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What is Intrinsic Motivation? How to Be Driven by Inner Drive

by Roveen Anyango
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If I ask you what motivates you, what will you say? I believe that you will say things like money, loved ones, or the desire to be someone great. All these are great motivators for sure, but there is another form of motivation that is also crucial in how you live your life to the fullest.

What is intrinsic motivation?

Intrinsic motivation refers to a state of motivation that’s is driven by personal enjoyment, personal satisfaction or any other inner desire rather than external factors like reward or punishment.

Intrinsic motivation in psychology is known as the best type of motivation because it is not dependent on changing dynamics of external motivation.

Examples of intrinsic motivation in action

Examples of intrinsic motivation include solving math problems, not because of deadlines but because you love solving problems. Your love for solutions is intrinsic. Or perhaps learning how to play an instrument simply because you love playing it and not because you feel like you need to. Or it could be going to your job daily because you love and enjoy it and not because you fear being fired.

Why intrinsic motivation matters

Intrinsic motivation is important because it makes every other trait for success easier to achieve. When your motivations are not bound by external factors, you are much more likely to be committed, to be tenacious, to be persistent, creative, and hardworking.

How to have better intrinsic motivation

To help yourself have better intrinsic motivation, do the following:

  • Always strive to do what you love. The things that make you happy just because. It could be a hobby, a skill. Do whatever makes you happy.
  • Look for fun at work or any other activities. Find ways to make work or any other ‘boring’ activities engaging. This way, you get joy from the fun that comes with it.
  • Find meaning and value in whatever you do. Find a higher purpose in whatever you do. It could be understanding how it helps others, improves the world, and so on.

Intrinsic motivation can be applied to all aspects of our lives; it only needs a change of mentality, and you are there. So, always focus on the bigger picture in whatever you do and watch your motivation change.

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