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Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

August 13, 2014

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Why are you doing what you're doing? Is it a result of external factors or is it coming from within?

Getting some of both is certainly not a bad thing but as many things in life go, too much of some can be harmful. Throughout our journey, we've received a lot of support and encouragement from our friends and family. Sometimes those words have been timely, especially when some doubts creep in. Fortunately for me, I also have a fantastic business partner who continues to inspire and remind me that what we are doing is awesome!

Related: Five things I learned from starting a business with my Wife

Upon reflection, I'm know what I want at this point in time and strongly believe in what we're doing! How do I know? I'm excited every time I think about The Kit Source or talk about it to friends, colleagues and randoms. I'm pursuing this idea because it speaks to my core beliefs and goals! I love when I can make people enjoy their life and love recommending new ideas or products to friends and family. It also helps that I love keeping busy and constantly trying new things...

Image source: http://hopecarrollsmotivation.blogspot.com.au/

When I was young, I used to do things to impress others but it only got so far before it got old. You see, at the end of the day you have to do what makes YOU happy, and if you're happy doing it, you'll probably keep doing it. Furthermore, it's easier and more enjoyable to do things that reflect who you are. It's a lot easier being you than pretending to be someone else!

Related: You should stop comparing yourself

On the other hand, sometimes you simply have to do your part because it's the right thing to do. For example, if your parents are old and frail and need assistance with building some IKEA furniture, I would hope that you're willing to do it for them each and every time. There will be occasions where your duty takes precedence whether it's painful, annoying or inconvenient!

I remember getting advice from a mentor when I was in school... "Khai, you can only show people the path, it's up to them to take it." This advice has been beneficial throughout my life and I always remember it when offering help to people or being helped. You also have to keep in mind that people are motivated differently depending on their mood and circumstances. For some, extrinsic factors play a bigger role. E.g. Joe wants a new car in 3 months, so he decides to work extra hard to get the bonus so he can buy the car. For others, it's an intrinsic factor which gets them to work every day. E.g. Mary works long hours at the counselling clinic five days a week because she wants to help people and also because she had a personal experience which lead her to this profession. 

At the end of the day, I hope you're happy doing what you're doing and occasionally take some time for reflection. 

Read Motivation: Friends and Dragon Ball

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