Motivation: Daniel Pink

My co-workers and I discuss motivation of our students on a daily basis. So-and-So is simply unmotivated…if only he would find his motivation, he’s smart enough to pass, etc. We

teachers agree that we cannot give our students motivation. We can only inspire. But that’s often not enough.


Everyone has experienced the lack of motivation to create or pursue a dream. What is it that creates the “click”? The decision to act and work toward a goal?

Daniel Pink of Drive asserts that our businesses are operating under an outdated and unproductive system of carrots and sticks. Bonuses simply do not work long-term. What works, then? His research shows that there are 3 essential elements for enhancing motivation:

  1. Autonomy – “the desire to direct our own lives”
  2. Mastery – “the urge to make progress and get better at something that matters” and
  3. Purpose – “the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

Essentially, extrinsic motivators do not work. Treats or rewards for good grades, reading books, practicing piano…they can actually undermine intrinsic desires.

Tomorrow, I will cover the first of nine strategies Daniel Pink identifies to awaken your motivation.












2 thoughts on “Motivation: Daniel Pink

  1. Great article, also checkout Daniel Pink’s interview on the AoC Podcast, he gives a lot of tips about this, it’s been really helpful for me.


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