One of the great writers on motivation, Ausabel, determined that there was intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. What does that mean exactly?

Well, intrinsic motivation will derive from an inner will to achieve and perform. Extrinsic motivation will come from benefiting from an outer source in some way. In Education, we will see students perform for a variety of reasons. A parent offering a motorcycle to his child in exchange of a high grade will be promoting a motivational response emanating from the desire to have the bike which is an exterior or extrinsic motivational incentive. Another parent will cultivate the sense of pride of the achievement within the child. The desire for this feeling of pride will later motivate the child to perform in an intrinsic manner.

Intrinsic ways of triggering motivation will tend to build inner strength. Extrinsic incentives will develop a more competitive edge satisfied more so easily by obtaining the object desired.

As adult, we continue to require motivation to attain goals. When we have learnt to strive to achieve only when extrinsic incentives are present, we may come to feel disillusioned because possessions tend to lose their initial glow after a while. This is why it is so important to develop the elements necessary to trigger inner motivation when needed.

Sure, striving for a new, larger home or car will make you go after that promotion you need to obtain a higher salary. What may happen is that you will have difficulty staying focused during a long term challenge needing the development of skills and strategies.

The good thing about differentiating both types of motivation, understanding how they drive you and their effectiveness is that you will wish to attain balance and build your inner strength which, in turn, will be present when facing a long haul.

Employers, as leaders in their own fields, should always take the time to know how their employees respond to motivational triggers. This will be one of the key elements to attain goals set. Many offer trips or bonuses when a performance campaign is launched. It is the easiest to obtain spontaneous will to sell, sell, sell, for example. Other’s will honor and value their staff by offering plaques underlying the achievement, increasing the percentage received upon a sale.

If you’ve benefited of such adornment, you know that the feeling of glory is short lived. Yes, it feels good to be noticed and revered for the profits the company has made through your devoted performance. But it does not match the feeling of being also spoken to with respect and asked to state your opinion in an important matter, or of being named to plan the next campaign or even more, train the rookies to perform like you do. Why? Because that will validate your inner worth at a different level, one that speaks of your creativity, your coordinating skills, your leadership, your pride and your loyalty for example.

In the end, long-term performance will be relying on these mostly. So, as you set a goal, take a good look at your motivation for reaching it. Why? Well, because, if the incentive is only exterior, extrinsic, emotionally rewarding because of the regard of others or materially beneficial, you may weaken along the way and if it is strengthening your abilities, your inner core, you will be able to pick up and go whenever you face adversity. Assessing it regularly will also contribute to strengthening your inner core.

Once you’ve really put a tab on your motivation, you will be able to trigger its spark if it diminishes, maintain it through obstacles and reach your goal with excellence, knowing that you are the one in control of your performance all the way! As you glow with Pride, you’ll also know that is not a fleeting moment of glory but a long lasting inner feeling letting your self-confidence glimmer for all to feel and see!

Have a nice week, Happy Trails,

Elizabeth McNally
Mentor & Licensed Certified EI Coach

Author's Bio: 



I work with resilient, determined men and women, of all ages and of all walks of life, who are presently overwhelmed by a sudden loss, struggle, or situation, and have no intent of letting this overpower them. They aim to clarify this situation, explore effective solutions and take productive action.

What differentiates me are my 17 years of experience as a Mentor & Coach, a pertinent Career and life experiences, a Master’s degree and training in Emotional Intelligence which enables me to better perceive my clients’ needs. Because of this, I know how to help my clients clarify their thoughts, pinpoint issues and take concrete, suitable action to solve the problem, in record time.

My clients then regain the appealing glow and spark of the keen, confident, energetic people they’ve always been. They walk away with the pride and triumphant joy of having overcome.