What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

How to Stay Motivated & How to Motivate Others

July 6, 2014, 10:00 AM
Motivate

What's the Latest?

Despite the rising popularity of incentive pay, nothing motivates us better than having an internal and personal reason to do something, or so says a new study of some 11,000 military cadets. In the study, cadets were classified according to their reasons for entering the US Military Academy at West Point. Did they have an internal motivation (to become a strong leader), an external motivation (achieve good career prospects), or both? Perhaps not surprisingly, "the stronger their internal reasons were to attend West Point, the more likely cadets were to graduate and become commissioned officers."

What's the Big Idea?

What surprised researchers is that cadets with both internal and external motivation performed more poorly than those with purely internal motives--they achieved fewer promotions and were less likely to stay in the military after their five years of mandatory service. Researchers conclude that activities should be structured so that external consequences, such as making a better salary, do not become motives. "Helping people focus on the meaning and impact of their work, rather than on, say, the financial returns it will bring, may be the best way to improve not only the quality of their work but also — counterintuitive though it may seem — their financial success."

Read more at the New York Times

Photo credit: lassedesignen/Shutterstock 

 

How to Stay Motivated & How...

Newsletter: Share: