Those who have achieved a significant milestone in their life, have often been asked questions like –
How did you do it?
What was your motivation?
Or where did you get the motivation to do it?
So it turns out that most people know that the key to become successful is motivation.
For most people, motivation is something that comes from outside, like someone encouraging them, pushing them forward, guiding them, becoming their inspiration, etc.
This way of seeing motivation as something that can only be derived from an external source is totally wrong.
Hence such people are in constant search of external motivation and when they don’t get it, they get disappointed and lose hope.
These people also do not have the tendency to accept negative feedback on their performance and if someone demotivates them, they easily get demotivated.
On the other hand, there are people who are self-motivated and stay motivated due to factors that they have inside their mind.
They understand the importance of negative feedback and therefore if someone demotivates them, they know how to turn it into their motivation.
For example, if someone underestimates their abilities, without retaliating or trying to prove their strength by way of words, they simply engage in working extra hard.
This is because they understand that success is the best revenge.
So actually, motivation is something that comes from sources that are both present within you and outside of you.
In this article, we discuss the different types of motivation and the trigger points or things that cause to wake up your motivation.
Types of motivation
To explain the word motivation, motivation can be divided into two broad categories i.e. extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.
1. Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation, as clear from the literal meanings of the word extrinsic, is a type of motivation that comes from external factors.
While this does not in any way mean that a person does not have any internal motivation, for some people in order to wake up their internal motivation, they need external support.
Since these are the type of people that rely too much on external factors of motivation, they have tuned their mind to underestimate the power of internal motivation and the role that it plays all the time.
Perhaps this is the reason why the keywords such as ‘motivation video’, ‘study motivation’, ‘morning motivation’, or ‘workout motivation’, etc. remain as one of the highly searched phrases on video streaming websites like YouTube and videos on such topics remain one of the most repeatedly watched videos of all time, garnering millions and billions of views in aggregate.
But aside from watching videos as a source of extrinsic motivation, there are many other factors related to you and around you that are a source of extrinsic motivation.
For example, your parents strictly do not allow you to play outside, or play video games or watch your favorite shows on television until and unless you finish doing your school homework.
But once you finish doing it and they are satisfied, you are granted the permission to do all the fun stuff that you want.
So in this case, your motivation to prioritize your school homework or your academic obligations is derived from the need to watch television or play games and have some fun.
Another professional life example would be to have a sales executive job where a major portion of your monthly remuneration is aligned with your performance levels during the month.
So in order to make more money, you might have to close more deals or at least achieve a minimum sales target.
2. Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is the most powerful form of motivation as this is the actual source behind most of the successful people.
People, who realize the importance of intrinsic motivation, learn the ways to keep it alive, are mostly self-reliant and live an independent lifestyle.
They remain self-motivated all the time and therefore even if someone tries to demotivate them, it usually does not bother them at all.
They learn from their mistakes and would always welcome negative or critical feedback from other people.
Due to the intrinsic motivation, you will always see such people having a can-do and willing attitude at trying new things in life and their career.
They do not take no as an answer and are ready to experiment to enhance their own self.
For example, many parents do not need to tell their children and remind them to finish their school homework first before having fun outside or at home.
This is because such children very well understand the importance of giving appropriate time to their studies and why they need to perform better in their academic life.
They know how to set their priorities in life and what things are more important and less important in their life.
Another example could be again of a salesperson who irrespective of having monthly targets is someone who is generally motivated by money.
Such a person will always set goals for himself which are much higher than what their job requires them to do at a minimum level.
Factors that cause motivation or triggers of motivation
As a general fact, motivation is always there and constantly playing its role in helping you achieve multiple objectives and routine tasks each and every day.
Whether you realize this or not it is present all the time as either intrinsic or extrinsic form. It is just that sometimes it seems so normal and regular that you don’t specifically feel its presence.
For example, no matter how busy you are, you always take out time to eat your meal or drink water. The motivation to do these acts is basically your hunger.
But since you are so much used to doing it that you couldn’t even realize what is causing or triggering what.
So let us now look at some of the different types of factors that cause motivation or things that trigger motivation all the time either you are aware or unaware of it.
1. Motivation triggered by fear
Perhaps the most powerful and highly impacting source of motivation is fear.
Whether a fear is small or big, it has the power to make people do things much beyond their normal expectations or imagination.
Fear causes people to take risks that they would never ever take under normal conditions or situations.
While this may put them under temporary harsh conditions, at the end of it most people always become grateful and thankful for coming across something that seemed a terrible disaster or an end to everything.
What then seemed as something that threatened their survival has now become a source of strength and added another reason to their survival.
Fear that triggers motivation helps people to discover their hidden talents and powers.
For example, no matter how dull you might be at your studies, the fear of failing and getting embarrassed in front of the entire class could make you become a high achiever.
Similarly, the fear of losing a job or demotion could make you put extra-long hours and do overtime to maintain your performance at work.
2. Motivation by way of an incentive or reward
Most of the time, the main source of motivation is actually an incentive or a reward.
In order to work hard, do their best and put in all the effort they possibly can, people sometimes need to be offered some form of incentive or reward.
This way, people are more likely to overcome other challenges and obstacles in fulfilling any task as their main focus stays on the reward or incentive that will be awarded to them on successful completion of the job.
Offering reward or incentive based schemes can induce people to deliver the best performance out of them.
For example, affiliate programs on the internet are a form of incentive or reward based earning schemes which pay more when you work more and vice versa.
Generally, reward or incentive based motivation is used to achieve temporary objectives and cannot be applied in the long term.
This is because people start to get bored after following a routine pattern and want some change or better incentives.
3. Motivation to make someone achieve better
Motivation by way of achievement or to make someone achieve better, is a total opposite of the motivation driven by incentive or reward.
While incentive or reward based motivation is time based and temporary, motivation to achieve something usually lasts a bit longer than it.
For example, a parent making a promise to buy their children a gaming console upon achieving the top position in their class is temporary.
But students working hard to achieve enough marks and grades to get promoted to the next class, or from school to college or get a scholarship based admission in some prestigious university, are all examples of motivation by way of achievement.
The same example of promotion can be applied to an office setting where an assistant manager, for instance, works hard to be promoted to the manager level.
4. Motivation to relate with someone superior
Sometimes the competition is not just tough but intense.
For example in a sports team, every player holds the intention to become a captain and be called as the leader of the team. But definitely it isn’t possible for everyone as there would only be one captain for an entire team.
But by performing exceptionally talented and developing skills that speak for themselves, such a player could easily convince the team management and coaches to choose him/her as the captain.
This type of motivation is usually driven by the rule that first deserve then desire.
Being in a superior position or being near to the people who are the decision makers, also gives an edge in many other ways.
5. Motivation to become powerful and superior to others
This form of motivation is to become powerful and superior to everyone else.
Such type of motivation is useful when your desire is to control and rule over other people and become their leader.
Becoming a leader requires unconditional struggles and dedication with full commitment and rigorous consistency.
This is because the power struggle is not an easy game.
Sometimes it even involves taking life threatening risks as the existing people that control you might not like to see someone in direct competition with them.
This is again based on the thought that there can only be a single ruling authority.
So it might be that change of power is a natural process as in the case of change of a president of an organization after a certain number of years.
However, leaving a position of power and transferring it peacefully is not always the case. No matter how fairly you might have been selected, there is ought to be some form of opposition.
So until and unless you are deeply motivated and are clearly focused, chances are that it might not be easy to achieve a position of power.
6. Motivation fueled by social norms
This type of motivation always remains with you throughout your life and triggers you to change yourself according to the changing times and conditions of people.
For example, you joined school with the kids that were your age.
Then just like everyone else in your classroom or batch, you worked hard to get promoted through different levels, then college, university, professional life, marriage, having children, buying a car and then a house, etc.
All these things that you did were due to social pressure or social driving forces that motivated you to stay parallel with everyone around you.
Remember that motivation, just like many other things in life, comes in various shapes and sizes and can mean anything to anyone.
What motivates one person would not be a motivation for another.
But one thing is for sure that it exists all the time, inside everybody and outside as well. You just need to figure out what causes you to motivate.
And this is only possible when you have a positive outlook towards life and you fully understand the word motivation, its types and the factors that can cause it.
When this happens, you will stay motivated all the time as you would have learnt the fact that motivation can be derived from the simplest and smallest things around you and within you.