What motivates us?

I just finished Tony Hsieh’s book: Delivering Happiness about his journey to through LinkExchange and Zappos. In the book, he shows how creating happiness and record results go hand-in-hand.

I loved the first half where he told the story of the creation of Zappos, but got somewhat less interested in the middle section where he was giving an overview of how Zappos works today. I guess I was just depressed by the challenge of applying some of the Zappos concepts to the place I work. 

As he got towards the end of the book Tony moved into discussing the field of happiness, and I was reminded of the Dan Pink TED talk on the surprising science of motivation. I’ve embedded Dan Pink’s TED talk below.

Dan talks about how we’re not motivated by money (once we’ve got a competitive salary…) and that we are motivated by these three things

This is similar to the 4 themes that Tony comes up with towards the end of his book, although Tony adds connectedness, which makes a lot of sense.

I think these 3 themes align pretty much 1 for 1, and all three seem relevant to what drives me. 

  • Autonomy = Perceived Control
  • Mastery = Perceived Progress
  • Purpose = Vision | Meaning

If you’d like to read more from Tony - take a look at the Delivering Happiness website, or buy the Delivering Happiness book from Amazon UK or Amazon US