Motivation is a critical component in pursuing your goals. Whether you want to start practicing yoga or lose weight, motivation drives you to get started and keep going. However, not all motivation is the same, and understanding the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation could be the key to unlocking your drive for good.
Check out our blog, “Keep Motivated,” which will help you stay motivated regardless of your belief in Intrinsic or Extrinsic motivation.
What Is Intrinsic Motivation?
Intrinsic motivation refers to engaging in an activity for enjoyment and personal satisfaction. It comes from within, and the inspiration for such an activity stems from a person’s internal desires, passions, and interests. When someone is intrinsically motivated to do something, they find it exciting and inherently satisfying. For instance, if you enjoy playing the guitar, playing it can bring you joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Benefits Of Intrinsic Motivation
Some potential benefits of intrinsic motivation include the following:
Intrinsic motivation tends to be more sustainable over time than extrinsic motivation, which can wane once the reward is obtained or the pressure is removed.
Creativity And Innovation
Intrinsic motivation can fuel creativity and innovation, as individuals are more likely to take risks and experiment when driven by personal interest and enjoyment.
When individuals are intrinsically motivated, they are more likely to devote time and effort to mastering a skill or task, which can lead to improved performance.
Greater Satisfaction And Well-Being
Engaging in personally meaningful and enjoyable activities can enhance feelings of satisfaction and well-being, contributing to a sense of fulfillment and happiness.
Reduced Stress And Burnout
Intrinsic motivation can also help reduce stress and burnout, as individuals are more likely to engage in activities that they find energizing and fulfilling rather than those that feel like a chore or obligation.
Overall, intrinsic motivation can be a powerful driver of behavior, helping individuals achieve their goals and experience greater fulfillment and satisfaction.
What Is Extrinsic Motivation?
Extrinsic motivation refers to engaging in an activity for external rewards such as money, recognition, or praise. Unlike intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation is driven by external factors rather than internal desires. For instance, you’re extrinsically motivated if you work overtime to earn a bonus.
While extrinsic motivation can be effective in getting someone started on a new activity, it often doesn’t lead to long-term engagement. External rewards can lose effectiveness over time, and people may feel demotivated if they don’t receive the expected rewards. However, if used correctly, extrinsic motivation can complement intrinsic motivation to create lasting habits.
For instance, you might study for an exam to receive a good grade or show up for work on time because you want to get a paycheck. The motivation to engage in the activity doesn’t come from an inherent joy or interest but rather from the potential reward or outcome.
Benefits Of Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation can also provide several benefits, such as:
Achieving Specific Goals
Extrinsic motivation can help individuals achieve specific goals and complete tasks that they may not be intrinsically motivated to do. For example, a student not interested in studying for an exam may be motivated by the desire to receive a good grade.
Extrinsic rewards such as bonuses, promotions, and recognition can motivate individuals to perform better at their jobs.
Extrinsic motivation can lead to increased effort and persistence in completing tasks, especially if the reward is desirable.
Reinforcement Of Desired Behaviors
Extrinsic motivation can reinforce positive behaviors, such as showing up to work on time, completing tasks on schedule, and exhibiting exemplary customer service skills.
Satisfaction Of Basic Needs
Extrinsic rewards can help individuals meet their basic needs, such as financial security, stress reduction, and overall well-being.
However, it is important to note that relying solely on extrinsic motivation can have negative consequences, such as decreased intrinsic motivation and creativity, reduced job satisfaction, and a focus on rewards rather than the task itself. Therefore, it is important to balance intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to ensure long-term success and well-being.
Why You Need Both Types of Motivation to Pursue Your Goals
As a human, you need both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to achieve your goals and find satisfaction in your life.
Intrinsic motivation drives you to pursue activities and goals that bring you personal enjoyment, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. When intrinsically motivated, you are more likely to persist in your efforts and feel a sense of satisfaction in your accomplishments. This type of motivation can also lead to personal growth and the development of new skills.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, provides external rewards or incentives that drive you to take action. This type of motivation can be beneficial when faced with tasks that may not be enjoyable but are necessary for achieving a goal. For example, a bonus at work can be an extrinsic motivator to work harder and achieve better results.
While intrinsic motivation is often seen as more desirable, extrinsic motivation can help you achieve your goals. It can help you stay focused and motivated, even when faced with complex tasks or obstacles.
In fact, many of the most successful people in the world have found a way to balance both types of motivation to achieve their goals. So, remember that a healthy balance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can help you achieve your goals and find greater satisfaction in your life.
Which Is Better – Intrinsic or Extrinsic Motivation?
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation both have their place, and neither is better than the other. However, intrinsic motivation is generally more sustainable in the long run. Extrinsic motivation can be effective in the short term but often doesn’t lead to lasting engagement.
Therefore, the key is to use both types of motivation balanced. Use extrinsic motivators to get started and to reward progress, but focus on building intrinsic motivation over time to sustain your interest and drive. By finding the right balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, you can set yourself up for success and achieve your goals.