How To Leverage Intrinsic Motivation For Personal Fulfillment

By Blair Williams, the founder of MemberPress, an all-in-one membership website software for WordPress.

Children are often more creative, braver and happier because they do things for the joy of doing them. They are “intrinsically” motivated and carry out activities that they care about.

What if we could leverage the power of intrinsic motivation as adults?

When we are intrinsically motivated, we do things for their own sake rather than for an external reward. And very often, when we do something we like, we do it well. We can actually grow personally and professionally when we’re doing our best work. 

A person’s internal motivation can be unique and different from everyone else’s. Some people enjoy washing up and doing the dishes because they enjoy the act of cleaning up. Others write effortlessly because they take pleasure in expressing themselves. While there are those who enjoy the heat of competition that makes most people uncomfortable. 

We often use extrinsic motivation as a way to get things done. Rather than focus on an action that gives us pleasure, we perform activities to get a reward.

However, activities that are intrinsically motivated often give us the best results in life. There are several benefits that appear from having intrinsic motivation:

• You take pleasure in performing an activity rather than getting a reward.

• You’ll be more creative.

• Taking risks and doing things differently will appeal to you more.

• You won’t give up your goals easily.

• You’ll see a boost in happiness and peace of mind.

It’s possible for anyone to leverage the power of intrinsic motivation in their lives. Let’s look at how you can get in touch with what drives you from within. 

Recall Your Childhood Interests

As a child, you very likely gave your best to goals and activities that you really cared about. To tap into your inner drive, recall the activities you thrived at as a child. 

Pull out your notebook or a word processor and start writing down all the things you loved. Whether it’s drawing, writing, running, or making elaborate stories with your toys. 

Your childhood activities hold the key to understand what makes you tick. When you have a list of all the things you did without seeking a reward, look for what you enjoyed about them.

Try to look for ways that you can enjoy the same activities in your daily life. If you liked to make your toys act out a story, then writing or making movies may be something worth exploring. Did you love dancing as a child? Why not make that a part of your life with weekly classes again? 

Create The Right Rewards

Intrinsic motivation taps into your most meaningful desires in life. Rewards in the form of money or physical goods aren’t real drivers. It’s the experience that matters. 

When you’re internally motivated, your reward is the activity itself. However, you can make your favorite activities even more interesting and compelling by using certain techniques. 

You can set up a progress tracker to keep track of your activities. Using an app, writing down your experiences in a journal and sharing in a group with similar interests are all ways to measure progress. As you see small and incremental improvements in life, you’ll be motivated to continue pursuing your goals. 

Create A Compelling Vision

You can leverage intrinsic motivation in others by creating a compelling vision. Building a strong vision appeals to people at an emotional level.

When setting goals, focus on outcomes at a values level. For example, Apple makes high-tech products, but its vision is centered around great user experience, innovation and self-expression. 

At a personal level, consider building a vision board or motivational notes that you can stick on the refrigerator. Whenever you look at them, you will remember what your overarching goal is and will feel driven to achieve it. 

Focus On Progress Over End-Results

Remember to focus on being present and mindful, and on doing the task itself, whether it’s exercising or learning something new. 

Practicing yoga, meditation or mindfulness will help you feel more attuned to the moment. 

A useful attitude is to let go of end results and to let the outcome take place as a natural consequence of your performance. When you approach life in this way, you’re more likely to do better and feel happier. 

Seek Challenging Tasks

Because intrinsic motivation comes from personally fulfilling activities, the activities you choose need to be challenging. Tasks that ask you to be more creative or find unique solutions compel you to think differently. 

When you’re able to resolve demanding tasks, your sense of personal pride will be greater. You’ll experience far more fulfillment and happiness. 

Find Happiness Through Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the personal drive that makes you carry out activities for their own sake. When you’re internally motivated, you’re more likely to feel happier and meet your goals successfully.

Anyone can find intrinsic motivation in their life. Use the suggestions mentioned here to make changes and grow as a person, and you’ll find greater happiness.

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Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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