Professionals who are intrinsically motivated are the superstars in any organization. They…
- Deliver higher-quality work – they pay more attention to detail.
- Have a higher “on task” factor – they daydream less and have on average 25 to 30 percent more productive time.
- Feel less stress – they are more immersed in their work and its details and know which things are important at any given moment. They also become better problem-solvers in the process.
- Are happier – they leave work every day with a sense of achievement and control.
- Are more cooperative – they view their colleagues and peers as valuable.
- Are less likely to leave – they appreciate the experience their workplace offers them.
- Can succeed in any area they choose – they know that tasks themselves have nothing to do with whether you love them, it is how you think about them that makes them lovable.
- Can push themselves – they have the guts to deal with things that are beyond their current comfort zone.
- Enjoy better brain health and cognitive reserve – they learn and develop every day, which is one of 5 levers for great brain health.
Intrinsically motivated people enjoy a virtuous cycle with more control over their situation, which leads to less stress and pain under pressure. This in turn helps them achieve better results and enjoy greater rewards, which over time, given their evident mastery, yields bigger opportunities and success.
We all have experienced intrinsic motivation, but most of us don’t understand why this happens.
So, what is intrinsic motivation?
Intrinsic motivation is when you do something for its own sake; the motivation comes from loving the experience performing the activity, which happens when you feel challenged by the activity.
When you encounter this, you are performing at your best, while at the same time also developing yourself and your skills.
This experience is addictive; when you love doing something, you’ll want to do it a lot. And when you do something a lot, you get better and better at it, which further reinforces your enthusiasm.
But even though experiencing intrinsic motivation is addictive, it is – unfortunately for all of us – an addiction that it is easy to kick.
To keep loving the experience of performing your work, you’ll have to constantly increase its complexity and challenge. You can never think that the way you perform your tasks can’t be improved, even if you perform them well. If you do, you will soon kick your addiction of being intrinsically motivated by performing your tasks.
To become an intrinsically motivated superstar, you need to understand that intrinsic motivation happens when you feel challenged. Then you need to be able to unlock it whenever you need it. To do this, you need to rewire your brain to send red alerts in situations where you should challenge yourself, but your primitive, energy-saving inner voice is telling you to be lazy. If you don’t do this rewiring, the risk is that you will engage too much in activity-focused behavior at work, which can make you dissatisfied and even sick from your work.
Through this blog post, I’m sharing some of the critical insights you’ll find in my book “Intrinsic Motivation: Learn to Love Your Work and Succeed as Never Before.”