3 things you did not know about being motivated in your career

career motivation

3 things you did not know about being motivated in your career

In his book, Drive, Daniel Pink lists these three things as being foundational to motivation:


“The widely touted theory, highlighted in a 1993 psychology paper and popularized by Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, says that anyone can master a skill with 10,000 hours of practice.“ ~ By Shaunacy Ferro

Yes, it is just a theory, but it makes a lot of since when you think about it. How many people do you know who are good at something they have never done before? Not many.

Of course, we all know people who pick things up very quickly. One of my sons is a musician, one of those guys that seems to just learn to play a song or learn a new instrument without hardly trying. That is not what I am talking about here. I am referring to mastery. Being one of the best a what you do.

What does it take to develop mastery?

First, you must like what you are doing, you are not likely to develop mastery at anything you do not like. You may excel because you are the only one doing your job, but if you do not like what you are doing it is difficult to develop mastery, to be one of the best there is.

Second, the core of your job, (or the thing you want to develop mastery in) must come intuitively to you, not something you have to struggle at. There are some things that are intuitive to me, just like some things are intuitive to you. For me it is seeing the potential in a person, or a business, or and idea. Once I see a problem, I automatically look for the opportunity in it, then I naturally start brainstorming the potential I see. No matter what the opportunity, I find it easy to develop a plan to get the most potential out of something. I can do this because it is how I am designed, and I have learned how to use who I am to make things happen.

Third, you must have a passion for what you are doing. It is one thing to desire something, like a good paying job, it is quite another to have the passion you will need to develop mastery at it. Passion is the ingredient that will give you sustainability in your pursuits. Without it, your quest for mastery will most likely go unfulfilled.


You can call it mission, purpose, plan whatever. What I mean by purpose is the personal quest of your life. Mine is “the passionate pursuit of potential.” Do you know what yours is? If not, you are missing one of the great keys to living an exciting fulfilled life. And of course knowing it and pursuing it are two different things.

If you do not know what it is, you cannot pursue it. Warning, most people believe they have an idea what their purpose is, but most of them are wrong. Purpose is not what you like to do, it is not what you are good at, it is not even what you think about all the time. Purpose is your life’s end game. What is it that you want out of your life, what are you going to see when you look back on your life. Will it be a life of following the path of least resistance or will you look back at life and see a life of fulfillment, knowing that you pursued your life calling, your purpose, with all you had in you, that you were true to your life’s purpose.

How do you find your purpose?

I have explored the development of life purpose, or mission, with some great minds and I believe there is no simple answer, a computer cannot generate it 100% for you. Compass, by Living My Purpose will give you a very sterile life purpose statement. I used it to refine my own and have helped many find theirs over the years, but it is not a simple process, it takes some dedication. Having said that, if you do not take the time to do it, you are missing out on one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, and you just might be throwing away a lot of your personal potential working on things you should not even be attempting, things that steel your life, or said differently, your time.

I remind you, time is a non-renewable resource, once it is gone, it is water under the bridge, there is no getting it back.


Most of us want autonomy, we want to be left alone to make our own decisions relative to your work. We do not want someone leaning over our shoulder questioning everything we do.

How do you develop Autonomy?

As you might have guessed, one of the keys to gaining autonomy in your career is to achieve mastery, or at least some form of it, and in your mastery, you will often find purpose.

As people see your mastery, they will naturally avoid messing with you, after all, everyone can see it, so why would anyone try and improve on something that everyone knows you are the best at. Imagine walking up to the best guitar player you have ever seen and trying to give them tips on playing. Everyone around you will wonder what you are thinking.

If you are the best auto salesman, will someone come up and try to change the way you do things? If they do, you should find a new job!

This post should ring true at many levels. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made, able to accomplish great things with our life. I trust you will seek these three motivating factors in your life, everyone deserves to live a rewarding life, treat yourself well and pursue Mastery, Purpose, and Autonomy.

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