I’ve just reached Daniel’s Pink book Drive toolkit, more like a catalyst to fuel our own drives.
To wrap up the idea of the book, I can’t imagine a better way than relating it with my own context. I was thinking of my drive to exercise, for example. For many years, I’ve been exercising, on and off. Sometimes I feel more motivated, eager to get to they gym, sometimes less. Though I’ve always considered it important for my well-being, controlling weight, etc, these purposes haven’t really been my true drive. First, I’ say that I always liked the choice to decide which activity to do first, which I’d keep out of my training that day. This directly relates to autonomy. Even with some guidelines and a paper to let me know which equipments I should be using, I could decide the order, and even the variation. I think the trainers at the gym wouldn’t agree with me, for I should follow a routine, but I confess it, I never did it that way! Another drive for me to exercise has always been for me to test my limits, to keep improving my performance, to understand how I can do things better and more efficiently, to be challenged by the next level. Mastery in its essence here. Then, we get back to purpose. As I mentioned, the factors that might be the ones that could motivate to keep exercising were not the ones that apparently are the ones people talk about. Through this reading journey, I realized the my purposes were different at different moments of my life. For example, some years ago, the core purpose of going to the gym was the socialization part. I belonged to a group who was dear to me, who cared for one another, who had true fun together. Happiness and great laughs at their best.That was my drive, being there with that group kept me alive, happy, and motivated to keep exercising.
And now? Not a group at all. I changed gyms, and don’t interact much there. What keeps me going? Again, not the commonplace reasons. I’ve realized that my main drive, the purpose of all that is that I have some time for myself, to read whatever I want, to think through my life, to enjoy just being a bit by myself without paying attention to the tensions of our daily lives, it is an enjoyable moment of introspection.
So, we get back to what really drives us and our students. Are the apparent purposes that we insist on pointing out to our students, the ones that are the true drives for them? When we tell them that they should study because it is good for their future or their future work (that might mean a decade from now!), are we encouraging them to study or totally discouraging them? How can we tap into their inner drives and change our learning environment?