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What motivates you in your daily life? Most people are motivated by a combination of factors. Perhaps you are fueled to go to the gym by extrinsic motivation. You want to look great. However, when you play fetch with your dog, you do it because it makes you feel happy. That would be an example of intrinsic motivation. While extrinsic and intrinsic are the two main forms of motivation, there are many more. We will touch on more in part two of this series.

Extrinsic Motivation

According to research published in Contemporary Educational Psychology, extrinsic motivation is a construct that pertains whenever an activity is done in order to attain some separable outcome. Like exercising in order to lose weight, learning to speak Japanese in order to impress your friends, or getting to work on time to avoid being reprimanded. Extrinsic motivation is doing something for the external rewards you get from it. In your career, this can include financial gain, benefits, perks and even avoiding getting fired.

Intrinsic Motivation

The word “intrinsic” is defined as “from within.” Intrinsic motivation is geared toward internal rewards and reinforcers. Some examples of internal rewards include enjoyment, achievement and a sense of competence. The Internet of the Mind explains that internal rewards are associated with high academic and occupational achievement. It seems motivation is strongest when we do it for the fun of it, or for the feeling of accomplishment. Maybe it’s a hobby, or a career path, or our purpose in life.

Fear Motivation

Life Hack explains fear motivation involves consequences. Fear motivation is often  utilized when incentive motivation fails. In a business style of motivation often referred to as the carrot and stick.  Incentive is the carrot and fear is the stick.

Punishment or negative consequences are a form of fear motivation. This type of motivation is commonly used to motivate students in the education system and also frequently in a professional setting to motivate employees. If we break the rules or fail to achieve the set goal, we are penalized in some way.

In part two of this series, we will discuss growth, power and social motivation.