What is Intrinsic Motivation How its Works?

What is intrinsic motivation?

Intrinsic motivation is the act of accomplishing something which is not backed by any outward rewards.

One performs it just out of their love, rather than being motivated by any external pressure or any stimulating offer, for example, a bonus or dividends.

In other words, it refers to motivation that comes from within an individual just to satisfy their soul and not just for some other exciting reasons.

It highly differs from extrinsic motivation, which is supported by some other outside rewards.

In this article, you are going to read how this motivation works and some examples of such.

Read on to know more!

Instances of Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is directly proportional to the inner will of a person to complete a certain job.

One doesn’t care about what s/he is going to gain at the end of performing such an act.

Let us look down to certain instances that will make you clear about what actually this motivation is likely:

  • Participation in games because of fun, without dreaming of winning an award.
  • Getting hold of a brand new language, to increase vocabulary and become a pro at linguistics.
  • Volunteering to complete a task at the office without the intention of receiving an upgrade at work. 
  • Sketching, drawing, cooking, etc. to be happy rather than to turn it up as a business.
  • Cleaning and scrubbing each corner of your house to make it look fresh and tidy.
  • Writing up a day’s events in the diary because one loves to pen down every day’s chores.
  • Traveling to far-off places out of the love to roam around the world.
  • Going to the gym for the want to have a healthy and fit body.
  • Acquiring a higher educational degree for the interest to know more.
  • A regular habit of doing meditation to reduce the anxiety and tensions in life. 

How does Intrinsic Motivation works?

As intrinsic motivation doesn’t depend upon any outward rewards, the performance of the task itself becomes a reward for the performing individual.

The daily need of a person to stay alive is one part, and to satisfy oneself with psychological satisfaction is another part that is fulfilled by intrinsic motivation.

This physiological appetite is convinced by the internally driven activities which one finds delightful, fascinating as well as challenging.

Intrinsic motivation will develop inner happiness from the deeper soul of an individual.

Also, this happiness will tend to bring out the true prospect and meaning of the act of performing it.

Advantages of Intrinsic Motivation

Let us now discuss a few of the benefits of pursuing Intrinsic Motivation:

  • Entertainments, commitments and the devotion to do something is the outcome of intrinsic motivation.
  • This motivation works for a longer period and is executed out of self-satisfaction and excitement.
  • For a learner, intrinsic motivation works for them to reach the depth of each subject to learn carefully and not just for the sake of achieving more marks.
  • The employees who do their job out of mental peace is found to have gained more success than those who are extrinsically motivated.
  • Intrinsic motivation heads towards a greater level of endurance. 
  • This motivation strengthens engagement in the work one performs.
  • The job satisfaction of the intrinsically motivated employees tends to stick them to their job rather than shifting from one to the other because of extrinsic rewards.
  • Intrinsically motivated people try to introduce innovative ideas in their work to pacify their souls. 

Disadvantages of Intrinsic Motivation

After knowing about the advantages of intrinsic motivation, let us now focus on the disadvantages:

  • Not always intrinsic motivation can stimulate a person to complete a job unless they have a sheer passion for it.
  • Intrinsic motivation cannot be a reward in itself, it has to be some other extrinsic power at the end that encourages people to achieve something.
  • Enabling motivation intrinsically within the employee’s soul is not an easy task and takes quite a long time.
  •  In a working area, to get everything done in a group or team requires an equal mindset of each member, and not all become motivated intrinsically.
  • In a classroom, the students may lack competition to succeed if there’s isn’t any award to pursue at the other end, in this case, intrinsic motivation is not going to work.
  • To encourage intrinsically, the employer or the teacher needs to know everyone quite thoroughly, which is in itself a tough job. 

Difference between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Difference between Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation is induced by inner force whereas extrinsic motivation is elicited by some external reward.

The focus of the intrinsically motivated person lies in the action and the emphasis of the extrinsically encouraged one is determined towards the result.

The main supervision for the intrinsic is carried out from within to the person while in the case of extrinsic, the locus of control is accomplished from outside on the person.

 The main aim of an individual lies in self-development for those who are intrinsically motivated, opposite to which, the actual goal of the extrinsically motivated soul lies in the bonuses, rewards, or awards at the end.

The psychological needs are out of the question for extrinsically motivated ones but an important aspect for intrinsically motivated people.

Intrinsic motivation is always driven by the self desires of a soul whereas intrinsic motivation is driven by some external force or desire.

Beautiful Quotes on Intrinsic Motivation

“Intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity; controlling extrinsic motivation is detrimental to creativity”. 

Daniel H. Pink

“I believe that the most joyful and intrinsic motivation human beings have for taking any action is the desire to meet our needs and the needs of others”.

Marshall B. Rosenberg

“For artists, scientists, inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us, intrinsic motivation-the drive to do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing-is essential for high levels of creativity”.

Daniel H. Pink

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be a value”.

Albert Einstein

“The way to stay inspired and motivated is by doing what you like, doing what you love”.

Raphael Saadiq

“You can look for external sources of motivation and that can catalyze a change, but it won’t sustain one. It has to be from an internal desire”.

Jillian Michaels

“The best motivation is self-motivation. The guy says, ‘I wish someone would come by and turn me on.’ What if they don’t show up? You’ve got to have a better plan for your life”.

Jim Rohn

“You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self-motivation”.

Homer Rice


An activity that is completed in the definite assurance of your heart brings out the best possible result.

Something accomplished for external pressure is not always supported by the heart which may go against the fruitfulness of the outcome.

Therefore, it is always advised to be psychologically strong about performing an act.

Above, in this article, I have given you multiple reasons why you should be intrinsically motivated to complete a task.

The natural force will have a positive effect on your work and as well as your psyche.

So, it is necessary to be motivated intrinsically to achieve something great in life.

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