Recently I’ve been reading some material on motivation and the material presented to me really makes sense.
In essence, the material I’ve read says you can be intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated to do a task/activity. Intrinsically motivated is where you do this because you want to. You have an inherit need to either do the right thing or do it because you want to do it. Typically in intrinsic motivation, there isn’t a monetary reward for doing something. Say you have a hobby, such as cooking, or painting or dancing or writing. You do these things because you gain a personal satisfaction from doing these things. Now let me introduce you to Extrinsic motivation. This is where you are motivated by an external factor. Say, Monetary reward, or you are being told to complete something. I would say this about your job that you are extrinsically motivated (ie: you’re paid), but some people love their work and would do it even if they weren’t paid.
So try this… apply extrinsic motivation to your hobby now… how would you feel about completing that activity ? Would you derive the same amount of pleasure from your hobby ?
I’m betting the answer is No.
Or maybe you might, but at some point in time, I don’t think that it will be your hobby any longer.
So with that being said. Let’s define the task. If you are in my line of work, that means either solving a problem, or completing a deliverable. In my case, you never want to take you eyes off the prize (aforementioned: problem or deliverable). In my career, completing the task is extrinsically motivated. I get paid for completing deliverables and solving problems, and I’m ok with that (in fact sometimes it’s difficult to turn off). Most of us that work are extrinsically motivated, you get paid to do a job and even get incentives if you do that job well (eg: bonus or other non-monetary rewards).
However, I’m thinking that when you were young, you didn’t say, “Gee, I want to do ____(fill in what you do most often in your work day) for the rest of my life”. I know I didn’t say “Gee, I want to be a lean, mean, deliverable producing machine !” If I did, the school counselors would have been all over me like white on rice. Then I’d be riding the short bus home.
So what is it that you think motivates you…. what is it you want to do most ?
What makes you run….