Deci identifies two intrinsic motivations that might be labeled ‘personal:’ the desire to be autonomous (to determine what we do and how we do it) and the desire to be competent (to be good at what we do).
–Shirkey, Cognitive Surplus 75
It is the driving force for everything we do in life. As Clay Shirkey outlines in chapter 3, without the motivation to give Josh Groban a birthday present, the Grobanites for Charity never would have existed; nor would countless individuals have had their lives changed. The same applies for the recent trip I took to New Orleans. I made that trip purely with the motive that I wanted to help people, something I shared with all of my group. What separates us, however, from the Shirkey’s example of Deci is that many of us have worked real jobs in the past but had no issues finding the motivation to work on a habitat house for free.
I suppose technically we didn’t work for free; we weren’t paid in money or presents but in thank-yous and admiration.
What I’m getting at here is that we really can accomplish anything we set our minds to. These two chapters really make me think about my personal term project–the eBook for the Setonian. If I did not have the motivation to further the success of the Setonian, and more importantly, if I did not have the opportunity to do so, I would be spending my final semester like a typical college senior–just coasting through.
Shirkey also said in chapter 3:
“Learning on the job may seem opposed to the desire to feel competent but competence is a moving target. Taking on a job that is too large and complex can be demoralizing, but taking on a job that is so simple that it presents few challenges can be dull and demoralizing.”
–Cognitive Surplus 76
All parts of the Setonian Magazine require on-the-job training. Luckily, this is something journalism students grow used to by their second semester here at Seton Hill. In the case of the magazine, though, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to grow not only as a journalist but as a business woman as well, especially when dealing with prospective advertising options. I’m no stranger to trying new things and self-teaching, but as Dr. Jerz has said several times in class this semester, it’s a little frightening to take such a huge risk with this project. However, I’m up to the challenge and as Shirkey pointed out in chapter 4, I’m willing to use tools in higher capacities than they were intended:
“…a tool’s capabilities don’t completely determine its ultimate functions. Instead, users can press a tool into service in ways that the designers never imagined, and those new functions are often discovered and perfected not by a burst of solo inspiration but by exploration and improvement among a collaborative group.”
–Cognitive Surplus 102
This should be a personal goal for every student. If you’re not applying yourself and pushing yourself beyond your natural limits and outside your comfort zones, you are doing yourself a disservice. But this is what I love most about our major–we used programs like Scratch and Inform7 to express our creativity. And now, we’re getting more opportunities via iBooks Author and other programs.