Payoff Dan Ariely Summary

Book Summary: Payoff Dan Ariely Summary

Payoff Dan Ariely Summary

Payoff The Hidden Login That Shapes Our Motivations

Payoff Dan Ariely Summary


From Tragedy to Meaning and Motivation

On the complexity of motivation, and a personal story

we are all part-time motivators. Given that motivation is so
central to our lives, what do we really know about it?

What do we truly understand about how it operates and about its role in our lives?

The assumption about motivation is that it is driven by a positive, external reward. Do this, get that.

But what if the story of motivation is in fact much more intricate, complex, and fascinating than we’ve assumed?

Payoff Dan Ariely Summary

The Motivation Equation

Motivation = Money + Achievement + Happiness + Purpose + A Sense of Progress + Retirement Security + Caring

About Others + Your Legacy + Status + Number of Young Kids at Home2 + Pride + E + P + X + [All kinds of other elements]

Payoff Dan Ariely Summary


How to Destroy Motivation, or: Work as a Prison Movie

Why it’s astonishingly easy to demotivate someone

Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose. —Viktor E. Frankl


From time to time, we find ourselves bored and unmotivated at work or at home. Like Sisyphus, we end up doing the

same humdrum, unrewarding thing over and over.

What can we do to change the situation when it is impossible to change the circumstances? The answer: change your mental framing.

Payoff Dan Ariely Summary


The Joy of (Even Thinking That We Are) Making Something

On our deep attachment to our own ideas and creations

If we have the money, we hire people to clean our houses,

take care of our yards, or set up our wi-fi systems to avoid being bothered by these common annoyances.

But think about the long-term joy we miss out on when we don’t engage in such tasks.

Could it be that when we trade off annoyance for more efficient task completion that we end up

accomplishing more but at the cost of becoming more alienated from our work, the food we eat, our

gardens, our homes, and even our social lives?

The lesson here is that a little sweat equity pays us back in meaning—and that is a high return.

Payoff Dan Ariely Summary


Money Is from Mars, Pizza Is from Venus, and Compliments Are from Jupiter

Why money matters far less than we think?

It seems self-evident that our family, social, and professional lives depend to a large degree on goodwill.

But while we usually recognize the importance of goodwill in our romantic and social relationships, we don’t seem to appreciate its role in the workplace to the same degree.

when we are motivated by social considerations, adding money to the mix can decrease the overall motivation and goodwill.

Payoff Dan Ariely Summary


On Death, Relationships, and Meaning

The crazy urge for symbolic immortality, and how love conquers all

Observing funerals and the rituals around them makes it clear that we have a deep need for

“symbolic immortality.” At either a conscious or unconscious level, we want to outlast our physical life

and to be remembered through the things we leave behind us—our children or our achievements.

This is why wealthy individuals start charitable foundations and put their names on buildings; why starving

artists draw and write; why graffiti artists paint on underground walls; why children carve their names in rocks and trees;

why Michelangelo painted on the ceilings of chapels; why athletes work so hard to break records; and even why some people eat hundreds of hot dogs at a sitting, just to get their names in the Guinness World Records.

Our motivation to leave a legacy is powerful and interesting in its own right, but maybe more than any other type of motivation

it provides us a window into the complexity and multiplicity of the elements in our motivation equation—an equation that we are just starting to uncover, appreciate, and understand.


The Answer to the Ultimate Question

The mystery of motivation, in summary

Among all of the motivating forces in the world, it turns out that money isn’t the simple, great motivator most of us assume it to be.

In fact, sometimes it is a disincentive.

We’ve also learned that, at some point or another, we all become offenders against

(perhaps even killers of) human motivation when we ignore, criticize, disregard, or destroy the work of others.

We have also learned that we’re much more driven by all kinds of intangible, emotional forces:

The need to be recognized and to feel ownership; to feel a sense of accomplishment; to find the security of a

long-term commitment and a sense of shared purpose.

We want to feel as If our labor and lives matter

in some way, even after death.

To motivate ourselves and others successfully, we need to provide a sense of connection and meaning—remembering that meaning is not always synonymous with personal happiness.

Arguably, the most powerful motivator in the world is our connection to others.

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