Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates us – A Relook

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates us
Cover Page of Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates us by Daniel H Pink

I finished reading Daniel H Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us today and it is one of the best books that takes a reasoned re-look at the existing theories on what motivates humans to do what they do. I recommend it to not just those who are looking for a book on effective strategies to get motivated but also to others who are interested in human psychology.

In short, the book says that the old ideas of Carrot and Stick, of punishment and reward is a defunct system and is not suitable for this era and this age. Instead, he suggests that human beings are primarily looking for Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose once basic monetary benefits are met. Having a iron-fisted control over the work atmosphere is only going to hamper productivity according to Pink. He gives many examples including Google, Wikipedia and another company called Atlassian.

I reproduce here one of the effective methods mentioned in the book, which will take us closer to mastery over our subject of interest. It is to be borne in mind that, as the author notes in the book, mastery is an asymptote – the line and the curve only approach each other, they never meet.

Move 5 Steps Closer to Mastery

  • Deliberate practice is the key to mastery.
  • It is a life-long period of effort to improve performance in a specific domain.
  • Deliberate Practice is much more purposeful, focussed, and painful.
  • Following methods might help in approaching mastery –
    1. Remember that Deliberate Practice has only one objective – To Improve Performance.
      • Do not let it be a mindless repetition of previous practice sessions.
      • Change your performance, set new goals, strain yourself to reach a bit higher each time.
    2. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
    3. Seek constant, critical feedback.
    4. Focus ruthlessly on where you need help.
    5. Prepare for the process to be mentally and physically exhausting.


P.S. – Who said Mastery is easy?



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