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I do not know if I have ever written about these two types of motivation, but I was prompted to write about them again by my muse, so here goes. The two types of motivation are labeled intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is the internal drive to get something done. Extrinsic motivation is an outside influence to achieve something.

When we are intrinsically motivated, we are motivated by ourselves. Blogging is a good example. We blog for some internal reason, be it highlighting a hobby we have, telling our story, or sharing the news we find interesting in today’s paper. Others highlight their businesses, like their books, their travel businesses, or any number of professions. This is an example of intrinsic motivation. Now, some who blog do out of necessity. They need people to know about their businesses, so these folks may be motivated extrinsically. The business motivates them, not themselves.

I like to think about these two types of motivation because they are a great measuring stick for what we do. I also do not think the things we do fall into one or either camp entirely. In other words, I think every task we complete has both types of motivations intertwined within them. We feel an inward pressure to do something, but also an external one.

Let’s look at your profession. There are certain internal drivers that get you to work every day. Perhaps it is the people you work with or the type of work you do. If you truly enjoy your work and your colleagues, this is intrinsic. Yet, there are also external factors that impact our need to go to work. We have financial responsibilities, a need to support ourselves, and an employer who expects certain things from us. I hope this illustrates my point–we are driven by both forms of motivation simultaneously, not one or the other.

One thing I will say, however, is that the more intrinsically you are motivated, the easier a task is. You are doing something because YOU want to. Not because someone else is making you do it. When a task becomes overly extrinsic, you may have to take a look at what you are doing. I mean, who wants to be driven by someone else to do something? Perhaps it is your job. Maybe it’s time for a change. If it is a chore that you find distasteful, there’s always delegation. Can one of your kids do the job now? Can this be outsourced to an outside vendor or person who does this for a living. We have our next door neighbor’s boy do our lawn, rake our leaves, and snow blow our driveway. He likes the money we pay him, and we like not having to do the work anymore (It’s so nice to see someone else snow blowing your driveway when it is in the sub-zero range of temperatures.)

Today, take stock of what you do every day. If you have to be nagged or even nag yourself to get something done, is there someone else that can do that particular task? Something to consider.

I hope all of you have a terrific Monday!

Until next time…

Dave