Updated: Jan 16, 2022
Writer and spiritual teacher, Wayne Dyer's quote is one of the best distinctions between motivation and inspiration that I've come across. People often use the terms motivation and inspiration interchangeably. But they have distinct meanings and implications.
Today, I will focus on motivation.
According to the Oxford dictionary, motivation is the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. The key to motivation is to have a "motive." In other words, what's your why behind your desires?
Without clearly understanding your why, the fickle nature of motivation will be hard to come by and even harder to summon consistently. That's why I don't advocate depending on motivation.
It's too easy to forget our why when it's time to take action. Even if we do remember, there are forces competing for our attention that can make following through fall by the wayside. This happens less often when we are intrinsically motivated vs. extrinsically motivated, but we still have to be cautious.
When we start receiving external rewards for activities that intrinsically motivate us, it could lead to decrease motivation and enjoyment of the activity.
The overjustification effect describes how intrinsic motivation and enjoyment is diminished by external rewards, even money.
What the overjustification effect might tell us is that it is important to keep some of our hobbies as just hobbies, rather than try to benefit monetarily from them, in order to prevent loss of the intrinsic value of partaking in that activity.
Intrinsic motivation appears more favorable because it implies free choice, whereas extrinsic motivation makes us feel like we are being controlled. While we can't always get rid of external rewards, like high grades or a salary, the overjustification effect reminds us of the importance of remembering the intrinsic value of activities to maintain our motivation.
Do you know the motivation behind your goals?
Cheering you on,
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