Throughout our life we intend and do things just because of motivation. Sources of motivation are not consistent however, they do change over time, with extrinsic rewards like grades and status prompting extrinsic motivation and internal incentives like genuine interest and ambitions prompting intrinsic motivation.
Being intrinsically motivated means doing something because its fulfilling, enjoyable and interesting but that does not mean we are not expecting external rewards i.e. we are not extrinsically motivated; rather two types of motivations go hand in hand with each other. Still intrinsic sources of motivation are more powerful than that of extrinsic ones because of their persistence that leads towards enhanced engagement at work and other settings, effective learning, greater commitment and generally better performance.
So, do you have some permanent source of motivation (internal source of motivation) in your life that makes you feel content and fulfilled? Here are six basic signs that support the idea that you are intrinsically motivated:
1. You have higher degree of self-efficacy
Self-efficacy is basically the belief we have in our abilities to cope up with challenges and accomplish a task successfully; it’s our belief in our own abilities that these abilities will help us succeed at any life endeavor. So, self-efficacy is all about your belief in your ability to achieve and motivation is all about your desire to achieve, higher self-efficacy leads to higher motivation and vice versa.
People having higher degree of self-efficacy take challenges as something to be mastered; usually get out of failures, setbacks and disappointments quickly; take deeper interest in the activities they undertake; manage unexpected events effectively; quickly come up with a solution while facing a big problem; keep on trying in challenging circumstances and perform well even under pressure. They believe that by working hard they can do everything and make that possible that seems impossible; they believe in their ability to learn and absorb new knowledge and information; they believe in their ability to accomplish new things that they have never tried to accomplish before.
If your belief in your abilities to do something is fairly strong, you do have higher degree of self-efficacy and it is one of the signs that you are intrinsically motivated.
2. You live for a greater purpose and adapt your actions accordingly
For most part we spend our lives in taking care of our work, our families and ourselves; in other words, purpose of our lives is feeding ourselves and our families. But this really adds no value to our lives in any way; this is what other animals and even tiny microscopic insects also do; so there is no difference between their and our life purpose and that is survival. Don’t you think that we must have a greater purpose in life to make it more meaningful?
We must have a purpose in life and act on it every day; that purpose will add more meaning and value to our lives as well to the lives of others. This higher purpose will surely bring peace and happiness in your life and you will surely find answers for such questions like who am I and how should I spend my life.
If you are intrinsically motivated, then surely you will have greater purpose in life and your actions will be exactly directed towards that; you are spending a meaningful life that is full of peace and satisfaction
3. You serve others selflessly
Serving others without expecting any material or other rewards is also a sign that you are intrinsically motivated. Serving others selflessly is a great way to give back to the world. It is a sign that your behavior is driven by intrinsic motivation because you are somehow assisting someone less fortunate, showing kindness and trying to be a good human being. Serving others without expecting any return means doing something for internal fulfillment of doing good for someone and improving their lives, and this is what that further enhances your intrinsic motivation
4. You try to avoid procrastination
Procrastination is the act of deliberately delaying or postponing something just because you don’t want to do it; putting off undesirable tasks until the very last minute. What usually happens in that case is we are forced to pull a stress-induced all-nighter and as a result we are exhausted and frustrated and showcase an accomplishment that fails to indicate our best work. On the other hand, procrastination may be avoided by properly planning (setting simplest, well defined and achievable goals), setting schedules and deadlines, focusing and saying good bye to distractions, and consistently doing work for something that looks difficult and impossible.
If you have the power to overcome procrastination, then it is the sign that you are intrinsically motivated because in this case you have the ability to do what that seems challenging and external rewards are not what that are directing you towards it rather its your internal will power that you don’t delay the task that is undesirable and unacceptable.
5. Your self-determination is high
Psychologists define self-determination as your ability to make choices and manage your own life; this ability is good for our mental health and overall well-being. It’s the ability that makes you feel that you have control over your choices and in turn makes you feel more motivated. There are three important components of self-determination: competence, connection or relatedness and autonomy. Believing that you have the skills to be successful and you work to develop them over time is competence; having a sense of belonging and attachment is relatedness; and feeling of having control over your behavior and actions is autonomy. So, if you feel that you are competent, autonomous, and feel and develop a sense of belonging then this feeling means that you have self-determination. Having high self-determination means to perform better you don’t necessarily expect external rewards in every situation rather this is your self-determination that motivates you and this is the sign that you are intrinsically motivated.
6. You know your ‘why’ very well
Knowing our why means defining purpose of our life; answering the question of our survival i.e. survival for the sake of what? Without answering it, we are caught by distractions. Knowing our why means answering: what makes us alive, what are your innate strengths, where do you add the true value, what matters most to you? Answering these questions enables us to define our purpose and improves our focus. So, when we have a purpose of life and in turn an improved focus then we don’t need extrinsic sources of motivation and undertake challenging tasks comfortably and easily.
So, do you think that you know your why very well? if yes then it is one of the sign that you are intrinsically motivated.
If you notice all or some of these important signs, then it’s really a positive thing that you are somehow intrinsically motivated because being intrinsically motivated you have long-term source of happiness; you enjoy better mental health; you are internally satisfied; and you feel content and fulfilled. If you don’t have any source of intrinsic motivation, then these are extrinsic sources of motivation that derive your actions and behavior but the down side is that you can’t keep moving consistently with the help of these extrinsic sources. After earning an external reward, you stop then you need to recharge and reactivate yourself before moving again, and you can’t do it until you find something else in the form of external rewards. When you are intrinsically motivated, you never stop and keep moving consistently and the bright side is you can always work to improve the level of your intrinsic motivation
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