Careful readers of Drive will remember the “What’s Your Sentence?” exercise from page 154 of the book. (If you’ve forgotten, shame on you. But you can watch the 2-minute video below or can click here to get up to speed.)

The exercise asks you to distill your life — what it’s about, why you’re here — into a single sentence. It’s tough, but it’s powerful. And in workplaces and schools, in the US and abroad, an astonishing number of people are giving it a try.

To expand the conversation, we’ve decided to make a short film that assembles the sentences of people around the world.

Wanna play?

All you need to do is video yourself for about 15 seconds. Say your name, where you’re from, and your sentence. Don’t be meek. Break out the props, play some music, find an amazing setting, whatever you want. Then email the video to me at [email protected]. (In the alternative, you can upload your video to YouTube and tag it with “mysentence”. To make it easy, you can even record your video straight to YouTube with your webcam by clicking here.)

Just watch the video below for the instructions.

ADDED BONUS: Everyone who sends in a clip will be entered in a random drawing to win a free book as our thank-you gift. I’ve purchased a few dozen copies of my favorite business books of the last year — from Seth Godin’s Linchpin to David Shenk’s The Genius in All of Us to Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness — that I’m eager to give away. So you’ll have a chance not only to make a contribution to the world, but also to win a mind-altering book.

16 Responses to “What’s your sentence?: The movie”

  1. Daniel Rezac says:

    I was going to do your video contest, but then when you added the book as an incentive, I lost my motivation!


    Daniel Rezac 🙂

  2. Daniel Rezac says:

    I was going to do your video contest, but then when you added the book as an incentive, I lost my motivation!


    Daniel Rezac 🙂

  3. Avatar photo Dan Pink says:

    Daniel –

    Ha! Funny. Alas, the free books are a thank-you — rather than a prize. Anybody who contributes a video simply because they want a free copy of of Linchpin isn’t too bright (and definitely isn’t a Linchpin!).


  4. Love this – and think it would be a cool thing to do once every year, maybe as a birthday exercise – track over time how it changes/develops. Great stuff and can’t wait to see the film! – Jennifer

  5. Daniel Rezac says:

    Okay- I’m in. It’s the creation of the content is the reward! And I really like Seth’s book Tribes, so he must have something else in that noggin. Thanks!


  6. Ian Durias says:

    Hi Dan!

    Would you elaborate more on “the free books are a thank-you — rather than a prize”? How is this different from “if-then” and “now that” rewards? Thank-yous versus prizes?

    With appreciation,

    Ian (is devouring everything he can related to intrinsic motivation. *Tips hat to DRiVE.*)

  7. Leah says:

    Hi Daniel,

    You caught me on that sentence, NICE ONE!
    Anyway, just want to ask if you allow guest to posts their blogs on your blog site?

  8. Avatar photo Dan Pink says:

    @ian —

    The free thank you books — or actually the chance to win a free thank you book — is actually kinda, sorta a “Now that” reward. It’s after-the-fact. And its purpose is simply to express gratitude for people who’ve contributed — rather than an effort to try to lure them to contribute.

    That’s why I selected something very low cost and relevant to the task at hand. If I’d said, “Enter and you can win an iPad,” I’d get people entering only to win the iPad, which would likely produce lots of mediocre entries.

    As I explained to Daniel, if someone is entering merely for the chance to win a copy of a $15 business book, I fear their sentence would be: “He had *a lot* of time on his hands.”


  9. Avatar photo Dan Pink says:

    @leah — Hope you’ll contribute a sentence. Alas, while I welcome all comments (or at least the 99% that don’t use profanities or try to sell pharmaceuticals), we don’t typically have guest bloggers.

  10. Ian Durias says:

    I appreciate the insight. Many thanks, Dan!

  11. S Leigh Schmidt says:

    Curious – I’d love to get one of the books if my sentence is selected, and since your project is available to everyone around the world, would you be willing to ship them overseas? I loved Linchpin, but haven’t been able to find the other books, so that would be fantastic, but I’d feel really left out, unless Ebooks are a possibility.

    Thank you for your time!

  12. I like this exercise, and will gladly contribute with or without the iPad. I’ve read those books anyway, so no real incentive there. But if you were to give an iPad away, my feeling is the folks who entered to win that would be very creative. On the other hand if you were giving away a Dell, I would agree with you. :

  13. David Yorka says:

    Most excellent concept Dan and I must say you have a knack for creating irresistible activities.

    Community Action Hero
    David Yorka

  14. Great idea Dan! Thanks for putting this together. Can’t wait to see the final product!

  15. keno says:

    A giant bless you for your amazing blog article.Much thanks once again. Great.