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Motivation Comes From Within: 5 Ways To Increase Intrinsic Motivation

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Motivation Comes From Within

Even though everyone knows the benefits of physical activity, many people would rather choose to watch TV or to eat a cheeseburger over exercises. Some people even start exercising every day but quickly drop out because they lack motivation.

People from various industries often mention the lack of motivation as the most serious obstacle for productivity, however, it doesn’t mean that somebody lacks any motivation.

The thing is, he or she may not have effective motivation. If you pursue any long-term goals, your motivation must be effective.

For example, many successful writers point out that they write not because they just want to sell another book. They do it because they like it. Writing makes them feel happy, it fulfills them. This feeling of fulfillment and joy from doing something is called intrinsic motivation. 

For some people, this sort of motivation comes easily, while others need to struggle to develop it. If you’re one of the second group, you may appreciate our tips.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Simply put, your motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic, depending on where it comes from — inside of you or outside.

Extrinsic motivation can be illustrated on a simple example, for instance, when you need to do something in order to get money or another reward. Extrinsic motivation also pushes you to do something when you know that otherwise, you’ll be punished.

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Most often, such kinds of activities as education, sports, or work, are associated with extrinsic motivation, because people want to get good grades, awards, or money.

All these rewards come from a certain exterior source, and they are usually very specific.

In contrast, intrinsic motivation doesn’t depend on external rewards.

This motivation works when you just enjoy doing something, with no particular goal. 

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Of course, you may be personally rewarded because of your own small victories, however, you would still enjoy the very process just because you really like it.

Intrinsic motivation turns out to be much more effective than extrinsic motivation, and it easily builds habits.

Why Is Intrinsic Motivation Important

Let’s think of the reasons why you read this article. If you’re reading it because this topic looks interesting to you and you like articles about personal development, then you’re following your intrinsic motivation.

Of course, if you learn more about this topic, it may help you get some tangible rewards, but it’s not the point. People do many things just because they like it and because they feel satisfied from doing it.

 Activities that bring the feeling of internal satisfaction also create a sense of meaning, the same as when doing some good things, like volunteering or helping others. 

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You may also be satisfied with your own progress, accomplishing your short-term goals and seeing how you become more skilled at your favorite task.

Our internal rewards are very important, in fact, psychologists found out that they play an even more crucial role in our motivation than external rewards.

It turns out that when we receive external rewards for something that already brings us internal reinforcements, intrinsic motivation declines

This effect is called overjustification. People who follow their intrinsic motivation are in general more creative, looking for non-standard solutions and generating more ideas.

Intrinsic motivation also plays a crucial role in education.

Instructional designers and teachers always try to create an environment that would boost intrinsic motivation. 

Even though most modern systems of education mostly rely on extrinsic rewards, suggesting that the educational process is boring for students, intrinsic rewards still show better results.

In addition, creating an intrinsically motivating environment is not a difficult task. Such factors as curiosity, recognition, competition, and cooperation significantly increase intrinsic motivation among students or employees.

Here are additional ways you can use to increase intrinsic motivation: 

Ways to Increase Intrinsic Motivation

1. Sense of Purpose

The sense of purpose is very important for every human being. It helps us focus on important tasks because they make us feel fulfilled.

When we realize our purpose, we get engaged with our goals, and the process of achieving them seems less complicated, bringing more joy. 

It’s important to keep in mind your long-term goals to not feel worthless.

Let your sense of purpose stay with you throughout your life, no matter what you do.

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2. Autonomy

Autonomy in the workplace boosts productivity and makes employees feel more satisfied with their job.

If a company wants to increase intrinsic motivation among employees, they should be able to make decisions regarding their job. 

Another great way to increase autonomy is allowing employees to choose flexible schedules.

3. Feeling of Accomplishment

The feeling of accomplishment is itself a powerful internal reward.

Thus, even if we don’t get any external rewards, this feeling proves that our effort is worth something, and we feel proud of our accomplishment.

In turn, this feeling makes us want to accomplish more, boosting intrinsic motivation.

4. Progress

When we make progress, our brain responds to it, feeling motivated and determined.

It’s important to visualize your progress. 

Draw a table and record pounds that you’ve dropped in the gym or sales you’ve made at work.

Look how your results get better and you will feel intrinsically motivated.

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5. Curiosity

When we are curious about something, we can work hard to learn more about the subject of interest, even if we don’t have any external rewards for doing it.

Try to find something interesting about activities that look boring, and you’ll feel more motivated.


Everyone can boost intrinsic motivation by focusing on personal accomplishments, sense of purpose, progress, and other things that make us feel worthy. 

The main thing is to focus on personal benefits from a certain activity instead of looking for external rewards that give only temporary satisfaction and don’t evoke our inner motivation.

Intrinsic motivation is a powerful force that helps us do something just to feel the joy and fulfillment from the process, that's why everlasting motivation comes from within.

Share this article with your social connections, show them the power of Intrinsic Motivation and how they can change theirs lives for the better.
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Berta Melder is an experienced brand manager, a content strategist and co-founder of the Masterra, contributor and guest blogger for many websites. Being passionate about her job, she cooperates with different education courses covering a broad range of digital topics as a guest lecturer. Follow her on Twitter.

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