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The three reasons we do anything

An excerpt from the new, Activate Your Genius Mode: School Edition


There are three reasons we do anything.

Reason 1: We like doing it

It’s an activity or task we enjoy doing. I build model ships, eat pizza, and make movies. We like doing them, they’re fulfilling, and we always have a good time while we’re doing it. We enjoy what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with.


Reason 2: We like the results of having done it

Some tasks, we don’t necessarily like doing. We may not like cleaning the kitchen, but we like having a clean kitchen. We may not like exercise, but we like having muscles. We may not enjoy the process of creating art, but we like looking at it when it’s done. We’re driven by the results, not the task itself.


I write plays and screenplays for fun. Most of the time, I don't actually enjoy the process. It can be frustrating, trying to find all the parts and pieces and make them fit together. But, I enjoy reading it when it's finished, and if I'm lucky, seeing the finished product on the screen or stage. I enjoy that quite a lot.



Reason 3: We don’t like the task or the result, but we like the reward

Some tasks, like paying taxes, don’t have a pleasant process or a good result, but we’re rewarded for it. When we pay taxes, we’re rewarded by not going to jail. A teenager might not like mowing the neighbor’s lawn or gain satisfaction from having mowed the neighbor’s lawn, but the neighbor pays him, and that’s why he does it.



Why is this important?

Reasons number 1 and 2 are work. Reason number 3 is labor.


For schools: consider the notion that most school work is too much labor and not enough work. Doing work simply for the grade, but not for the enjoyment of the process or the results of the process is nothing more than labor. How can the learning objectives be met in a way that more closely resembles work?


For businesses: Employees invest themselves in their work, not their labor. They invest their time, energy, intelligence, and emotions in work. Through work, they become invested in you, while you invest in them. And, at the end of the day, they gain satisfaction from their work. From labor, they’re just tired.


For everyone: even when the task is labor, the more we can empower the entire workforce to be a part of improving the workplace, the more likely we are to gain satisfaction from what we do. For more on empowering the workplace, see last week’s post about creative mindsets.




The book "Activate Your Genius Mode" is all about building your creative mindset. Gain practical, one-page tips to building your creative mindset, one page at a time. Visit the Conjunction Media Store to purchase.


For more tips on how to practice creative skills, to hear more, contact Creative Dave to book a workshop or motivational speech for your school or organization before his roster is full for the year!


And, check out the new, "Activate Your Genius Mode: School Edition," the complete guide to implementing creative practices inside the classroom.


Contact David about speaking or workshopping at your school or business event.


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