the "mechanical" properties of the talk. So what is presented here are the nice to have additional features of a games-player whose material wants are already met. Such people are very few and the most that can be done to encourage them is to give them some small time allowance to think freely.
12/30/2013 • 
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Avatar for Diana Ostroumova
Daniel Pink argues convincingly that in the information age behavioral motivation system, based only on the remuneration for results, became not only useless, but also in many cases directly harms both employees and the company. But how then to motivate staff to achieve goals and to win the competition? We need to focus on the natural aspiration of every human excellence, skill and independence and to hire only those people who have strong internal motivation. You come to work on time, listen to superiors, pants sit at the meetings? Get Award! You're late? The dispute with the director? Not his tie? Get a penalty! Carrot and stick. What could be safer for the employees' motivation? Daniel Pink in his video turns everything upside down.
10/23/2015 • 
 7 Responses
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Avatar for Trenton Nalepa
Trenton Nalepa
The talk starts off talking about behavior and how to get more of the behavior you want out of people. As we talked about in class it is found that to get more of a specific behavior out of someone give them a reward for their good behavior instead of punishing them for poor behavior. In the ted talks study punishment proved to not work, but reward doesn't quite work either. Reward works for simple mechanical task, yet when you try and reward people for cognitive, creative thinking it proves ineffective. Instead if you want people to perform better doing cognitive, creative tasks its better to allow people the freedom to go about that task their own way instead of directing them.
11/18/2015 • 
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Avatar for amanda gibson
amanda gibson
The economy should pay by performers . Yes I understand volunteers help build skills and accomplishment . Wellingness to participate and understanding is the best tools to succeed. Opening doors to success is willingness to complete with thriving drive yourself on your career choice.
05/18/2016 • 
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Avatar for kabilan kanesarajah
it starts with asking question about whether rewards are always motivate people. The answer is no because the research by MIT shows that if the task is related to mechanical skills, higher you pay, better performance. if it is related to rudimentary cognitive skills, rewards do not work. it depends on three basic elements such as Autonomy, Mastery and purpose. the basic ideology for everything is we have to treat human as human.
02/13/2017 • 
 1 Response
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Avatar for Angela Trice
Angela Trice
05/18/2017 • 
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Avatar for Wenceslao Morales
Wenceslao Morales
if you find something you like you will go all the way even learning more infomation on the study and learning new tech ways of learning stuff
10/04/2017 • 
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