Motivation – Inside and Out…..

In a comment posted by Guy Farmer on last week’s article The secret to overcoming… it was stated – I really like the idea of motivating people to motivate themselves from within. Intrinsic motivation

I have to admit that I was not aware that I “naturally” promote intrinsic motivation. So with all of that said; what is this motivation thing when looked at from a source perspective:

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (as always from the good and reliable Wikipedia®)

Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists within the individual rather than relying on any external pressure.

Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of the individual. Common extrinsic motivations are rewards like money and grades, coercion and threat of punishment. Competition is in general extrinsic because it encourages the performer to win and beat others, not to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity. A crowd cheering on the individual and trophies are also extrinsic incentives.

Sooo ok…

I understand that intrinsic motivation is a driving force that you “manufacture” yourself. You can feed it, starve it and you can kill it.

Extrinsic is a driving force from the outside that compels you to achieve (whether you want or not – inside).

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Herzberg's two-factor model

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Herzberg's two-factor model

At lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, such as physiological needs, money is a motivator; however it tends to have a motivating effect on staff that lasts only for a short period (in accordance with Herzberg‘s two-factor model of motivation). At higher levels of the hierarchy, praise, respect, recognition, empowerment and a sense of belonging are far more powerful motivators than money, as both Abraham Maslow‘s theory of motivation and Douglas McGregor‘s theory X and theory Y (pertaining to the theory of leadership) demonstrate. (Again Wikipedia®)

McGregor's theory X and theory Y

McGregor's theory X and theory Y


Enough with the theory.

Simply stated there are things that would drive you to achieve a successful result without anybody or anything spurring you on. Nobody said it was an easy thing…

Something to note – if you are cold and hungry and don’t have a penny to your name, it is VERY difficult to act in a generous manner – which may be the thing you most want to be… This is where intrinsic and extrinsic motivations collide.

So my basic premise is – If you want your intrinsic motivations to be dominant, you have to know what they are, why they are there and what they are good for. There is this one other person that I know will agree with me on this…

Stephen Covey's & Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey's & Habits of Highly Effective People

When Stephen Covey shows the “roadmap” to success, he automatically assumes that your intrinsic motivation has to be in place, strong and fully defined. The next thing you would notice is how that internal motivation will grow from dependence through independence to interdependence.

When theory works – it is beautiful.

Now look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s two-factor model and you will notice that the same “growth pattern” occurs there too. The more you have, the less you need, but the more you want… (Indulge me; think of it…)

So looking at the theory regarding motivation, it seems clear that almost all of the thought leaders agree that you have to get your internal motivation sorted out and then allow it to grow as you progress…

Phew, in simple terms: (From The Management Imperative – that would be my book)

  • Understand what and who you want to be
  • Separate the wants from the needs (Be Proactive)
  • Get motivated about the critical elements (Begin with the end in mind)
  • ACT!!!!

I hope that this speaks to you and will have a positive (and lasting) effect on your life…

Tell your friends, share with your colleagues and post it all over the web – come on!!! It’s good stuff…

Have a Happy Day


One thought on “Motivation – Inside and Out…..

  1. Pingback: Why – The practical side of Motivation. « Anton van den Berg – Blog

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