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Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation: Understanding the Key Differences for Personal and Professional Growth

by | Feb 6, 2023 | Blog, Resources

The Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation is a powerful force that drives us to achieve our goals and pursue our passions. It can come from within ourselves, which is known as intrinsic motivation, or from external factors, known as extrinsic motivation. Understanding the difference between these two types of motivation is important for both personal and professional growth.

Intrinsic Motivation: Driven by Personal Interests and Enjoyment

Intrinsic motivation is all about personal interests and enjoyment. It comes from within and is typically driven by a desire to learn, grow, and achieve personal satisfaction. This type of motivation is often associated with activities that are personally meaningful and engaging. For example, someone who is intrinsically motivated to learn a new language may do so because they enjoy the process of learning and the personal satisfaction it brings, rather than because they hope to receive a reward or recognition.

Extrinsic Motivation: Motivated by External Rewards and Consequences

On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is all about external rewards or consequences. It can come in the form of tangible rewards, such as money or praise, or intangible rewards, such as a sense of accomplishment or recognition. This type of motivation is often used in professional settings as a way to encourage employees to meet certain goals or targets.

The Interplay Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

It’s important to note that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can often work together to drive us towards our goals. For example, a person who is intrinsically motivated to write a book may also be extrinsically motivated by the prospect of earning a monetary reward for their work.

Intrinsic Motivation: A Stronger Driver for Long-Term Success and Happiness

While both types of motivation are important, research suggests that intrinsic motivation is generally more effective at promoting long-term success and happiness. This is because it is self-sustaining and not reliant on external rewards or consequences.

Different People, Different Motivations

It’s also worth noting that different people are motivated by different things. What motivates one person may not necessarily motivate another.

Discovering Your Own Sources of Motivation

It’s important to understand what motivates you and to find ways to incorporate it into your life. This can help you stay motivated and achieve your goals more effectively. So next time you’re feeling unmotivated, take a minute to think about what drives you. Is it intrinsic motivation or extrinsic motivation? Understanding what motivates you can be a powerful tool for personal and professional growth.



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