Episode 68: Intrinsic (vs. Extrinsic) Purpose

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“Purpose also becomes a more powerful source of energy when it moves from being externally to internally motivated. Extrinsic motivation reflects the desire to get more of something that we don’t feel we have enough of: money, approval, social standing, power or even love. “Intrinsic” motivation grows out of the desire to engage in an activity because we value it for the inherent satisfaction it provides. Researchers have long found that intrinsic motivation tends to prompt more sustaining energy. A study conducted by the University of Rochester’s Human Motivation Research Group found, for example, that people whose motivation was authentic—defined as “self-authored”—exhibited more interest, excitement and confidence, as well as greater persistence, creativity and performance than a control group of subjects who were motivated largely by external demands and rewards.” ~ Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz from The Power of Full Engagement

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Intrinsic (vs. Extrinsic) Purpose

“Purpose also becomes a more powerful source of energy when it moves from being externally to internally motivated. Extrinsic motivation reflects the desire to get more of something that we don’t feel we have enough of: money, approval, social standing, power or even love. “Intrinsic” motivation grows out of the desire to engage in an activity because we value it for the inherent satisfaction it provides. Researchers have long found that intrinsic motivation tends to prompt more sustaining energy. A study conducted by the University of Rochester’s Human Motivation Research Group found, for example, that people whose motivation was authentic—defined as “self-authored”—exhibited more interest, excitement and confidence, as well as greater persistence, creativity and performance than a control group of subjects who were motivated largely by external demands and rewards.” ~ Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz from The Power of Full Engagement

How about you? Where’s your motivation coming from? Are you doing everything you can to accumulate money, praise and toys? Well, that’d be extrinsic motivation. Nothing wrong with the money, praise and toys, of course, but if that’s your PRIMARY motivation than you’re losing out on some opportunities for higher levels of creativity and performance.

The trick is to follow your heart. To be INTRINSICALLY motivated. Build your life from the inside-out, doing the things that really matter to you and that make you feel good when you do them, with or without any potential rewards. As Ayn Rand says: “You must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the secondary consequences.”

So, what do you love doing? Rock that and let the secondary consequences flow to you as a by-product of your passion!

Brian Johnson,

Chief Philosopher