Intrinsic Motivation: The Chance To Enjoy The Passing Of Time

Intrinsic motivation: the ability to enjoy the passing of time

Man is a curious being, always looking for sensations and with very specific plans and goals. He hosts within himself an intrinsic motivation, that desire to achieve succulent rewards or external incentives by overcoming obstacles that sometimes he himself seeks, or that perhaps are imposed by others so that he can learn lessons or, why not, only to annoy. This is the human being or at least most of us.

But what makes us so? Why are we always looking for a goal? Where does the strength to achieve it come from? Why do some succeed and others stop halfway? Why do some continue in the face of the same negative result and others give up? But we might also ask ourselves, why do some people climb Everest to the top and risk their lives?

When in a detective novel the inspector or detective interrogates witnesses and suspects of a crime, some of the fundamental questions to be answered in solving the case are: what was the cause of the crime? Why did the killer behave this way? The answers to these questions lead us to the motive for the crime.

One of the keys to finding answers to these questions lies in motivation. Fascinating, right? A motivation, a good motivation, can be the most effective starting point for moving the world. It is the reason that stops us or gives us courage, what makes us cowardly or courageous.

What is motivation?

Motivation can be defined on the basis of three elements: having a goal, deciding to achieve it and making a continuous effort to achieve it. Motivation is the motive that initiates, maintains and directs the action of a subject to achieve certain objectives. In common parlance it is referred to in various ways: self-love, spiritual struggle or willpower. Ultimately, a force capable of moving us, a desire capable of lifting us.

Girl moved by intrinsic motivation

What are the characteristics of motivation?

Motivation is a psychological construct invisible to the eye, but perfectly recognizable through its external manifestations. It is the process that explains the intensity, direction and persistence of an individual’s effort to reach a goal.

The characteristics of motivated behavior are as follows:

  • It is proactive: it is oriented and directed towards a goal that the individual wishes to achieve.
  • It is strong and persistent: individuals employ large doses of energy to achieve their goal, overcoming obstacles that arise along the way.
  • The reasons are organized hierarchically: some reasons have a survival function, others are oriented towards personal growth.
  • The reasons can be understandable or inexplicable, conscious or unconscious. We are not always aware of the reasons behind our behavior.
  • The reasons can be extrinsic or intrinsic. A worker in an automobile factory may be motivated by a need for money or a desire to improve his reputation in the eyes of his boss. In this case, external elements help him carry out his task. Conversely, intrinsic motivation implies that a behavior occurs as a consequence of an interest and the pleasure in carrying it out. In the case of the worker, it can be the feeling of competence or mastery.
  • Extrinsic motivation comes from outside, from someone or something capable of generating that motivation. Behavior motivated by external reinforcers is not driven by self-interest, but by an external reward associated with it. Think of the pupil who has been promised a gift if he gets a certain grade.
  • Intrinsic motivation arises within the individual when he desires something. A person with intrinsic motivation has an inner strength that pushes him to dominate the situation and achieve success. Think of the pupil who sees the exam as an opportunity to reflect and consolidate what they have learned.

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation has been defined as the motivation that is naturally linked to a certain behavior. The incentive is intrinsic to the activity itself, that is, it is the very realization of the behavior that pushes us.

The reasons that lead to the realization of the activity or task are inherent to our person and to the activity itself. Consequently, this type of behavior is considered intrinsic to one’s personal motivations.

For example: when we dedicate time to a certain hobby, when we carry out an activity only to surpass ourselves. In general it is easy to find it in the field of sports or when we have our own project which is extremely important to us, but which in the eyes of others may seem far-fetched. Think about the people who love to cook.

Sport and intrinsic motivation

The 3 main characteristics of intrinsic motivation

The sources of intrinsic motivation are many and varied, today we will focus on the three most important.

Need for success

The intrinsic motivation for success is closely related to the instinct to overcome oneself. It is the tendency to carry out an activity for the satisfaction of doing it and to see some of one’s skills or abilities perfected. This is how the road to a sense of competence opens up.

People with a high need for success possess the following characteristics:

  • They are innovators and entrepreneurs.
  • They seek professional excellence or success by relying on their own effort.
  • They are persistent in achieving goals.

Need for membership

It is the interest in establishing or maintaining a positive emotional relationship with other people. Normally such motivated people seek social contact or fit into small or large groups, as they do not like being alone.

People with a high need for membership have the following characteristics:

  • Their relationships boast greater emotional quality and quantity than others.
  • They are people who need constant affection to feel special.
  • They are often frightened by the idea of ​​social rejection, and are continually seeking group acceptance. For this reason, they often have attitudes that they believe will appeal to the group.
  • They have a tendency to avoid any conflict situations.
  • They prefer cooperative situations rather than competitive ones.
  • They are not very successful in jobs that require a certain managerial capacity.

Need for self-realization

It was the psychologist Maslow who was the first to define this need or, better said, this set of needs. Self-realization is the ideal that anyone hopes to achieve.

Man whose intrinsic motivation drives self-realization

It is satisfied through the opportunities for the development of one’s talent and potential, through the expression of one’s ideas and knowledge, growth and development as a person, to ultimately differentiate itself from all others. According to Maslow, men who achieve optimal self-realization consider themselves complete.

In any case, the intrinsic motivation is usually constant over time, since it refers to personal characteristics and not to circumstantial elements. Furthermore, it is a more general type of motivation than extrinsic one, as there is no single way to satisfy it. Finally, it can be said that one or the other does not always travel on separate tracks, on the contrary, they can coexist in the same person.

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