Sunday, February 6, 2011

Work and Motivation

If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.  ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book

I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.  ~Joe Walsh

Today Stephen and I had a teacher training and I started thinking about how much work life is.  I realized that I could be much happier if I stopped complaining so much about the work I have to do, and just took the time to enjoy the work I have to do.

Really, there is always some element of work that can be enjoyed.  Life would be so boring if we didn't have any work to do.  It's satisfying to be able to accomplish something.  

I recently read the beginning of a book called Drive.  It was really interesting.  It talked a lot about the open source software movement, and organizations that are somewhere between non-profit and for profit businesses, that have a main goal of helping people, with the added bonus of making a little money on the side.  It highlighted how this is completely in contrast to the traditional view of motivation that says that humans should be motivated by rewards and punishment, or biological needs.  This shows that there is actually a deeper and less rational motivation for people that is internal.  This is the motivation that breeds creativity.  Actually, it was really interesting because this book notes that putting external rewards or incentives on something that people are internally motivated to do actually lessens their performance.

So thinking about these two things I decided that instead of being overwhelmed by all the work I have to do I should just work hard and do the best I can, and know that that is enough.  

Really life is wonderful, and as the quote says in the beginning:  I can't complain.  :)


  1. Jared and I talk about this every once in a while. Just yesterday Jared was saying how a house is a lot of work and he'd rather rent. Oh the horror to my ears! Anyway. Lately I've been putting this into practice in my life. Instead of finding things to complain about, fix things that don't work for me and learn to say no.

  2. I liked this post about the motivations we have and how external rewards can actually lessen our performance. I find that in my math classes: going for the grade is so degrading (no pun intended), but studying for the fun of it, I end up learning a great deal less. Perhaps focusing on the enjoyment and not on the grade then is how to study more effectively. Sidenote: Studying to teach and share with others is great deal more motivating as well.