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Thought of the Week: Motivation


There are essentially two forms of motivation that humans respond to. External and Internal.

External motivation is normally a set of rewards or punishments to guide behavior. Generally, someone who is in a position of authority provides rewards or punishments based on how they want the person to behave. This is often the model for typical managers.

Internal motivation is where the individual is pursuing a behavior (or set of outcomes) for their own reasons. It does not rely on external forces. A person is following their own guiding light towards specific results. By all measures, this is the preferred state. Leaders work to encourage people to achieve this state.

If you are relying on external forces to motivate you, you may want to take a moment to self-reflect. Why do you need to rely on others to motivate you? Is your work, or other pursuits, not sufficiently rewarding to pursue on your own terms? What could you change to cultivate internal motivation to drive your behavior?

If you are not internally motivated, there may be a reason why you feel this way. It might be worth some time to consider that reasons and the options available to you to pursue something of greater value or significance.



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