The Graduation Advice We Wish We’d Been Given

Posted on May 21st, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. Comments Off

The Harvard Business Review has just posted The Graduation Advice We Wish We’d Been Given. It features some of HBR’s favorite writers, and includes both Karen Dillon and James Allworth. From the article:

Understand the way your mind works in relation to motivation. Money, a fancy title, a prestigious firm — these are what are known as extrinsic factors. Your friends and family can see them, you can put them on a resume, or discuss them in a job interview. But these visible, extrinsic factors are not a source of contentment. Rather, the research suggests they’re actually a source of discontentment — when they’re absent. In other words, having these extrinsic motivators in abundance won’t make you happy; instead, all that abundance will result in is an absence of dissatisfaction. That’s (obviously) not the same thing as being satisfied.

True motivation relies on a very different set of factors: they’re intrinsic in nature, much harder to measure, and may even be unique to you. Being given the opportunity to shoulder responsibility and work independently. The ability to learn and grow. And, perhaps most important of all, doing something you think is meaningful. Understanding that our minds work in this way — that there’s not a single spectrum all the way from “love it” to “hate it” — but rather, two spectrums that are at work completely independent of each other: one which will cause us to be dissatisfied (extrinsic) if absent, and another that will cause us to love what we do (intrinsic) if present… well, learning that has totally changed the way I think about my working life.

Head on over to HBR to read the full article.

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