Scientists, teachers, and business leaders have spent a lot of time trying to find more effective ways to motivate people. However, one thing is certain. Intrinsic motivation works better than external pressure.
Take a look at how to tap into inner sources of inspiration and where to apply them.
How to Use Intrinsic Motivation
- Ask questions. Ask yourself what you would do if you were not getting paid or receiving any direct compensation. Think about the activities that spark your interest and provide gratification.
- Set meaningful goals. This line of questioning can help you identify your purpose. With your objectives in mind, you can set priorities and focus on what’s important.
- Challenge yourself. Aim for targets that are ambitious, without being impossible. Tasks that are too easy tend to become boring. On the other hand, it’s difficult to pursue a dream that seems too far out of reach.
- Give yourself choices. We all like to feel some sense of control. Build a degree of flexibility into your plans. If you’re trying to practice your French, you may want to watch a foreign movie on the days you get tired of grammar drills.
- Search for relevance. Even the most tedious tasks become more meaningful if you can relate them to your values. Pulling up weeds in your back yard reinforces your patience.
- Stimulate your curiosity. Fire yourself up by taking a fresh look at your surroundings. Spend time outdoors appreciating nature. Spend time playing with your children and pets. Ask a librarian to suggest books about a topic you’ve been curious about.
- Accept impurities. Experts debate whether or not human motivation can be completely intrinsic. Even if you secretly want a little public recognition, it’s still valuable to take pleasure in virtuous actions for their own sake.
- Limit material rewards. Studies show that external payoffs can make things less appealing, even if we liked doing them in the first place. Delight in supporting a fundraiser for your local animal shelter, regardless of whether you win a raffle prize. While material rewards are nice, the internal reward is what counts.
- Provide information. Then again, a recent study found that causal information is an effective reward. Boost your motivation by digging up more information about a project. Practical data has the biggest impact.
Where to Apply Intrinsic Motivation
- Focus on learning. Many teachers and parents struggle to get kids interested in learning, as opposed to just getting good grades. As an adult, you can attend museum lectures, read classic novels, and conduct your own science experiments without worrying about final exams.
- Forget about pay day. Make a list of the benefits your job provides that go beyond your salary, benefits, and medical insurance plan. Post it somewhere where you can see it, and remind yourself of why you chose your line of work.
- Get a hobby. Put your leisure time to good use. Pursue your interests and cultivate your creativity. You may discover more about yourself while you’re playing the violin or tending to your vegetable garden.
- Think about others. Transform your relationships by emphasizing what you can give to others. Be willing to let your mother-in-law win an argument. Switch shifts with a coworker when she needs to take the afternoon off. They’ll be more likely to return the favor.
- Value yourself. Consider how everything you do contributes to your self-esteem. Choose actions that honor your true worth.
Looking inside yourself for encouragement will make you feel happier and more accomplished. Rely on intrinsic motivation to move ahead in life.
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