In the very very old days it was the next meal, the next shelter what drove us on - just to survive. When human intelligence/innovations evolved, our drives evolved with it.
The certainty of the next meal was planned ahead:
- sowing seed, harvesting the results, storing the harvest for meagre times;
- hunting in groups, taming/domestication of animals, animals as "instant" food
The certainty of shelter became obsolete:
- hides of the hunt were made into mobile tents, fixed huts
- trees provided both fire and huts/homes
Human drive changed/evolved(?) to gathering the most, the best, the most beautiful; with more time on our hands to become masters of what we could do, arts evolved: from showing how well organised the tribe was (to have time left to create art) to dedicating your whole life to do just that: learning, mastering an art, a "craft". The age of master craftsmen.
So what happened to us modern humans when the world we created ourselves evolved more and more to make our lives easier, more organised and planned? Did we all became master craftsmen?
Somewhere along the line something went horribly wrong: the majority of us has been turned back to the drive for the next meal, the next shelter, the next pay-check - just to "survive".
The majority of us are "managed" from our school days till (and beyond) our pension, motivated with the carrot and stick: do well and you are rewarded, do not well and you are punished. Our "managers" believe the majority of us should be hold in line, otherwise we'll slick and won't do our jobs, won't have the drive to "produce", won't (be able to) save for meagre times, and even wouldn't know what to do with our time.
Are the "lucky" ones the managers, those who decide what should drive us? Carrot and Stick for them too: manage well and be rewarded, manage not well and be punished - just like the rest of us.
Is that what really drives us? Carrot and Stick?
Sobering thoughts, depressing thoughts really. Is that all there is for us modern humans?
Of course not - the above is too black and white (for most, but spare a thought for all those in the treadmills of not knowing where the next slice of bread is coming from). The above are my ponderings, mesmerised by the book I'm reading at the moment:
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us - by Daniel H. Pink
I'm truly mesmerised by it (only halfway through the book at the moment) and truly grateful for my own position: independent retailer, entrepreneur. And I fully agree with the following quote from Daniel's book:
"We're born to be players, not pawns. We're meant to be autonomous individuals, not individual automatons."
More and more businesses, companies are turning away from the Carrot and Stick (Motivation 2.0) approach it seems, having discovered that this principle no longer has its place in the 21th century. More and more are turning to a different, IMHO more closer to our human instincts, principle of motivation, based on the Self-Determination Theory: supporting our natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways.
"Drive" explains that "the secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world".
Sounds like we are once again on our way to become master craftsmen after all.
(Looking forward to reading the rest of this book during my early morning treat: still in jimjams, first cup of coffee and a good book.)