David McRaney writes:
The Misconception: There is nothing better in the world than getting paid to do what you love.
The Truth: Getting paid for doing what you already enjoy will sometimes cause your love for the task to wane because you attribute your motivation as coming from the reward, not your internal feelings.
If you pay people to complete puzzles instead of paying them for being smart, they lose interest in the game. If you pay children to draw, fun becomes work. Payment on top of compliments and other praise and feeling good about personal achievement are powerful motivators, but only if they are unexpected. Only then can you continue to tell the story that keeps you going; only then can you still explain your motivation as coming from within.
Consider the story you tell yourself about why you do what you do for a living. How vulnerable is that tale to these effects?
Interesting stuff. I wonder if this is part of why self-employed people are happier even though self-employment is far more stressful than working for hire?
(Photo by Bo Nielsen)