What is it that we do to make decisions? What is that internal process? And what are the external influences?
We need to know and understand the answers to these questions because if we do not, our life is bound to be significantly less intentional than we want for it to be. Whenever we experience the down in the mouth lamenting about the state of our life, we need to ask – how did it happen? The answer lies in the choices we have made.
In psychology, we get fascinated with this sort of thinking. We love thinking about thinking.
According to Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, “To be self determined is to endorse one’s actions at the highest level of reflection. When self determined, people experience a sense of freedom to do what is interesting, personally important, and vitalizing.”
Their faculty positions at Rochester put them together, their work as experimental psychologists led them to develop the theory – and from a humanistic perspective.
Their question – What motivates you?
As they describe it, self-determination theory states that we are most deeply engaged and do our most creative work when we feel we are acting according to our own will and on behalf of the goals that we find meaningful.
Perhaps the most startling finding of their research was discovering that rewards, including prizes and money were less effective than what behavioral psychologists had long supposed but also actually diminish people’s feelings of engagement and motivation, as if it is insulting to buy performance. Yes.
What’s the point? Go deep, look within your own self to discover what is that you value and want to do – then you will know the path to get onto for your own success.