Jullien Gordon on How Understanding Purpose Increases Probability of Success

In Chapter 6 of 14 of his 2010 Capture Your Flag interview, motivation teacher Jullien Gordon shares how clarity of purpose, or why you do what you do, increases your commitment and probability of success. Gordon highlights "The Drive" author Daniel Pink's work to understand intrinsic motivational tools, in particular purpose. Gordon holds an MBA and Masters in Education from Stanford University and a BA from UCLA.


Erik Michielsen:  How do you use ‘Why’ as a driving factor in structuring actual commitment in what you do and teach?

Jullien Gordon:  Definitely.  So, I always start with the ‘why’.  One of my favorite quotes is, ‘The X Factor to success is knowing your why.”  The clearer you are on your reason or your why or your purpose for doing anything the more likely you are to succeed.  So, rather than setting up all these incentives and things like that, I think the best thing is to help the individual get clarity on why this is important to them and to the other people that it’s going to affect and that is going to be the primary driver and motivator.  In Daniel Pink’s book “The Drive” he talks about these false motivators and how they can actually work as disincentives instead of incentives, though that’s how corporate organizations work.  So, purpose is one of the things that he has found as the key motivator of people – once people feel purposeful about something, you can step out of the way.  You don’t need to do anything else because their commitment is already built in.  Their intrinsic motivation is tapped in and intrinsic motivation is always better than extrinsic motivators.