Intrinsic Motivation Vs Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation Vs Extrinsic Motivation Picture
Do people gravitate towards rewards and internal satisfaction or towards money and fame?

Motivation is ingrained in every single one of us. Some of us are motivated by money whilst others are motivated by being rewarded.

Intrinsic motivation means doing something for the love of it. You complete tasks or do something because you have a genuine passion for it. These tasks are satisfying to do. One example is playing a sport because you enjoy playing it.

Extrinsic motivation means doing something to earn a reward or to not get punished for something. A lot of people are extrinsically motivated and do tasks and activities not because they enjoy it but because they want a reward at the end of it. One example of extrinsic motivation is doing a job to earn money.

I can honestly say that I am part of both of these motivation groups. Intrinsic motivation is something I express all the time and something which plays a huge factor in my life. This blog is intrinsic motivation for me because I do genuinely enjoy writing this blog and reading and responding to the comments. I also take part in sport because I do genuinely enjoy it and I also like to do puzzles and brain teasers because I do genuinely enjoy it.

Extrinsic motivation exists in my life because even though I do love my job and my team, I turn up to work every day to get that money.

I do believe that everyone has both of these types of motivation in their lives but it is the balance which is key. There should be a healthy balance so that you are happy with your lives and you are doing something you are passionate about. For me, I do believe that there is a healthy balance and I am very happy with my current situation and where I am at for this stage in my life.

Let me know in the comments below; what aspects of your life are extrinsic motivation and what aspects of your life are intrinsic motivation and do you feel like there is a healthy balance?



  1. A well-written post, as always. During my years as a working professional, much of my motivation was extrinsic, but now , in retirement, my motivation to help others is intrinsic. Intrinsic motivation to help others results in greater life satisfaction, particularly in older adults.

    • Thank you for your kind words and your support, it is much appreciated.

      Yeah I feel like when you work in a job, you are exposed to doing a lot of things where the motivation is extrinsic.

      I do agree with the fact that intrinsic motivation results in greater life satisfaction

      Thank you for your Insightful comment 😊

    • Yeah most people will face both of these types of motivation. Thank you soo much 😊

      I sincerely hope we all find that balance between these two types of motivation so that we are healthy

  2. β—‡ I Have Scars and I AM NOT Ashamed of Them; it’s Crystal Clear Clarity that My Scars Remind Me I Have Lived, I AM Living and Continue to Live


  3. So interesting… Yes I think I’m probably motivated by both, to a degree, but i couldn’t do a job I didn’t like purely for money. I think your post has shown me that I am more intrinsically motivated as a person.

    • As long as you have the balance right in the sense that you are happy with your life and how you are as a person, then this is all that matters.

      Stay true to yourself and happiness will follow!

      I’m glad my post helped you understand yourself more. The more we understand ourselves as human beings, the better we can adapt and approach situations

    • Haha love this πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      I do agree that everyone is a little bit of both. As long as you have a healthy balance, that’s all that matters

  4. Interesting topic. My main motivation is self-realization, self-development. Blogging also serves this purpose. In my principles, if I qualitatively self-actualize, including at work, then I get a salary that suits me.

  5. I am so Intrinsically focused and motivated but absolutely need to feed the Extrinsic part in order to do basic living. If I could get the Extrinsic element as a regular, passive income as a result of an Intrinsic activity (such as writing a children’s book) then my internal balance would be aligned with what keeps me sane. Great article.

    • I loved reading the analysis in this comment. As long as you find the balance, then you will find happiness!

      Thanks for stopping by

  6. I’m going to buck the status quo here…

    Highly extrinsic when I was younger and when the opportunity for greatest return on effort and reward was most available. Consider also that external reward isn’t confined merely to money, but also to creating the conditions of and around one’s self to result in personal benefit. People tend to think of extrinsic reward as resulting in merely “the trappings of wealth”. But the best extrinsic rewards are those that have long-term results… being able to step off the “hamster wheel”.

    Nowadays, almost entirely intrinsic… but mostly as a result of that earlier “investment”.

    • Oooohh okay this comment taught me a lot. Thank you for that and yeah I do get the part where you lay out what extrinsic reaallllyy means.

      Thanks for that Insightful comment 😊

  7. I believe my work is both- intrinsic because I love what I do and I love the reward of having my students learn but it is also extrinsic in that I sometimes like to be told I’m doing a good job and for others to see the hard work I put in. Definitely all comes down to balance though. Thanks for the post!

    • I believe everyone’s work place is both tbh.

      Like I always say, balance is key and as long as you have that balance where you feel good and healthy, then that’s all that matters.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog post. Have a great day 😊😊

  8. The balance you refer to is actually a VERY valid point! I wish someone had explained this to me about 30 years ago. That there should be a mix between things we do for the money and because we need to, but also with other things we enjoy and do for love. Since I’ve been writing, I think I have finally redressed this balance. It also means that I enjoy my paid work more too πŸ˜ƒ Great post!!

    • It is all about that balance and finding the balance which makes you the happiest

      I’m glad that you have now found this balance and I hope you remain happy 😊

      Thank you sooo much for your kind words 😊

  9. I was thinking about a similar concept recently, but my thought was ambition versus passion. Your article filled in some blanks for me. I lost my ambition because it was only extrinsic, and I found my passion which is definitely intrinsic. Now, I want to link my ambition to my passion so that I can find a balance between extrinsic and intrinsic.

    • Yeah ambition vs passion is very very similar. I always strive to do things which I am passionate about because it leads to happiness

      I’m glad that my post helped you out

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