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Book Review: Drive: The Suprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Most of us wake up every day with a definite plan in mind about what we need to accomplish before we head back to bed at night. For most, that means heading off to a job that we may not necessarily love, but which we need for a variety of different reasons. We basically become driven by a daily routine that is developed in order to achieve our goals. If you asked the average person what it was that made them follow their routine in such a devoted manner, most would point to the quest for money and the pursuit of happiness in general, but is that the real reason so many of us are driven to get out and work every day?

That is the question that Daniel H. Pink tackles in his book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” Mr. Pink takes the results of more than four decades of research into human behavior to argue that perhaps it’s a little too easy to suggest that everyone is simply in it for the money. Before getting to the meat of the book, it’s important to understand that just because Pink has drawn from that research that he has created a hefty tome that will be impossible to wade through. Drive comes in at a trim 250 pages, but at no point does it feel that the author skimped on the information in order to make the book a “light read.”

The basic premise of Drive is that the average human is not as driven by money and the quest for success as many would have you think. Pink believes that, deep down, people are more driven by the need to be in control of your own life, which includes having the freedom to continually learn and create new things that show off what we have to offer. The author feels that the way in which the business world works tend to run counter to those feelings, which is why we may have adopted the race for money as the ultimate driving force.

Pink sets out to show that the business world may actually be coming round to the other way of thinking. In the book, he cites Google as an example of one company that encourages its people to be creative, even if that means them doing something other than what they were specifically hired to do. The results seem to speak for themselves, with the people at those types of companies generally happier than most and feeling as though they have a purpose in life.

Drive doesn’t just take the time to explain where our true motivation may lie, but also shows the steps that we can take to get off the money carousel and jump on a ride that will make each of our lives more fulfilling. Taking the time to read Drive might not necessarily change your life forever, but it will certainly make you question what it is that makes you get out of bed every day.

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