We will start by saying this: If you are reading this article, you are a motivated individual. How do we know this? Because “unmotivated people” are not trying to learn everything they can to become more valuable to themselves and others – and you are.
Therefore, we realize the importance of explaining the 2 different types of motivation and how they affect your life.
We know that you want to become more valuable to yourself and to others or you wouldn’t be reading this. The question is, why?
That is the question we need to answer. Thousands of people are reading this article, and everyone is reading the same words – but, for different reasons. It is important that we get to the bottom of your mentality, and it is important that you understand your motives.
What motivates you to read this article? Why is the psychological aspect of your motivation important to you? Perhaps you don’t think that it is?
You know that being a motivated person is your key to greatness. Your motivation keeps you trying new things because you want more out of life than you have right now, but you don’t know how to maximize that motivation. Are you reading this article to learn how to maximize your motivation’s potential? Are you reading this article because you can use what you learn to assist you with your desires (car, house, money, abundance)?:
Are your motives extrinsic or intrinsic
We are going to discuss the difference between the 2 types of motivation and how one (over the other) can have a profound, positive impact on your life.
Don’t worry if you find yourself in the “wrong” category of motivation. That is why we are discussing it. We know the importance of your motivation and how it can impact your life – that is why we are writing this article.
The world puts us in the wrong category from birth – but we can change that, and we must.
AND WE WILL!
Let’s look at the different types of motivation:
- Intrinsic Motivation –performing an action or behavior for the sake of enjoyment
- Extrinsic Motivation – performing an action or behavior to receive an external reward or outcome
Let’s talk about the extrinsically motivated world we live in:
Our success is determined not only by our possessions, but also our financial status. For example: Have you even seen a successful person that didn’t have a dime to his or her name? Of course not, if they didn’t have lots of money, then we wouldn’t consider them successful in the first place, would we? Nope!
We are born into this mentality. We enter this world with an overwhelming desire to “have things.” We find ourselves unhappy if we are not successful. So, we chase success – and we chase materialistic “things” to validate our success.
Not only do we want to validate our success to ourselves, but we also want to validate our success to others (see what kind of car I am driving and where I live). Our society is extremely, extrinsically motivated.
It is not our fault!
The world we were born into instills this upon us from the first breath we take. We find ourselves to be unhappy if we are not as successful as we
think we should be. If, we don’t have the things we feel we should have.
Many people are unhappy. Many people want more out of life then they have right now. It is OK to want more out of life, that is a healthy thing to do. But, it is not OK to be unhappy.
So, what do we do?
The answer is simple: We stop focusing on extrinsically motivating factors and begin to focus on intrinsically motivation factors. Is it that simple? Yes, it is!
Intrinsic motivation is doing something because you love doing it. You are not motivated by money, rewards, or any other purpose other than enjoying yourself.
Examples include: Reading, painting, cooking, sewing, singing, writing and any other hobby or thing that fascinates you – things you enjoy.
You may be thinking that you “know where we are going with this.” You are expecting the next paragraph you read to say, “Find something that you enjoy doing and figure out how to monetize it.” For example, if you love to paint – sell your paintings. If you love to read – become a critic. If you love to cook – become a chef.
However, you are not going to read that. It certainly would be a terrific way to live your life. You could be intrinsically motivated everyday doing what you love to do and get paid to do it – there is nothing wrong with that!
However, we are going to discuss shifting your motivational mentality and continuing to do exactly what you are doing right now. Allow whatever you are doing right now (concerning your career or any other aspect of your life) and allow it to take on a different meaning for you – and it will have a profound effect on your ability to be successful.
Not just in the task you are achieving, but in life. The shift in your mentality will not “disappear” once the task has been completed, you will have learned a skill and taught yourself how to apply that skill. The skill: Changing your motivational factors from extrinsic to intrinsic.
Take this for example: Two people both have the same job. The job is extremely stressful:
Employee #1 is extrinsically motivated to keep working there.
Employee #2 is intrinsically motivated to keep working there.
We will go into more detail in a minute, but we want to make the point that two people can be doing the exact same thing, and both be motivated differently.
Employee #1 has extrinsic motivation and they keep going to work every day because they perceive that the stress will all be worth it when they are able to buy that new car (that really nice car).
The problem with being extrinsically motivated is this:
- Employee #1 is stressed out and believes a materialistic item (a car) will make them happy.
- After they buy the car, the “happiness” wears off and then what?
- They latch on to another materialistic item to bring happiness into their life.
- Now, they have a new home on the agenda.
- The extrinsically motivated individual continues to pursue happiness and they relate happiness to materialistic items (they can also attach their happiness to “being respected, being liked, a trophy, a badge or some other form of “reward” for their effort).
- Each time they achieve what it is they were looking to acquire to make them happy, they latch onto another item.
- It would appear obvious that this person will never truly be happy.
- Their happiness is based solely on collecting things (whether they be financial or otherwise) and they never have enough.
- extrinsically motivated people “need” external factors to validate that what they are doing is “right” and to validate to themselves that they are “happy” (when there is nothing happy about this behavior at all)
- Just think of how awful it would be to have lived your whole life working somewhere that made you miserable and relying on materialistic items to bring happiness into your life. Does it sound awful? That is because it is.
Employee # 2 is intrinsically motivated to keep going to work every day because they perceive the stress to be worth the children they are helping in third world counties (that is what the company these 2 people work for does)
Employee #2 can’t seem doing anything more rewarding than this. So, employee #2 is getting paid for something they love doing. Even though it is a stressful job, employee #2 is intrinsically motivated to keep working there and their happiness is not dependent on a new car, house etc….
So, who wins in the game of life when comparing the extrinsically motivated and the intrinsically motivated
Well, answer this question: Would you rather hate your life and have a nice car, or love your life and careless about a car?
Here is the moment we have all been waiting for:
What if I told you that you could be intrinsically motivated and live a life of abundance? Well, you can. As a matter of fact, you are likely to meet that reality if you are intrinsically motivated.
What to do
- Begin focusing on the positive aspects of your life
- Focus on intrinsic values when determining your motives (why you want to do something).
- Shift your focus from an extrinsic mentality to an intrinsic mentality.
- Stop relying on materialistic things to make you happy (because that doesn’t work – it isn’t sustainable)
Will this shift make you a happier person? Yes.
Is shifting our focus an easy thing to do? Yes.
Can you do it if you choose to do it? Yes
- Take out a sheet of paper and write down all the things in your life that you don’t enjoy.
- Then, write down all the reasons you do them that make you happy (and stay away from anything materialistic when you are brainstorming)
- Shift your mentality.
- This is a major “must do” in the quest to attain true happiness and ultimate success in your life.
- You might not know “what it is you are going to do to become successful” right now, but don’t worry about that.
That will reveal itself to you when you are ready.
If you are extrinsically motivated – you will never be ready.
The fancy cars, the beautiful home – these things are bi-products of success. If you are depending on these things to validate your success or to make you happy, you must shift your focus. Happiness is “right here, right now.”
You will only be given what you can handle. If you can’t be happy with what you’ve got, you will never be given more.
The world and everything in it are already yours – all you have to do, is believe it!
Author: Philip Isaac
Philip Isaac is the founder of Electrified Mind. He is determined to reach the highest level of personal development as humanly possible by interacting with other world leaders through the Electrified Mind Podcast and absorbing all the knowledge they have to offer (you should join him). His overwhelming desire to make other people feel how he feels about life, drives him.