I had the opportunity to meet Dan Pink career analyst, business guru and NY Times best-selling author recently. For those that don’t know Dan, he has written 5 provocative books including three long – running New York Times bestsellers. A Whole New Mind, Drive and To Sell is Human. My favorite book is Drive, which examines the puzzle of motivation and draws on 50 years of behavioral science that overturns the conventional wisdom about human motivation.

Dan gave a presentation on how short and long term reward can impact our behaviors.

Dan pinpointed 3 factors that are very important to impact performance. 

  1. Autonomy – An employee having self-direction in accomplishing their work
  2. Mastery – The ability for a person to make progress within meaningful work and to receive meaningful feedback.
  3. Purpose – A person having a higher purpose for the work they do.

I asked Dan the question I ask everyone What does know he now that he wish he knew then.

Or another way I like to put it, is what advice would you offer to your 18-year-old self if you were to bring him for a coffee?

Dan offered a few pieces of advice for his younger self

  1. Marry Well. Never underestimate the impact your life partner will have on your life. If you marry well, you set yourself up for a happy life and the same can be true if you don’t marry well. Dan is happily married by the way!
  2. Pursue a life of purpose and meaning. Dan says if you chase happiness you will never get there but if you pursue a life where what you do makes a difference to others you will naturally become happy.
  3. Assume Positive Intent. Start with the premise that people are good industrious, creative, & have good intentions. Then let people disapprove you as a starting point.

I liked the insight that Dan provided with his answers. It’s too easy to chase happiness by collecting things and experiences but if you set out to make a difference from the outset, then you can achieve your vision regularly.

I learned a lot from seeing Dan speak and it was great to meet the person who has written so many influential books over the years.

What do you think of Dan’s answers?

What would you say to your younger self if you were to go for a coffee with them?

Talk soon,

What do you think of Dan’s answers?

What would you say to your younger self if you were to go for a coffee with them?

Talk soon,

Mark

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