The Secret Ingredient To A Productive And Satisfying Career

Daniel Kim was the CEO at online game company Nexon America when he had a career epiphany that changed his life. His mentor Bill Moggridge, founder of the design firm IDEO, had recently passed away. It was at Moggridge’s memorial service at Stanford in 2012 when Kim had a moment of clarity: What was most important to him wasn’t being at the top of his field or making as much money as possible, it was doing meaningful design work—the kind of work he simply couldn’t do as CEO at a gaming company.

Kim did the math. If a design project takes three to four months and he had between 25 to 30 years left in his career, he realized he only had time for about 100 new projects. Put in those terms, time, he realized, was of the essence.

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Often overlooked in favor of money or external rewards, intrinsic motivation is critical to our career satisfaction and productivity.

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