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Let Intrinsic Motivation be Your Driving Force

You have a big work project ahead of you and it feels like it's the size of Mount Everest! How do you motivate yourself to get the task done? Do you tell yourself that your annual leave is around the corner and that you just need to push through, or do you make the mindful choice of embracing the task, making it as enjoyable as possible? If you choose to use your annual leave as motivation, that is an example of extrinsic motivation. If you choose to embrace the task and make it as enjoyable as possible, that is an example of intrinsic motivation.


Although we can give credit to external/ extrinsic motivators such as an upcoming holiday, a pay raise or promotion at work to help us get the work done, it is intrinsic motivation that truly ignites lasting passion and sustains long-term achievement. Let’s delve into the profound significance of intrinsic motivation and how nurturing it can pave the path to fulfillment and success.




Understanding Intrinsic Motivation:

Intrinsic motivation stems from internal desires, passions, and interests rather than external rewards or punishments. It’s the innate desire to engage in activities for their inherent enjoyment, satisfaction, or personal growth. When you are intrinsically motivated, you are driven by your genuine interest in the task itself, finding joy in the process rather than solely focusing on the outcome.


Unlike extrinsic motivation, which relies on external rewards or consequences, intrinsic motivation is much more sustainable. When we are driven by intrinsic motives, we are more likely to persevere in the face of challenges and setbacks. Our passion and dedication stem from within, enabling us to push through when faced with challenging (or even boring!) tasks with resilience and determination.


Intrinsic Motivation Cultivates Growth Mindset:

Intrinsic motivation nurtures a growth mindset—a belief that abilities can be developed through dedication and effort. When you are intrinsically motivated, you choose to view challenges as opportunities for learning and growth rather than barriers. This mindset shift fosters a willingness to embrace failure as a stepping stone toward improvement.


How to Focus on Building Your Intrinsic Motivation:

It is clear that intrinsic motivation is directly linked to how mindful we are in completing the task with a sense of purpose and enjoyment. Start with looking at how you can incorporate more enjoyment into tasks:

  • Play your favourite music or eat your favourite snack while working on that big work project, therefore increasing the enjoyment while working on the project.

  • Focus on what you are gaining from completing this new task: Are you learning a new skill? Are you brushing up on your knowledge of a certain topic?

  • Choose to not only see the task as a means to and end, but a task that carries meaning in and of itself. How can you be really present and engaged while completing this task?


Several psychological studies have shown that intrinsic motivation is a clear driving force when it comes to reaching personal goals, staying on-task and making progress. Challenge yourself to make intrinsic motivation your driving force, too, and witness the power it has in increasing your sense of fulfilment and joy when completing tasks!


Warm wishes,

Megan



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