Intrinsic motivation or extrinsic motivation — what really gets you out of bed?

Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, what really gets you out of bed?

Why do we do the things that we do? What are the things that really make us take that leap? Motivation. The influence or the stimulation of doing something — anything! Depending upon what flavor of motivation will elicit a similar response, but with different results. Every one of us is influenced by motivation. We each react to a particular motivation and if we have a better understanding of which type of motivation moves us, this helps us use that motivation to our advantage.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work every day? To go through the same slog. Wake up, brush your teeth, wash your face, get dressed, drink your coffee, commute to work? You run around in the same ruts every day. Why do the things you need to do throughout the day so you can come back and do it all over again tomorrow?

There are two primary behavioral motivations, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Just as it sounds, one is internal pressure and the other one is external. Understanding each and how they work can make you and your business more successful.

Intrinsic motivation is what makes us do things without pressure from external forces. Learning to tap your intrinsic motivation well is key to your success! We do the things that we do because we find pleasure in those actions. Intrinsic behaviors worldview, that feeling of something accomplished. Of something learned. Not from external rewards such as pay or grades. For instance, I’ve been creating blog entries primarily through intrinsic motivation. There are no external forces telling me to do this. Although I am not necessarily rewarded externally by this, I do get some extrinsic motivation in the effort to continue this from those asking me to write more. I believe I’m helping my friends and peers to understand more about unnamed principles that affect the way we do things every day. Intrinsic motivation drives action on opportunities because we want to. We want to explore. We want to expand our worldview, our knowledge, and our experiences. We do things to make ourselves better but also help our fellow kin and kind. It is internally driven and you don’t need any rewards or external pressure to create this work.

Extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is that external pressure to do the work needed, to do the actions required. This form is external pressure such as the teacher telling you to read a particular book or to write a particular document and if you do not, then you fail to get a “good” grade. Or your boss telling you to do a particular task for your work, something that you would not have done yourself and really are disinclined to do on your own. Yet, because of external pressure, the extrinsic motivation you are motivated to do so. Peer pressure is another form of extrinsic motivation. You have that external pressure that makes you leap. If Johnny jumped off the cliff and his friends goaded you to do it too, and you were (stupid enough) to do it, that was extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is important to understand because that reward, or the effort you take to not be reprimanded or punished, is key to understanding what makes you move.

A simple comparison between the two would be the athletes that play sports primarily for the fun of said sport, versus the athletes that play sports primarily for the reward. The trophies and medals that they are expected to get after completing the task. When I am at work there are times I need extrinsic motivation for me to complete a particular task. If I am required to write that equipment qualification or process specification but I really do not want to, my boss says it is necessary to get that work accomplished. I do it in order to keep from being disciplined. However, I am still intrinsically motivated to do a good job and to do it quickly and to do it properly because I find that portion of the action rewarding.

Are professional athletes who train day-in-day-outs in the heat of the day, rain, snow, sleet and hail internally or externally motivated?

Are mail carriers or laborers that work day-in-day-out in the heat of the day, rain, snow, sleet and hail internally or externally motivated?

What motivated you to join altMBA? Was it intrinsic motivation? Because you wanted to learn, to better yourself, to endure the eustress that makes you more capable of your role? Or was it extrinsic motivation — because the boss demanded your participation? Or that you would be rewarded financially once you completed it?