Money as motivation

There is no doubt that in some point of your life, you may have been motivated by monetary rewards. Your parents might have offered a nice sum if you pass your exam or you reconsider your resignation after your manager give you a pay raise. But does this always work? Economists set up an experiment to see if offering to pay for blood donation effects our behavior. It turns out that the act of paying for blood donation somehow tainted this act of altruism and less people show up. In this case, monetary incentive actually reduces the performance of the activity.

If monetary incentive don't work all the time, what about monetary punishment. In another experiment, a kindergarten decided to fine parents who come late to pick up their child. Instead of reducing the number of children staying back late, it increases the amount of late parents. They can now be guilt-free by paying the fine.

Money being an extrinsic motivator, seem to back-fire in some cases. They say money can't buy happiness. It seems there is much more that money can't buy.

What drives and motivates us

Humans like animals have a biological drive that motivates us to eat, drink and copulate. It's the most basic form of motivation that keep us alive and well. We are also motivated by extrinsic elements like rewards and punishments. These extrinsic motivations are the basis of our business world. You want something done better and faster, you pay more. If you want to prevent a certain behavior, you punish them.

The third drive is by far the most powerful form of motivation. It's intrinsic motivation that drives programmers to release open-source software and made Wikipedia the best encyclopedia in the world. They are doing it for the enjoyment of the task itself. The performance of the task is in itself the reward.

This is the reason why you should be doing things that you love. Intrinsic motivation is both renewable and limitless.