What A Car Accident Taught Me About Motivation

  • 19 October 2020
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 3

In November of 2002, my family was travelling home on a busy highway when we hit a full grown deer with our car. Going 100km/hr during the impact, the front of my Volkswagon Jetta crumpled like a can. Miraculously, the adults sustained only mild injuries and my 3 month old infant son was not injured at all.

I had him strapped properly into a Graco rear facing infant car seat and he didn’t wake up during the impact. I was so worried that he was unconscious that I woke him, only to have him yawn at me and go right back to sleep.

With the insurance declaring our car a complete write off, we picked up our personal things at the scrap yard. I took photos of the car and the car seat for my records. After a few days it occurred to me that Graco deserved some recognition for the safety of my baby. I wrote a letter describing the night and sent photos of the car, car seat and my son.

A few weeks later I got a return letter from Graco. They had taken my letter/photos and placed it in the lunch room of the manufacturing facility so everyone could see the impact of the work they did. My letter highlighted what an important job Graco was doing protecting infants and how grateful families were for their labours.

It was years later when I met Daniel Pink and listened to his video Drive that I realized how smart Graco really was. They wanted everyone on the line to understand the meaningfulness of their work and to be motivated by more than just incentives - they wanted to demonstrate purpose. 

Daniel Pink theorizes that Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose are stronger motivators than money in the right conditions. Watch this impactful video from Dan Pink to dig a bit deeper. It might challenge your beliefs on motivation - I know it shattered mine.


What do you think? Do you highlight the importance of purpose? Do you reward with Autonomy? How do you support Mastery?

1 reply

Userlevel 3

@Leombruno94 - the Daniel Pink video I mentioned. Please tell me what you think!


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