Daniel Pink Explains Drive 2.0: What Motivates Humans?

What is the force behind people who work hard (and love what they do)?

Have you ever wondered why you work so hard?

If you are lucky enough to love what you do, and all the crazy hours and sacrifices you make, have you considered what are the really big reasons that make you keep up the insane pace of work?

Daniel Pink offers a book (on The New York Times Best Seller List) Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,  and a Ted Talk (20 million views) with his insight. 

The Trio of Drivers in our work

I learned a lot from his book.  Like the word ‘manager’ really does not make sense when you are working with people who have the internal drive and are motivated by what Pink describes as Motivation 2.0

You know a book has an impact on you when you can see the world a little differently.  When the author helps you develop a mental model of one part of our complex world in which we live.

Drive helped me develop a mental model of what makes us and others ‘tick’, get out of bed, spend most of our waking hours at work and away from some pretty attractive alternative options.

Here is how I apply to myself the trio that Pink offers:

Purpose: I do what I love and what I believe in,  despite insane hours at times. Working to be a good doctor and teacher.  I have had great doctors and professors teach me (leads to a happy ending) and not so good doctors and professors take care of me and my family (not a happy ending).

Mastery: I want to achieve and maintain mastery of what I do so I can be sure my patients get the best care. Although Mastery is a personal goal (for me), sucess for my patients and my students is a team sport.

Autonomy: I want to do my work in the areas that I can master, enjoy and which have deep meaning.  This last dimension, autonomy, is the hardest to find.  Autonomy is elusive in healthcare (it’s complicated).   The lack of autonomy for many people who work with great sacrifice is one of the reasons we see burn out.

The perfect balance of Purpose, Mastery, Autonomy is difficult to achieve.  The proportions of these three ingredients shift over time and for many reasons, often beyond our control. Knowing how to reflect and where to focus our thinking and action across the trio that drives us, gives us a head start on seeing meaning and joy in our life.

Thanks for visiting.


The Puzzle of Motivation


The Book

Head over to Amazon.




Posted in Books, Speeches.

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