Inner Versus Outer Motivation

Many, many – – many – years ago I had a little friend, three actually. When I met the three nephews/nieces if my best buddy they were three/four/five years old. Harald, the middle one came out to the garden where my buddy and I were drinking beer to check out that new dude. One of the first test he conducted was “how does he react to pinching?” My reaction – “pinching back” – must have been the correct one because we became really good friends and grew up together until I finally had to leave the country (but that is a whole different story.)

One of the stories with Harald I remember was that he came up with the idea of washing my car. It was another beer-drinking session in the garden, a few grown-ups doing all the work and several kids playing in the garden as well – not drinking beer!

This is when Harald had the idea “Can I wash your car?” Generous as I was – and knowing that the car could really use that treatment – I said “Sure!” There was quite some commotion about finding a hose, sponges and other things that I did not know you needed to wash a car and an hour later my car was clean(er), and Harald was very proud about his job well done.

Several of the beer-drinking, session-attending adults now suggested that I should pay Harald something for his work. But even at that young age I was too smart for my own good and realized that this would not be a good thing. So, I politely declined to follow those recommendations and instead demonstrated Harald how much I appreciated his deed by becoming an even better friend.

Sometimes it takes the universe a long time to acknowledge the correctness of ones actions, and for this event I finally found the acknowledgment after so many years in form of a TED talk that I just have to share here.

Here we go – enjoy!