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What really motivates us?

Does money motivate people? If you pay people more money, will they really work harder? Or are there other, better motivators?

The Federal Reserve did a study to find out how money motivates people, and the results may surprise you. In this lively video, Dan Pink discusses the conclusions of this study, and illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.

RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

asked 07 Feb '11, 00:32

Vesuvius's gravatar image


What really motivates us..

I would say anything that gives me pleasure to be honest.

If something gives me any joy or enjoyment or happiness then im motivated by it.

Unfortunately im not motivated by any particular high ideals or a sense of civic duty .

Being a fairly selfish ( and honest ) person i would have to confess that a good meal,a G and T, a Ferrari F40 or a Linssen motor yacht would do it for me.

NOT because of the physical nature of the things in themselves but rather the feelings,the joy,contentment that they would, and do give me.

Now that doesnt mean i cant be sharer or a giver or a helper to others.But my main motivation is my own enjoyment and life experience.I hope others benefit in some way to,but i would be a hypocrit if i said it was motivated by other peoples wants and needs.


This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 07 Feb '11, 10:09

Monty%20Riviera's gravatar image

Monty Riviera

This is a really valid question as I am ''motivated'' to chime in, while money is widely known as a prime motivator in this system/society, it is simply a means to an end, and working with conscious creation, it is no doubt one of the most sought after things we want to manifest into our physical reality, just one of them mind you, others are being in a loving relationship/soul mate, having a rewarding career/owning a business, and achieving perfect health/fitness, as the list goes on. The real question we would ask ourselves is what all of these things that we really and truly want, represent to us? happiness, joy, relief, and expansion, the pursuit of happiness, and that's the answer, we're here to play this game of life, to create desires and more desires through contrast. We may THINK that certain things will make us happy [material wealth/possessions] and they can, but only temporarily until the ''high'' wears off and we move on to something bigger and better [expansion] and as long as there is contrast, and there will be, it never gets completed, we'll never get this done. The soul is always seeking expansion through us, and when we see something we want in our physical, outer reality, we almost immediately go after it because we'll believe that when we get that thing we truly want, we'll feel better and be much happier, and that's the prime motivator, the joy/happiness, not the physical/material thing, it's our perceptions at play here, in this physical experience, hence, we'll go after these physical things. If you look at all of this from the perspective of what higher self wants, [the bigger you] which resides in non-judgment and pure joy, the prime motivator would be continuous alignment, and it should be, because alignment brings you everything you want anyway, and eventually some of us will get bored with the accumulation of material things, and reach for a much bigger motivator, joy and expansion, through continuous alignment.


answered 11 Jun '15, 18:51

Kreatr's gravatar image


I appreciate the depth of your answer @Kreatr but I feel there's something missing ... you speak of happiness and I know this may seem dumb but I'd like to know your definition of "happiness"

(12 Jun '15, 00:16) jaz

@Kreatr to be more precise ... happiness is on the emotional scale ranging between joy and fear and it's labeled as a positive emotion ... do you think it's a good representation or is there more to it than meets the eye?

(12 Jun '15, 01:36) jaz

I use the term happiness in a general public sense, but yes there is much more to it, reaching the level of pure joy, but it's not always easy to maintain constantly so even being generally happy is good.

(12 Jun '15, 17:35) Kreatr

My definition of happiness is just being in a relaxed state of allowing, being okay with everything, and from there I can easily jump to joy by feeling appreciation and I'll milk it as long as possible.

(12 Jun '15, 17:40) Kreatr

I used to use the E.G.S. [printed copy] some time ago to gauge my emotions, but now I can move up the scale rather quickly without the printed copy no matter where I'm at, naturally, and happiness is my jumping point, but that's me, it's different with everybody.

(12 Jun '15, 17:47) Kreatr

One final note if I may, happiness can mean different things to different people, we are all living in these physical bodies, and living in this physical reality, constant pure joy can be a tall order, but just being happy is still a good place to be, scale or no scale.

(12 Jun '15, 22:16) Kreatr

Consider this; energy is neutral, (for want of a better term), it just "is". Emotion (feelings) are energy, joy for example can easily be distinguished from unhappy, boredom etc; conclusion each emotion has a specific signature and all emotions are neutral, neither positive nor negative

(13 Jun '15, 00:55) jaz
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Shhhh, capitalism is about to come into the truth...SUPRISE!

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answered 07 Feb '11, 02:20

Constantine's gravatar image


So what is the surprising truth about what motivates us?

Everything I do is always a feeling I really want.

Whatever I say I want, the thing I wish for is just an imagined pathway into the feelings I really want and the feeling I always want ultimately is happiness.

And there's more, it goes deeper.

It's not just happiness that's the hidden motivation behind everything on my list of wants and desires.

I have a daily routine and I have large chunks of time to do other things, opportunities to play, explore, express myself creatively. Now here's the fascinating thing few people realize ... I love watching certain tv game shows but why do I love it, what does it give me?

It's all about "inner experiences"

In the tv games people say things, talk to each other but that's not what I care about ... what I really care about are the feelings I experience while the actions take place ... what I see on tv is just a trigger an "on switch" for the feelings I really want to experience inside myself.

It's all about feelings.

Take away the feelings and all the fun and pleasure disappears. So the hidden motivation for getting everything on my list of what I want to change, fix, improve, create or experience in my life ... is ultimately to feel happiness.

And the hidden motivation for all the things I do to play, explore and express myself creatively is to ... experience a wide variety of feelings.

Text largely gleaned from the following video produced by Robert Scheinfeld


answered 11 Jun '15, 04:59

jaz's gravatar image


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