Why is understanding motivation important?

Understanding motivation is important in every part of your life. Finding the right combination of motivators will help you stay motivated even through the tougher parts of your day.

Understanding motivation is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Goal Achievement: Motivation is the driving force that propels individuals towards their goals. By understanding what motivates us, we can identify and pursue the actions necessary to achieve success.
  2. Increased Productivity: Motivated individuals tend to be more productive and efficient. When we understand our own motivations, we can harness that energy to stay focused, overcome obstacles, and consistently deliver our best efforts.
  3. Personal Growth: Exploring our motivations allows us to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. It helps us discover our passions, strengths, and areas for improvement, ultimately leading to personal growth and self-fulfillment.
  4. Effective Leadership: Understanding motivation is essential for leaders. By recognizing the diverse motivations of team members, leaders can tailor their approach, provide meaningful feedback, and create an environment that fosters engagement and productivity.
  5. Resilience and Perseverance: Motivation plays a crucial role in building resilience and perseverance. When faced with challenges or setbacks, a clear understanding of our motivations can fuel determination and inspire us to persist, ultimately leading to greater success.
  6. Positive Relationships: Understanding the motivations of others promotes empathy and effective communication. It helps us connect with and support others, fostering positive relationships and teamwork.


What is motivation?

Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes you to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge. Motivation involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior. https://www.verywellmind.com

Motivation refers to the internal and external factors that drive and direct our behavior towards achieving certain goals or satisfying specific needs. It is the force that initiates, guides, and sustains our actions, pushing us to take steps and make efforts to accomplish something. Motivation can be influenced by various factors, including personal desires, aspirations, rewards, social expectations, and the pursuit of personal growth or success. It is a complex psychological process that energizes and directs our behavior, keeping us focused and determined to overcome challenges and achieve desired outcomes. Motivation can vary from person to person and can be influenced by individual values, beliefs, experiences, and the context in which we operate.

It is important to understand what motivates you (and other people). Understanding the main types of motivation will help you find the motivation you need to achieve your best in any area you choose.

What are the 4 main sources of motivation?

Extrinsic Motivation (External)

Extrinsic motivation refers to the drive to engage in a behavior or activity for external rewards or consequences rather than for the inherent satisfaction or enjoyment of the activity itself. In other words, individuals are motivated by external factors such as:

  • Tangible rewards
  • Recognition
  • Praise
  • Avoiding punishment.

Extrinsic motivation can be seen in situations where individuals are motivated to perform well to earn a bonus, receive a promotion, or gain social approval. It often involves the desire to attain something external to oneself, whether it’s material possessions, status, or other forms of external validation. While extrinsic motivation can be effective in encouraging certain behaviors, it is important to note that it may not always result in long-term satisfaction or sustained intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic Motivation (Internal)

Intrinsic motivation is the type of motivation that comes from within a person. It is the desire and enjoyment we experience when we engage in an activity simply because we find it interesting, fulfilling, or enjoyable. When we are intrinsically motivated, we do something because we find it personally meaningful or because it brings us a sense of satisfaction and joy.

Here are some key points to understand about intrinsic motivation:

  1. Internal Satisfaction: Intrinsic motivation is driven by internal factors, such as our own curiosity, passion, or love for a particular activity. We engage in the activity for the sheer pleasure or sense of accomplishment it brings us.
  2. Personal Enjoyment: When we are intrinsically motivated, the activity itself is rewarding and enjoyable to us. We don’t necessarily need external rewards or incentives to engage in it.
  3. Autonomy and Choice: Intrinsic motivation often flourishes when we have a sense of autonomy and choice in selecting and pursuing activities that align with our interests and values. Having the freedom to choose what we want to do allows us to tap into our intrinsic motivation.
  4. Personal Growth: Intrinsic motivation can fuel personal growth and development. When we engage in activities that challenge us and help us learn and grow, we feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from within.
  5. Long-lasting and Sustainable: Intrinsic motivation is often more sustainable and long-lasting compared to extrinsic motivation. When we are intrinsically motivated, we are more likely to persist in the face of challenges and setbacks because the internal rewards and enjoyment keep us engaged.
  6. Examples: Examples of intrinsic motivation can vary from person to person, but they may include activities like pursuing a hobby, reading a book for pleasure, playing a musical instrument, creating artwork, or engaging in sports for the joy of it.

Intrinsic motivation is the internal drive and enjoyment we experience when engaging in activities that bring us personal satisfaction and fulfillment. It is about finding joy in the activity itself, rather than relying on external rewards or incentives.

Introjected Motivation (Guilty mind)

Introjected motivation is a type of motivation that falls between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. It refers to the drive to engage in an activity or behavior based on internal pressures, such as guilt, shame, or the need for approval from others. Unlike intrinsic motivation, which comes from within and is driven by personal enjoyment, introjected motivation involves engaging in an activity to avoid negative emotions or gain approval from others.

Here are some key points to understand about introjected motivation:

  1. Internal Pressures: Introjected motivation is driven by internal pressures or expectations that we impose on ourselves. These pressures can come from feelings of guilt, shame, or the need to gain approval or avoid disapproval from others.
  2. Avoiding Negative Emotions: Individuals may engage in certain activities or behaviors because they fear negative consequences, criticism, or self-judgment. They do so to avoid feelings of guilt or shame that may arise if they don’t meet certain expectations.
  3. Seeking External Validation: In introjected motivation, individuals may engage in activities to gain external validation or to please others. They may prioritize meeting others’ expectations or receiving praise and recognition over their own personal enjoyment.
  4. Internal Conflict: Introjected motivation can create a sense of internal conflict because individuals are driven more by the fear of negative emotions or the need for approval than by genuine personal interest. This conflict can impact their overall satisfaction and intrinsic motivation.
  5. Less Sustainable: Compared to intrinsic motivation, introjected motivation may be less sustainable and may not provide long-term satisfaction. Since it is driven by external pressures and the desire for approval, individuals may struggle to maintain their motivation if those external factors are no longer present.
  6. Examples: Examples of introjected motivation could include studying for a test primarily to avoid feeling guilty or disappointing parents, participating in a sport to gain approval from friends or coaches, or taking up a hobby to fit in with a certain group of people.

Introjected motivation involves engaging in activities or behaviors due to internal pressures, such as the fear of negative emotions or the need for approval. It falls between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and may not provide the same level of fulfillment and enjoyment as activities driven by intrinsic motivation.

Identified Motivation (Self-improvement)

Identified motivation, also known as self-improvement motivation, is a type of motivation where individuals engage in activities or behaviors because they personally value and identify with the goals or outcomes associated with those activities. It is a form of intrinsic motivation that focuses on personal growth, learning, and achieving self-set goals.

Key points to understand about identified motivation:

  1. Personal Values and Goals: In identified motivation, individuals engage in activities that align with their personal values, interests, and long-term goals. They have a clear understanding of why they want to pursue certain activities and how they relate to their personal growth and development.
  2. Self-Determined: Individuals who are self-improvement motivated are internally driven and make choices based on their own desires, aspirations, and beliefs. They take ownership of their actions and see them as meaningful and important to their personal development.
  3. Growth Mindset: Identified motivation is often associated with having a growth mindset, which means believing that abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and practice. Individuals with a growth mindset are motivated to learn, improve, and take on challenges.
  4. Autonomy and Personal Fulfillment: Engaging in activities that are driven by identified motivation provides a sense of autonomy and personal fulfillment. Individuals feel a sense of control and satisfaction as they actively pursue goals that are important to them.
  5. Long-term Persistence: Identified motivation tends to lead to sustained effort and perseverance in the face of challenges. Individuals are more likely to persist and overcome obstacles because they genuinely value the process of self-improvement and are committed to their personal goals.

Examples of identified motivation could include learning a musical instrument because the individual values self-expression and creativity, setting fitness goals to improve personal health and well-being, or taking up a new hobby to enhance skills and expand knowledge.

Identified motivation or self-improvement motivation involves engaging in activities or behaviors based on personal values, goals, and a desire for personal growth. It is driven by internal factors and a genuine interest in self-improvement, leading to increased autonomy, persistence, and a sense of personal fulfillment.

What to watch out for


This is when you do not have the motivation to do something. You need to work out why this has happened.

“I can’t do it”

One of the most common reasons for a lack of motivation is that you do not have the confidence in yourself to achieve the task.

You literally don’t believe that you can do it.

Many people with low self-esteem believe that they are less capable than they actually are so it is a good idea to push yourself. BUT, and this is a big but. Despite all the ‘you can do it’ motivation videos on YouTube, not everyone can do everything so don’t be too hard on yourself – it may just not be for you. You can always try something else. 

However much you try to teach a goldfish to climb a tree it never will be able to do it – its a great swimmer though!

‘Why are we doing this?’

The second most common reason for a lack of motivation is not understanding the connection between the actions and the outcomes. The task may seem pointless or a waste of time.

When this happens, you need to look for the links that identify how the action can benefit your overall performance and lead to eventual success for you. 

If you cannot find those links then you may need to change your approach or even the task if you can.

Amotivation refers to a lack of motivation or a state of feeling unmotivated to engage in certain activities or behaviors. When someone is experiencing amotivation, they may not have any interest, desire, or perceived value in participating in a specific task or activity. It is important to understand amotivation because it can have an impact on our engagement, performance, and overall well-being.

Key points to understand about amotivation:

  1. Lack of Interest: Amotivation occurs when someone has little or no interest in a particular activity. They may feel indifferent or apathetic towards it, lacking any sense of excitement or enjoyment.
  2. Absence of Goals: People experiencing amotivation may not have clear goals or objectives associated with the activity. Without a sense of purpose or direction, they may struggle to find reasons to engage in it.
  3. External Pressure: Sometimes, amotivation arises when individuals feel forced or pressured to engage in an activity. When the motivation is solely coming from external sources, such as parents, teachers, or peers, and there is no personal connection or internal drive, it can lead to a state of amotivation.
  4. Lack of Perceived Competence: Another factor contributing to amotivation is a feeling of incompetence or low self-confidence. When individuals believe they lack the necessary skills or abilities to succeed in an activity, they may become demotivated and disengaged.
  5. Emotional Factors: Negative emotions like boredom, frustration, or anxiety can also contribute to amotivation. If an activity is perceived as boring, too challenging, or overwhelming, individuals may lose interest and motivation to continue.
  6. Impact on Behavior: Amotivation can lead to avoidance or procrastination, where individuals actively try to avoid or delay engaging in the activity. This can have consequences on performance, productivity, and personal growth.

It is important to note that amotivation is not a permanent state, and individuals can shift from amotivation to various levels of motivation with the right strategies and support. Understanding amotivation can help us identify the underlying factors contributing to it and explore ways to rekindle motivation, find meaning, and develop a sense of purpose in our activities.


Amotivation refers to a lack of motivation or interest in engaging in a specific activity. It can occur when there is no personal connection, clear goals, or perceived competence. Addressing amotivation involves exploring the underlying reasons and finding strategies to rekindle motivation and create a sense of purpose and engagement in our pursuits.

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Posted in Entrepreneur, Leadership Series, Life, Motivation.