Extrinsic/intrinsic motivations

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Media

There’s quite a bit of evidence that extrinsic motivations— such as money and reputation— have a negative impact on creativity. It’s only when you’re focused on intrinsic motivations— such as your fascination with the material or the sheer pleasure you take in creating it— that you do your best work.

This explains the well-known phenomenon of “sophomore slumps” among bands. When let loose in the studio for their first album, the musicians can barely contain their enthusiasm over being given the opportunity to make their music the way they had always wanted to. But if the album brings success, it also brings pressure— there’s more riding on the follow-up, they have a reputation and lifestyle to maintain— which makes them more likely to start second-guessing their instincts.

Glei, Jocelyn K. “Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind,” (p. 216).

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