One of the foundational threads of advice throughout all the art courses I’ve taken is to add details “for interest.” I’ve noticed that small brush strokes here and there add a lot to the piece.
Everything I’ve done based on my “interests” has borne great fruits: teaching, relationships, art, spiritual growth, and writing. When I pursued activities or work based on anything other than an authentic engagement, it never worked out.
“Interest,” it turns out, is essential to true joy.
After identifying your “flow” activities and optimal times, Daniel Pink suggests strategy #2:
Ask a Big Question
Clare Boothe Luce (one of the first women to serve in Congress) advised John F. Kennedy to create his sentence. For example, Abe Lincoln: “He preserved the Union and freed slaves.”
One way to focus your life to serve a greater purpose is to create your sentence.
“He raised four kids who became happy and health adults,” is one example.
Or, “She taught two generations of children how to read.” (Drive, pg. 155).
What is your sentence?
Tip #1 of 9 for Awakening Your Motivation: Give Yourself a Flow Test
In flow, people live “so deeply in the moment, and feel so utterly in control, that their sense of time, place, and even self melt away.”
If you haven’t identified what kind of activities engage you in this way, Pink suggests you set a timer for several random times throughout the day. When it goes off, record what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. You’ll soon find your “flow.”
This exercise can help you determine your optimal time of work and the “true source of your intrinsic motivation”!
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Daniel Pink of Drive asserts that our businesses are operating under an outdated and unproductive system of carrots and sticks.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:
- Autonomy – “the desire to direct our own lives”
- Mastery – “the urge to make progress and get better at something that matters” and
- 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.