What Motivates Us: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation is a powerful force that drives us to take action and pursue our goals. It can come from both internal and external sources, and understanding the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is key to unlocking our potential. Intrinsic motivation is driven by internal rewards, such as personal growth and achievement, while extrinsic motivation is driven by external rewards, such as money or qualifications. Motivation can come from a variety of sources, including external incentives, such as the motivation to work for compensation, or internal enjoyment, such as the motivation to create works of art in one's spare time.

Other sources of motivation include curiosity, autonomy, validation of one's identity and beliefs, creating a positive self-image, and the desire to avoid possible losses. Research in social psychology has found that extrinsic rewards can sometimes undermine intrinsic motivation when people participate in an interesting task. In other fields, such as cognitive psychology, motivation has usually been treated as an annoying factor that must be controlled. Studies on eudemonic well-being have described eudemonic behaviors to include excellence, autonomy, authenticity, self-development, commitment and autothelian motivation.

We will be motivated by different incentives, objectives and activities, but we will also choose to be in different situations. It can be motivating to reflect on the progress you have made or to wait for the work to come if it is a fundamental part of your identity. Therefore, an alternative motivational model has been proposed that could explain the surprisingly weak link between competition and performance. How the individual views the importance of the different characteristics of the event influences whether the reward will affect their intrinsic motivation to participate in that activity.