Reward Is Not Enough: Your Secret For Endless Motivation

In this article, we are going to break down the components of motivation, so that you can crack the code of this mysterious force and leverage it for your success. Let’s dive in.

Motivation drives everything. Without it, you can’t achieve anything in your business, your career or your life.

The problem is, it’s not always there. Motivation ebbs and flows. Sometimes it can be a fleeting force. One moment you have it, the next moment it’s gone.

It’s very rare to find a human being that is always fully motivated, at all times. They do exist, but they are extremely rare.

I’m not one of those people, and you probably aren’t either.

If you’re looking to hit your goals, you’ll need to get smart about motivation itself, so you can manipulate it to your advantage. Here’s how..


The Crucial Components of Motivation

The number one thing you need to know about your motivation is that it has two components – extrinsic and intrinsic.

Both of these are equally important, because you need both of them to achieve true, lasting motivation.

But even though they are equally important, they are not equally understood. Extrinsic motivation is widely understood, whereas intrinsic motivation is not.

And this is the key reason why so many people end up struggling with motivation. Not anymore though, because we are going to break it down fully!

First though, let’s get an overview of extrinsic motivation.


Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is all about linking your activities to the external outcomes that you are looking for.

When you leverage extrinsic motivation, the drive and energy you need to complete your task comes from your desire for the result that will come about from you doing it.

Examples of this would be tangible external outcomes like money or a salary raise, good grades, or the recognition and approval of others.

In addition to the desire for positive outcomes, or rewards, extrinsic motivation can also be generated by the possibility of negative outcomes, or punishments.

For example, you’re very motivated to not park in a no-parking zone, because you know that your car will likely be towed away.

This is a strong motivating force, and it’s an example of not doing something to avoid consequences.

In addition to that, you can also be very motivated to do something to avoid a negative outcome. For example, you pay your taxes, ultimately, to avoid being arrested!

Several studies have actually shown that the avoidance of negative outcomes can be an even more powerful extrinsic motivator than the reward of positive outcomes. We’ll do an article about that another time because it’s very interesting.

But now, let’s move onto the deeper substance of motivation.


Intrinsic Motivation

As opposed to extrinsic motivation, which is rooted in outcomes, intrinsic motivation is ultimately about enjoying the process.

If extrinsic motivation is about the destination, then intrinsic motivation is about the journey.

When you are intrinsically motivated, you do something because the process itself is enjoyable or interesting.

With true intrinsic motivation, you have a strong drive to do something, even if it brings you no particular outcome or result.

It is intrinsic motivation that gives motivation its deeper substance, because enjoyment of the process is much more sustainable in the long term.

The extrinsic prospect of a reward or a punishment is of course helpful, but once milestones are reached, what do you do then?

Once specific external requirements are met, if you don’t have intrinsic motivation as well, your efforts will stall right there, because there is no real reason to continue further.


The Source of Infinite Motivation and Energy

Sustainable energy is a hot topic of discussion right now. And it deserves just as much discussion in the field of human motivation too.

If we consider each component of motivation as a source of energy, then it quickly becomes apparent which one is the more sustainable energy source.

Extrinsic motivation requires you to push against resistance in order to attain an external reward, or avoid an external punishment.

It’s like lifting a heavy weight. You are opposing gravity itself, and that amount of effort burns a lot of energy.

That pool of energy itself is also finite. Once you’ve worn down enough muscle fibre, you have no choice but to rest.

But with intrinsic motivation, there is no resistance at all, because the process itself is something that you naturally want to do.

This makes it a completely sustainable energy source, because not only is there no resistance, but the motivation also replenishes itself thanks to the joy you get from the process.


So Why Do You Need Extrinsic Motivation?

As much as intrinsic motivation is a wonderful thing, you can’t rely on it as your only source of energy. You need to be realistic.

The reason for this is that in real life, not everything can be enjoyable. The demands of business and life vary greatly, and not every task that comes up is going to bring you joy.

That’s why we need to take a hybrid approach to motivation.

First we need to optimise our activities as much as possible for intrinsic motivation, because that will bring us the most energy.

Then we need to apply a healthy dose of extrinsic motivation to fill the gaps that inevitably remain.

Setting up your own rewards and punishments is something that you should be able to figure out fairly easily, so let’s focus on the first part of the strategy.


How to Optimise Your Intrinsic Motivation

Optimising your intrinsic motivation is actually a surprisingly simple process.

1.  You first need to identify the types of tasks and processes that bring you the most interest and enjoyment.

2.  Once you’ve done that, you then need to adjust your approaches, wherever possible, to favour those particular tasks and processes.

With that done, you’ll of course still have a certain amount of things left over that you’d probably rather not tackle.

3.  You can then look at delegating or outsourcing as much of that stuff as possible. Just because you don’t enjoy something, it doesn’t mean there isn’t someone else who will!

After those three vital steps, you can leverage extrinsic motivation to finish off what’s left.

And although that requires energy, it won’t be too much if you have made full use of your intrinsic motivation first.


The Final Puzzle Piece

But there’s more! Here’s the key thing. Every task or process that exists requires a different type of thinking to achieve it.

The tasks are really defined by the types of thinking they require.

And you gain a very powerful insight when you realise that your own individual preferences for certain types of thinking are what determine whether you will enjoy a task or not.

Effective Intelligence provides you with a powerful tool that reveals to you your exact thinking preferences.

Armed with that tool, you can easily identify your optimal tasks for intrinsic motivation, which will massively improve your productivity.

And just as easily, you can use that same tool to identify the tasks that you’ll like the least – so you can delegate them to someone else as quickly as possible.

Learn about this game-changing tool right here.

How YOU think has a direct effect on the results you get. Want to find out more? Get your FREE Key Strategic Insights today.

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