Elements of intrinsic motivation

The 3 elements required for intrinsic motivation:

  • Autonomy: it's about choice - when you believe you have a choice, you're more motivated.
  • Mastery: it's about wanting to get better at something that matters.
  • Purpose: it comes from believing you're working on something that's bigger than yourself.
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Motivation and creative work

Intrinsic motivation is necessary for creative work. We need broad thinking, so we can come up with innovative ideas and see new connections.

Extrinsic motivation narrows our thinking by focusing on getting the task done so we can earn the reward. It's providing you an external incentive to work hard.

Loss aversion refers to the fact that we feel stronger emotions about losing something than we do about gaining the same thing.

For example: If you found $20 on the ground, you'd be pretty happy. But if you had $20 in your wallet and lost it, you'd be really unhappy.

Knowing our work helps others

When we know that our work will make a difference to someone else, it makes us work harder. 

Try to reach out to the people who directly benefit from your work. This could boost your motivation to work hard.

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Two types of motivation

Motivation is categorized into two basic types: Extrinsic and intrinsic.

  • Extrinsic motivation is related to external forces like money or fame.
  • Intrinsic motivation is something that comes from within like joy or pride.

Daniel Pink on Incentives and the Two Types of Motivation

fs.blog

For people struggling to find motivation, taking advice sometimes is less effective than actually giving it. By giving advice to others, they internally solidify their learnings and turn towards following it themselves, increasing their own drive and achievements.

Example: Teaching a subject to others makes us learn the subject more, than simply reading about it.

How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It

hbr.org

The first views on motivation
  • At first, psychologist William James thought that only the initial act was conscious, thereafter behaviour was a spontaneous cascade of habits. He suggested we struggle with motivation when there are competing ideas.
  • Sigmund Freud theorised that we are largely unconscious of what drives our behaviour.

The Complete Guide to Motivation | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

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