There are four types of motivation:
These are defined as being either from an external or internal source as well as being an action or non-action. The four resulting forms of motivation are extrinsic (external source, action), identified (external source, non-action), intrinsic (internal source, action), and introjected (internal source, non-action).
Extrinsic motivation is an external influence that impels people to act in certain ways. External influences may include rewards, promotions, prizes, etc. The problem with extrinsic motivation is that it is prone to expectation. If the reward for doing something is consistently applied, people tend to see it as part of the effort, not as a reward.
There also is the problem of extrinsic motivation lacking meaningfulness. The effect of motivating someone with rewards does not work always or even consistently over time. If it did, offering bonuses for doing specific jobs would always garner individuals for those jobs and make them perform the jobs properly. Yet, human resources struggle to fill jobs with the most productive creative people.
Intrinsic motivation refers to internal motivation. This form of motivation is subjective by is believed to occur as a result of actions aligning with values or with pleasure for doing a task. This form of motivation is subjective but can be accessed in a variety of ways such as providing rewards that reflect value such as “employee of the month” or giving out a coffee mug printed with “best salesmen.”
The key to understanding this internalized motivation is the relation to a person’s values or desires. People tend to place a higher value on the boss saying things like “Good job,” than being given a bonus at the end of the year. However, intrinsic motivation is subjective and can be difficult to balance and utilize depending on the workforce and what appeases the staff.
Introjected motivation is an internalized motivation like intrinsic motivation, but it is a negative form of motivation that results from non-action such as the job being done poorly or not at all and the person feeling guilty. This form of motivation is similar to negative reinforcement but the stimulus for the person’s motivation is internal rather than external. This form of motivation is more common than people might believe and takes many forms such as bosses making comments about the poor job someone performed.
These statements are often intended to induce feelings of guilt within people to motivate them to perform better. This form of motivation has many negative aspects as it can anger or confuse people when the person feels constant negative interactions or by not being able to satisfy themselves or the person causing them to feel negative.
Identified motivation refers to a form of motivation that occurs as understanding or feeling the need to perform or accomplish some task but not yet acting on this need. This is a powerful form of motivation as it is intrinsic to the person and prepares the person for acting. Often people believe the influencer of behavior such as a reward or punishment is enough to motivate action but more often motivation is a building process. For example, if lung cancer’s risk could motivate a person to quit smoking, many people would easily quit smoking.
The need and desire to quit smoking often takes time to actualize; however, this presents the problem of the person dying of lung cancer before becoming motivated enough to quit smoking. This form of motivation is powerful because its actualization often creates lasting accomplishment or performance enhancement but it is often impractical to wait for someone to become motivated.
These forms of motivation provide different perspectives but more importantly, they provide different ways to access motivation for personal improvement or workplace applications.
Ways to be more motivated
- Choose one or two short-term goals and one long-term goal.
- Set up a schedule to keep you on track.
- Visualise reaching your goal – what does it look like? What is happening? How do you feel?
- Break your goals down into smaller achievable steps
- Celebrate your progress as you go along with small rewards
- Tell others about your plans
- Give yourself credit for the progress made.
- Dismiss the negative thoughts that lead to self-doubt. They are just thoughts.
- Never let fear stop you.
- Readjust your views on failure – failure isn’t trying and making mistakes, failure is never trying at all.
Set goals using a Goal Worksheet
Goal Setting Worksheet:
- Let’s “dream” a little; if I could guarantee that there is absolutely no way you will fail to live the life of your dreams, what would it look like? What are you doing? Where are you? Who is with you? Close your eyes and “see it,” “feel it,” “smell it” and “touch it.” Make it real in your mind and write down every detail.
- What will you need to know to reach your “new life?” Will you require special training, a college degree, specific talents or skills? Do you know anyone that might mentor you along the way? Do you need to make some special “contacts?”
- Is there an area in your “current life” that is dragging you down and holding you back? Debt, education, a relationship, depression, your past? How can get a handle on it? Do you procrastinate? Be totally honest with yourself. Remember, no one is going to see this but you.
- What is the first, easy small step you can take today to address something you identified in the last answer? When will you take that step?
- What obstacles might pop up along the way? Can you anticipate all of them? Can you determine solutions for each problem you might encounter?
- How will you know you’re on “the right path?” What will the first “milestone” be where you can say “I’m getting there! I’m on my way!” When will that be?
- What will you do for yourself when you reach that “milestone?” How will you “reward” yourself?
- After that first “milestone,” what will your next step be? And the next? Then the next?
- Picture yourself saying about your life’s goal “I did it!” When will that be? What is the exact, realistic date?
Ambiguity is the enemy of execution – what is the one single project you want to work on for the next few months? Get focused, get clear on WHAT you want to do. What excites you? What makes the time pass so quickly that the time flies by?
What’s in your heart – what feels true? Get this clear and you have focus. This is needed initially.
Set a DEADLINE (see SMART goals). – it helps you to keep things simple and keep things simple and specific!