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What is Motivation? Types of Motivation

What does it take to stay motivated?"Scaling High" Image License: XS courtesy alphaspirit

We keep hearing about motivation and types of motivation all the time, but what exactly does the word "motivation" mean?

definition of motivation

Motivation is generally defined as the driving force behind our actions, fueled by our desire for something. It is that internal strength that gets us to move, and take action, to whatever end we desire or plan to achieve.

There are several different types of motivation, based on the goal or end that motivates us. But in the broadest sense, motivation can be categorized into two different types.

first type of motivation

Our motivation results from our desire for something that is internally driven; it is our intrinsic desire for something, and not related to anything outside of us.

Say you love the job you are doing. You want to learn everything there is about it, just for the reason you could be the best you can be at it. The very thought of getting to work and doing what you love, is what gets out of bed in the morning.

That is internal motivation.

More Examples of Intrinsic Motivation

Second Type of Motivation

Our motivation has an external stimulus; it results from our desire for something outside of us.

Relating back to the same job example we have used earlier - let's say, your management or boss has decided to select one best performing employee, for a week long, all-expense-paid cruise trip to the Caribbean.

Now, you may still work to be the best you can be in your job; but this time, you do it for a different reason. You do it because you want to be that best performing employee, that earns that Caribbean pleasure cruise from your employer. Your source of motivation is something outside of you - the cruise trip in this case. That is extrinsic motivation.

More About Extrinsic Motivation

Other Types of Motivation

There are other categories or types of motivation as well, usually based on the specific end goal that we are interested in:

For instance, if it is the pleasure of achievement that drives us, it is Achievement motivation; if it is the pressure of our society or peers that drives us, it is Social motivation; if it is an external reward that we want (as in the example above), it is Incentive motivation; if it is the fear or repercussion, it is Fear motivation, and so forth.


Would you like some extra help to boost your self-motivation?

Try self-hypnosis audios. Listen to them for 20 minutes a day, and
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