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  • Motivation is the experience of wanting something or wanting to avoid it.


  • When we study how we get motivated to learn, develop, and succeed, we can identify two contrary forces: extrinsic and intrinsic ones.


  • On the one hand, we want to belong, desire to be loved, and seek to get the attention we think we deserve.


  • We are motivated extrinsically by rewards in order to progress socially.


  • On the other hand, we strive to explore things that are satisfying in themselves, disregarding rewards.


  • We are motivated intrinsically by a natural curiosity which we follow because it feels right.


  • The opinions of others don't matter.


  • To understand why we probably need a good mix of both, let's imagine two four-year-old children.


  • Both grow up in families that want only the best for their kids, but have completely opposing views on how to motivate them to succeed.


  • Tom's parents believe that all their boy needs is love.

    Tom 的父母認為他們的孩子只需要滿滿的愛就行了。

  • To not undermine his intrinsic interests, they never praise him or use rewards.


  • Eventually, they decide not to give him any feedback at all, fearing it could corrupt his free mind.

    最後,他們決定完全不對他的作為給予任何的回饋,因為他們怕這樣會破壞 Tom 的自由意志。

  • Over the years, Tom develops an immense capacity to imagine, spending most of his time playing by himself.

    多年下來,Tom 發展出了極強的想像力,而大多時間他都自己一個人玩耍。

  • By being allowed to follow his passions, he learns what he likes and what he doesn't.


  • But Tom doesn't learn what others expect, and gets easily irritated when asked to do something in a particular way.

    但 Tom 並沒有學會如何應對別人對他的期待,並且很容易在被要求以特定的方式做事時激怒。

  • Mira's parents believe that their precious little girl needs clear rules about what's good and what's not.

    Mira 的父母則認為,他們的寶貝女兒需要明確的規則來界定什麼是好的,什麼是壞的。

  • They see it as their duty to help Mira learn by providing precise and actionable feedback on all aspects of her young life.

    他們把幫助 Mira 學習視為自己的責任,並對她年幼人生的各個方面都設定了嚴格且即時的反饋。

  • Mira spends her days in preschool, music, and ballet lessons.

    Mira 每天都在上學前班、音樂課和芭蕾舞課。

  • Over the years, she gets exceptionally good at the things that please the adults around her.


  • However, since there is neither time to play nor to relax, she doesn't discover her own interests.


  • Being alone bores her.


  • At 14, Tom is independent and begins writing science fiction.

    14 歲時,Tom 的個性自主獨立,並開始寫起了科幻小說。

  • He realizes that he isn't quite like his friends, and spends most of his time at the library.


  • When he shares his writing, others can't quite relate.


  • At the same age, Mira is at the top of her class and has plenty of friends and admirers.

    與 Tom 同一個年紀時,Mira 是班上的領導者,有著很多朋友和崇拜她的人。

  • She knows what is expected of her, and makes sure to meet those expectations.


  • Sometimes the pressure becomes unbearable, although that's her secret.


  • By the day he turns 21, Tom has a unique perspective of the world.

    到了 21 歲那天,Tom 對這個世界發展出了獨特的看法。

  • He is intelligent but doesn't like to work for money, and hence is always broke.


  • He hates the idea of conforming to conventional norms and is annoyed if someone interferes with his creative expression.


  • At this point, Tom knows a lot about himself, but doesn't connect well with others.

    此時的 Tom 非常了解自己,卻無法很好地與他人溝通。

  • To him, people seem to follow rules without questioning them, just like sheep.


  • Integrating into the society is difficult at this point, and he begins to search for Utopia.


  • Mira makes it into a top medical school, where she realizes she'll never be top of the class again.

    Mira 進入了一所頂尖的醫學院,而她在這裡意識到,自己永遠不會再成為班上的頂尖份子了。

  • Once that place seems out of reach, her motivation drops, and she wonders if medicine actually interests her.


  • Since quitting is no option, she takes up a second major and runs for student council president.


  • Soon, Mira will know everything about what others expect, but nothing about what she likes for herself.

    過了不久,Mira 就能知道別人對她所期望的一切,但對自己喜歡的東西卻一無所知。

  • All her life, she has just listened, driven by external feedback loops.


  • At this point, she's almost lost the ability to question the norms of the society she grew up in.


  • Listening to our heart can tell us who we are, but not how to be happy among others.


  • Listening to others can motivate us to be a part of their world, but doesn't teach us if that world is ours.


  • This is why it's probably good for the two to go together.


  • Then we can learn what we want, and get the feedback we need in order to stay motivated to explore new roads into a better society.


  • A large body of research shows that balancing the two forces is not straightforward.


  • One meta analysis of 128 studies examined the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation.

    有一項對 128 項研究的整合分析研究了外在獎勵對內在動機的影響。

  • While most rewards significantly undermined our intrinsic interest, positive feedback, which is an extrinsic motivator, inspires us to keep going.


  • Put simply, honest words of encouragement get us going, while money or gifts undermine our inner drive.


  • What about you?


  • Do you listen to your heart, or to the voices of society? And from your personal experience, which of the two eventually takes your decision?


  • Share your thoughts, and check the description to dive deeper into the topic.


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    Sprouts 影片皆有創用 CC 授權。

  • That means our videos are free and anyone can download, edit, and play them for personal use.


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    請前往 網站。

  • Even $1 can make a difference.


Motivation is the experience of wanting something or wanting to avoid it.


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