Why We Do What We Do

Understanding Self-Motivation
by Edward L. Deci | 230 pages

Edward L. Deci is one of the world’s leading researchers on human motivation and this book is *packed* with scientific wisdom—exploring what we know about the power of intrinsic motivation (vs. extrinsic motivation), the importance of autonomy (vs. being controlled) and the need for authenticity (vs. alienation). Hint: If you want happiness, focus on relationships, personal growth and making a contribution; don’t go after fame, wealth and beauty.


“The aims of this book are simply stated: They are to use a comprehensive body of motivational research to examine the relationship between autonomy and responsibility and to reflect on the issue of promoting responsibility in an alienating world. The book is full of hope, for it speaks to what we can do for our children, our employees, our patients, our students, and our athletes—indeed, what we can do for our society. The prescriptions it offers are not panaceas, and they are not easy. But they are relevant to each of us in managing ourselves, and they apply to the roles of teacher, manager, parent, doctor, and coach. Indeed, they are relevant and important for everyone in policy-making positions. The prescriptions begin with an understanding of people’s motivation—of the extent to which it is autonomous—and they involve using that understanding to manage ourselves more effectively, to related differently to others, and to make more meaningful social policy.”

~ Edward L. Deci from Why We Do What We Do

Edward L. Deci is one of the world’s leading researchers on human motivation and this book is *packed* with scientific wisdom—exploring what we know about the power of intrinsic motivation (vs. extrinsic motivation), the importance of autonomy (vs. being controlled) and the need for authenticity (vs. alienation).

I’m excited to share a handful of my favorite Big Ideas we can immediately apply to our lives.

Hope you enjoy. Let’s dig in!

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About the author

Authors

Edward L. Deci

Professor of Psychology, studies human motivation.