photo by raceytay
My husband is reading a book that interests me: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, written by Daniel Pink. Pink became well known for "A Whole New Mind," his 2005 best-selling book in which he made the bold statement that right-brainers -- people who are strong in qualities such as empathy, storytelling and inventiveness -- will rule the future. So, naturally, I like the way he thinks!
The introduction explains the meaning behind the title “Drive.” The first drive is biological. It is the most basic and primitive and includes the need for food, drink, shelter and basic survival. The second drive is more external; reward and punishment. This is where psychologists, managers and parents have spent most of their time. But then, when a group of monkeys started playing with puzzles with enjoyment and focus, scientists realized that there might be another drive in all of us. This third drive is focused on the pure joy of performing the task. Pink explores all the different ways that this third drive expresses itself and the results both people and organizations achieved when they opened themselves up to this third drive.
earrings by Markhed
I’ve been thinking long and hard about the case he makes that if you get stuck seeking short term rewards you can extinguish your internal motivation, ie, the joy of working. In his list of the flaws of short term rewards, Pink includes that they can crush creativity and that they can become addictive.
Selling is a short term reward on Etsy. Our number count goes up, we get a short feature on Pounce. There is a momentary high. Making the Front Page is a short term reward. Having one’s treasury make the Front Page is a short term reward. Each produces a feeling of accomplishment, of exhilaration. While I'm not leaping to the conclusion that we need 12 step support groups for treasury and front page addicts, I am asking myself if the joy of creating my pottery is still greater than the thrill of seeing the image of it on Etsy’s front page. I also monitor for myself how much custom order work, which is inherently less creative, is okay for me to take before the actual fun gets sucked out and replaced by my sales +1. Now that creative types are predicted to rule the future, I don’t want to miss my chance! I’ve started experimenting with new glazes in the middle of the holiday sales blitz just to keep my priorities straight.
ring by onegarnetgirl
Are you having fun today?
by Lee Wolfe/ OneClayBead