Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us - David Pinker

Here is another book on motivation. This one based primarily on self-motivation. I really have to stop reading all nonfiction because it truly is so fictitious.

Human beings have 2 well-known drives or motivations: 1) survival and related physical needs, 2) seeking reward and avoiding punishment. Mr. Daniel Pink goes about at length in "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" about the 3rd drive: 'the performance of a task has an intrinsic reward.'

And then he goes about building a whole motivation theory preaching that in the new age what businesses mostly need is to motivate via the third drive. Create workplaces where the employees are motivated automatically!

This theory would probably work really well for small mom-and-pop operations or freelancers and artists but perhaps not for the world at large. This theory has unreasonable prerequisites in practice for almost all mid to large size organizations. The prerequisite is that people actually act in their self-interest and people are employed in solving problems that give them joy. Absent these two -- this theory does not really work. Mr. Pinker of course conveniently ignores this failing to even mention. He seems to believe that this would universally. That is why I call this and other such works fictitious.

 It is sort of like the economists who couldn't stop extolling the virtues of a 'rational market' driven by  'irrational people'. Similarly this book talks about self-motivation in workplace where most jobs are not self-selected. Most of us are doing what we are doing not because we love it but somehow we ended up where we are and now we are too lazy or risk-averse to do anything about it.

Drive has some interesting ideas but you can only take them piece by tiny piece and apply very subjectively across the workforce. 

And the bit about work beings its own reward? Guess we've heard that one before. The Gita, anyone?