What motivates us at work? More than money. “When we think about how people work, the naïve intuition we have is that people are like rats in a maze,” says behavioral economist Dan Ariely (TED Talk: What makes us feel good about our work?)
“We really have this incredibly simplistic view of why people work and what the labor market looks like.” Instead, when you look carefully at the way people work, he says, you find out there’s a lot more at play — and at stake — than money. Ariely provides evidence that we are also driven by the meaningfulness of our work, by others’ acknowledgement — and by the amount of effort we’ve put in: the harder the task is, the prouder we are. “When we think about labor, we usually think about motivation and payment as the same thing, but the reality is that we should probably add all kinds of things to it: meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identity, pride, etc.,” Ariely says. Uber's Labor-Free Fantasy Won't Last Forever. The Most Important Question of Your Life. Everybody wants what feels good.
Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room. Everyone would like that — it’s easy to like that. If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” And you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything. A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence — but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. Because happiness requires struggle. Screw Finding Your Passion.
Remember back when you were a kid?
You would just do things. You never thought to yourself, “What are the relative merits of learning baseball versus football?” You just ran around the playground and played baseball and football. You built sand castles and played tag and asked silly questions and looked for bugs and dug up grass and pretended you were a sewer monster. Nobody told you to do it, you just did it. And the beautiful thing was, if you hated baseball, you just stopped playing it. And if you loved looking for bugs, you just did that. There was no bullshit. Today I received approximately the 11,504th email this year from a person telling me that they don’t know what to do with their life. And of course, I didn’t respond. But more importantly, what I want to say to these people is this: that’s the whole point — “not knowing” is the whole fucking point. The common complaint among a lot of these people is that they need to ‘find their passion.’ I call bullshit. Workaway.info the site for free work exchange. Gap year volunteer for food and accommodation whilst travelling abroad.
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