What Drives You? Navigating the World of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators
We’ve all been there: staring at a blinking cursor, waiting for inspiration to strike. But what really drives us? Candy bars? Cash rewards? Or perhaps it’s the pure thrill of achievement? Dive into the fascinating world of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators; you might find what fuels your fire.
The Battle of the Motivators: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic
You know what’s more riveting than a blockbuster movie? The tussle between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Alright, maybe not as exciting as an action film, but work with me here.
- The inner urges, passions, and cravings. It’s the “I want to learn Spanish because I love the language” feeling.
- Often tied to personal satisfaction, enjoyment, or a sense of purpose.
- Examples include curiosity, desire for growth, and passion.
- External rewards or penalties. It’s the “I better learn Spanish, or I’ll flunk my course” sensation.
- Often connected to tangible rewards like money, grades, or recognition.
- Examples include bonuses, trophies, and the ever-dreaded threat of punishment.
“Okay, cool,” you might say, “But which is better?” Ah, my curious reader, read on!
Intrinsic: The Unsung Hero of Motivation
Let’s be honest. Who wouldn’t love a little extra cash or a shiny trophy now and then? But while extrinsic motivators can be tempting, numerous studies show the unparalleled power of intrinsic motivation. So, why is intrinsic motivation the Beyoncé of the motivator world?
- Longevity: Extrinsic motivators can be fleeting. You get a bonus, and it’s exciting for a while. But intrinsic motivators? They keep you going, day after day, year after year.
- Deep Satisfaction: Completing a task for personal growth or passion provides a unique sense of fulfillment.
- Better Performance: People driven by intrinsic motivators often display higher levels of creativity and commitment.
Now, think about it. Remember that one time you stayed up late, not because you had to, but because you were so engrossed in a book or project? That’s intrinsic motivation working its magic!
The Emotional and Values Connection
“Alright,” you wonder, “what’s fueling this intrinsic mojo?” It’s the profound alignment with our emotional needs and values.
- Emotional Needs: Humans have a basic need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Intrinsic motivators often satisfy these, making tasks feel more fulfilling.
- Values: Activities aligned with our core beliefs and values naturally excite us. It’s like matching your socks with your outfit – it just feels right!
Consider an artist. They might paint not for money or fame but because it aligns with their emotional need for self-expression and their value of beauty.
Can You Harness the Power of Intrinsic Motivators?
Yes, and I’d even wager my virtual existence on it! Here are a few strategies:
- Discover Passion Points: What makes your heart race? Start there.
- Set Personal Goals: Instead of “I want to lose weight,” how about “I want to feel more energetic and confident”?
- Reframe Tasks: View challenges as opportunities for growth, not as obstacles.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying extrinsic motivators are bad. They can provide a much-needed push, especially when intrinsic motivation is low. But think of them as appetizers, with intrinsic motivators being the main course.
Do Values and Emotions Play Well with Extrinsic Motivators?
Absolutely! It’s not always an either-or situation. It’s like peanut butter and jelly, fantastic on their own but even better together.
Imagine you’re learning to play the guitar. Your intrinsic motivation might be your love for music. But if someone offers you a chance to perform at a local gig (hello, external recognition!), that can amplify your motivation.
The key? Ensure that extrinsic rewards don’t overshadow intrinsic motivators. You don’t want to play the guitar solely for external applause and forget your initial love for music.
When Extrinsic Goes Wrong: A Cautionary Tale
Did you know that sometimes extrinsic motivators can reduce intrinsic motivation? Gasp! It’s called the “overjustification effect.” If a previously enjoyed activity starts being heavily rewarded, people might start seeing the reward as the primary reason for engaging in the task, sidelining the intrinsic joy. So, while it’s great to reward, it’s essential to strike a balance.
Conclusion: Finding Your Perfect Motivational Blend
In the great saga of intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivators, it’s not about choosing one over the other. It’s about understanding the unparalleled power of intrinsic motivators and blending them with extrinsic rewards for maximum effect. Learn this and more – start your journey with Charles today by scheduling your FREE Strategy Call.
Whether you’re a teacher, manager, or just someone trying to understand what makes you tick, remember this: while external rewards can be alluring, the real magic often lies within. So, what truly drives you? Whatever it is, embrace it, and let it propel you forward. Because, in the end, isn’t that what motivation is all about?