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What Really Makes Us Take The Initiative?

Motivation can come from many places.

Some key focus points differentiate one kind of motivation from another.

For one, it can be short or long-term.

Another thing is motivation sometimes manifests as just the initial spark in a process, while in other cases, it completely takes over for the whole process.

Motivation can also be the starting fire or consistent fuel for all sorts of work, hobbies, passions, and anything in between.

Finding initial inspiration sources can be easy or hard, and the surrounding details are also based on a myriad of factors.

To further complicate matters, the difference between motivation and inspiration is simultaneously massive and non-existent.

The two concepts must go hand in hand in order for anything we do to work smoothly.

With all of these variables, it can be a daunting thought to start compartmentalizing anything regarding motivation.

However, one way to make the topic of motivation a bit simpler is to focus on its innate origin.

To put it simply, where does motivation come from?

The answers are two - it is either extrinsic or intrinsic.

This separation is what we focus on here.

Extrinsic Motivation

The following sources are what most people think of when asked where they can find motivation.

They can be different locations, objects, people, or already existing concepts.

The ideas we hear about, the buildings surrounding us, and the wildlife we live with are just a few droplets in the ocean of possible motivation everywhere around us.

What we can use as a source of extrinsic motivation depends on our surroundings as well as our characters.

Our cultural backgrounds, our preferences, and even our pets can also be specific motivators.

Because there are so many sources, it’s always a good idea to ask ourselves what we truly enjoy doing and find important when searching for extrinsic motivation.

That being said, there is a vital distinction between external sources of motivation and having the circumstances make something mandatory.

An easy way to navigate this particular ocean is to constantly keep ourselves honest by checking how we feel, what we think, and where we are headed.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the more complex but also sometimes more profitable source.

Inner beliefs, wishes, dreams, plans, and the like are what count as intrinsic motivation.

These sources are considered more complex in this regard because they are controlled and dependent only on our unique experiences.

However, correspondingly to these individualistic traits, the way intrinsic motivation drives us is often stronger than anything else.

This is because once we are truly aligned with our desires, we are more determined to devote resources to their fulfillment.

Intrinsic motivation is clearly visible in young people who are not yet burdened by certain expectations or restrictions.

You will find that older people who often rekindle these initial hopes and plans end up doing something they truly love in the long run.

Overall, intrinsic motivation as a tool for individual development is maybe one of the most important ones and, as such, should be cherished and nourished throughout our lives.


All in all, motivation is a rather complex topic.

It is a part of each individual and can be their most significant asset or greatest disadvantage.

However, to ease its complexity, as much as it is unique, motivation has its universal qualities.

These qualities help us point out some tips and advice on managing and utilizing motivation accordingly.

Both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation have their positive sides and can sometimes be interchangeable in terms of efficacy.

Nevertheless, for one person to truly be actively motivated, it would be best to have both sources.

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