A lot has been researched about motivation over the years and generally speaking one of the most common distinctions and definitions is between away from motivation: Avoiding pain, disadvantages, fear, punishment, boredom or blame, the negative aspects ot on the other hand more towards the positive benefits, pleasure, fun, reward, appreciation, recognition.
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A lot of the material on motivation points out that there is a higher level: Sense or purpose: Seeing the sense of a task or experiencing purpose in what you do .
Recently I was inspired by a book by Paul Dolan, called ‘Happiness by Design’ which looks at what we need to experience and create for happiness. The book is Interesting because it takes the two aspects of pleasure, towards the positive, and purpose as the dimensions of what we need to experience for real happiness. Apparently, to have happy lives we need on the one hand to experience in our daily lives enough purpose and sense in what we do and also enough pleasure in what we do. It seems that many of us have clear purpose in our lives and if we do we should balance that behaving some more pleasure to be happy. And of course vice versa if you having a pleasurable life you may want to balance it with some more sense of purpose in what you do.
I found these dimensions very interesting especially if you look at the average day you have in your work or your life and think about what you do. Ask yourself: How much pleasure does it give me? How much purpose? How much sense do I see in it.
This gives you a nice starting point of course to ask yourself how you can create and experience more purpose for yourself and others, and what you can do to add more pleasure to systematically create more happiness.