Drive – the surprising truth about what motivates us #writing

When we start out in life, we have amazing clarity on what we want to be. Perhaps we want to be a nurse, or a vet, or a firefighter. These simple needs or aspirations that we feel as a child can be forgotten as we grow up, and we lose sight of our deepest sense of purpose. Not everyone can, should, or will be as an adult, the thing they wanted to be as a child. But it is worth exploring this early career ideal though, because it is often surprisingly close to what we want and need as an adult.

This is an old video now, and I first watched it when it came out several years ago.

The concepts explained in this video remain true, and there is a surprising truth about what motivates us.

So, the surprising thing about motivation, is that it is only loosely related to money. We need ‘enough’ money, and once we have enough, our motivation shifts to a different level.

I spend anywhere from 10 hours upwards working on writing in my spare time, many weeks it can be as high as 20 hours. I am not alone in this, and my previous survey confirmed that many of my blog readers, just like me, can spend many hours a week working on their writing projects, with little or no monetary reward.

So why do we do this? Why use our precious time on something that pays so poorly, if it pays at all?

It all comes down to the three pillars of motivation.

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose.

These are the things we want and crave. These are the things that get us out of bed in the morning, and keep us tapping away at our keyboards late into the night.

Autonomy: This is about the freedom to choose within the bounds of interdependence. In other words, given a set goal or objective, having the freedom to decide for ourselves how best to achieve this can prove to be powerful both to our performance and our overall wellness.

Master: We want to improve. This really is the bottom line. Find me a writer who has just written a great book, who doesn’t want to write an even better one next time – enough said.

Purpose: This is our energy, and is derived by connecting our conquest to our higher purpose. Living your life purpose might sound like a cliche, but if we know what our life purpose is, and we can find a way to make it a part of our working or home life, then we are well on the way to living a happy, fulfilled life.

For more on the subject see The Three Pillars of Motivation

For more on finding your life purpose see How to find your life purpose

I will leave you with a thought and a question. What did you want to be when you were a child, and does it relate at all to what you are doing now? Can you see any connection between what you love doing now, and what your childhood aspirations were?

15 questions to reveal your ultimate purpose in life

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12 thoughts on “Drive – the surprising truth about what motivates us #writing

  1. As a young child I liked the drama in the doctor shows on TV. This made me think I wanted to be a doctor, in spite of the fact I didn’t like being around sick people! I used to write my own doctor stories in sketchbooks my gran bought for me; I also wrote mountaineering stories, adventure stories and space travel stories. So, did I really want to be a doctor, or did I want to be a writer?
    I’m going to give that quiz a go now…

    Liked by 1 person

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