Archive for May, 2018


May 18, 2018

I’ve been reading a book about motivation called “Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self Motivation”. I’ve seen in another book about how external motivators like rewards/ praise actually demotivates people so I really wanted to know what the alternative is.

One of the research classified 6 factors that motivates people: extrinsic aspirations  Рwealth, fame and beauty and intrinsic aspirations Рrelatedness (having satisfying personal relationships), competence (making contributions to community) and autonomy (growing as individuals). It talks about how having a high extrinsic aspirations makes one have poorer mental health, regardless of whether or not the person thinks they are able to achieve that extrinsic desire. And that people with stronger intrinsic aspirations are happier.

I think I do have pretty low extrinsic aspirations right now. Pretty satisfied on the relatedness and growth as an individual. Now I just need to find some way to contribute to the community. The whole PTA stuff just wasn’t working, but I’d glad I tried anyway.



Rooting for my Birth Country

May 10, 2018

My birth country is a cesspit of corruption, nepotism and blatant racial discrimination. For years, I thought I didn’t feel much for it after so many years being away but I was probably just disappointed and apathetic because I thought nothing would ever change. Today, looking at the election results come in, I feel all excited and I’m rooting for the big change to happen!

Learning to Motivate

May 8, 2018

I’ve been delving into the psychology of motivation. I’ve read many research that says intrinsic motivation is the key to really getting people motivated and that extrinsic motivation (like rewards, star charts, etc), though it works in the short run, actually demotivates in the long run especially when the rewards run out.

One of the takeaways was to make the process of learning an enjoyable one. This is especially true for tasks where the person is not internally motivated. For example, C seems to think math to be tiresome and he doesn’t enjoy it. Part of the reason is because I’m constantly pushing him to become better and I’m always telling him what he does wrong. He’s pretty sensitive to it and upset to be wrong (I think there’s some perfectionism at play here where he tries hard to avoid that feeling of incompetence).¬† But I think I’m getting on the right track. I managed to praise him for his effort yesterday and we talked about how when he said ‘I give up’, what I should understand is that ‘This is my best shot (even though I know it’s not good enough)’. And I really wanted to let him know that trying his best is good, that even if it wasn’t correct, it is still productive work. So I’m thinking more puzzles, we are also using Life of Fred which seems to pique his interest, maybe because of the story aspect of it. Or maybe a mathy board game that I keep seeing in some of the blogs I follow.