When you’re hungry, you eat. When you’re tired, you sleep. When you want a good grade, you study. But what motivates you to get from point A to point B? In other words, why do we do anything?
In its most basic sense, motivation is the need or desire to do something. 1 Understanding what motivation is defined as is completely different – and much simpler – than understand what causes motivation.
There are several perspectives used when examining the root cause for motivation, and when taken together, they help us understand what drives us. Here are just a few of them:
Example: A rumbling stomach signals the body that you’re hungry, and the need to maintain balance motivates you to eat.
Example: Adrenaline junkies love to skydive, but tamer individuals prefer a trip to the movies.
INTRINSIC vs. EXTRINSIC
It’s important to note the difference between internal motivating factors and external ones, which can encourage or discourage behavior.
Extrinsic (external) motivation comes from your expectation of punishment or reward. 1
Intrinsic (internal) motivation comes from you finding pleasure in the activity itself. 1
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