Psychological Self-Help

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another human being, becomes boring and selfish, i.e. done only for
the money. How sad. We could change our view of the world and our
explanations of our own behavior (see method #15 in chapter 11).
Extrinsic rewards alone may produce an achieving society, but not
necessarily a caring or happy society. 
Don't jump to the silly conclusion, as some writers seem to
suggest, that all extrinsic rewards are bad or ineffective. Rewards are
vitally important, especially in self-control and with important tasks
that are not highly interesting to us. Rewards given in an
undemanding, encouraging, complimentary way even increase our
intrinsic satisfaction doing tasks we have always liked to do. In this
chapter and chapter 11, we will see the importance and power of
rewards repeatedly. Rewards used wisely may be our most powerful
tool for changing and maintaining behavior. But it may be a serious
concern that our society is becoming so focused on the extrinsic and
materialistic payoffs that, like the kids playing ball, we, as a society,
are in danger of overlooking the many important intrinsic satisfactions
in life. Intrinsic motivation can be engrossing for some people but for
many of us it can easily be overpowered by commercialism and self-
centered greed for trinkets and luxury. Our culture's increasing
concentration on materialism, especially how much money we make,
detracts us from the intrinsic pleasures of being caring, giving, just
and fair, and just living morally with every living thing. 
The conflict between intrinsic and extrinsic motives, viewed in a
broad sense, seems to me to be neglected (see chapter 3). Maybe you
can change that in your life. How both kinds of motivations are wisely
used by a rational society is crucial to building a good life or a wise,
empathic world community. Intrinsic interests can even improve one's
self-care and health. For example, Curry, Wagner & Grothaus (1990)
found that smokers were more likely to quit if they had intrinsic
motives (better health, pride in self-control) than if they had extrinsic
motives (save money, avoids disapproval of others). Researchers are
also finding that intrinsic satisfaction in performing meaningful,
important tasks is not only related to how much we achieve, but also
to having high self-esteem, to self-efficacy or believing we are
competent to handle work and problems, and to thinking of ourselves
as being self-directed--in control of our lives. 
Enjoying work and "getting into the flow" of the work 
One of life's biggest decisions is what career to pursue. Learning to
enjoy our work is a complex matter: (1) Intrinsic motivation to learn is
complexly related to achievement. Examples: Intrinsic motivation, of
course, leads to achievement, but achievement leads to more intrinsic
motivation too. Why wouldn't a confident, contented, self-satisfied,
self-motivated, self-controlled student or worker enjoy his/her studies
and work more? But intrinsically motivated gifted students may see
grades, college admission, and teacher evaluations, even praise, as
unpleasant unwanted controls and pressures. These external pressures
may be considered unimportant or be resented and resisted. On the
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