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Many of us find it difficult to stay motivated on a daily basis, be it for workouts, studies, or work. Covid-19 has added to our pressures, as besides the performance anxiety, we now have to manage the looming threat of a dangerous viral infection.
In such a case, what may help is to indulge in activities that give us joy, regardless of their outcome. This act of doing something without expecting any external rewards is called ‘intrinsic motivation’ and can be manifested through activities that are enjoyable, challenging, and interesting for us.
If you participate in acts without the pressure of incentives, deadlines, or end results, then you intrinsically stay motivated to see them to fruition. A classic example is reading a book that you enjoy because of its content, and not because of a pending college assignment. Another example is participating in a sport because you enjoy it, rather than the fact that a tournament can win you a trophy or cash prize.
Intrinsic motivation is based on psychological needs that must be fulfilled to achieve a sense of autonomy, and derive pleasure from overcoming a challenge, without the prospect of any external reward. As per a research published by Frontiers in Psychology, external rewards such as money can actually be detrimental to task performance.
Extrinsic motivation is derived from receiving or expecting to receive an external award after the successful completion of an activity. People find motivation by setting goals focussed on an outcome, void of any psychological gratification. These goals range from money, fame, power, or uplifted social status.
People who derive intrinsic motivation, stand to benefit in the following ways:
Improved ability to learn: An intrinsically motivated person will develop curiosity, and push towards learning in order to draw pleasure that comes from understanding concepts, skill and theories. They will also readily subject themselves to challenges, and thrive for optimal performance, at work or school.
Develop cooperation skills: Cooperation among peers is developed, as the need to perform to the best of one’s ability is a major driving force. Other hallmarks of intrinsically motivated people are inclination towards shared enjoyment, community gratification, and fun in overcoming challenges together.
Sense of satisfaction: People often feel a deep sense of personal satisfaction when they involve others in their success or help others to achieve a common goal. This contributes to their sense of wellbeing and helps them stay motivated.
So, ladies, intrinsic motivation is an important tool that helps you improve your overall health, self-esteem, and wellbeing!