This week was a very busy week for me. I was able to do much more work than usual thanks to a deadline. That got me thinking: what other than deadlines motivate me? So, let’s talk about it.
Motivation is the push that gets us to do things. It can be internal or external. Internal motivation is when we do things because of our own likes and wants. External motivation is when something outside of us gives us the push. It could be a deadline, a friend or an event.
I tend to be internally motivated. That is my default, hopefully. I try to do things if I want to do them. ‘Try’ is the crucial word here, because there are also things that I do because I have to. For example, on normal days, I study because I want to. But in times like this past week, I study because there is a deadline. Or sometimes, I lose my internal motivation for no apparent reason. Then, I need to ask a friend to get me started.
Both internal motivation and external motivation have advantages and disadvantages. Internal motivation is good because it allows us to internalize what we do. We own them. But it is not always achievable. It is not always practical. It is also subjective. External motivation is good because it somehow makes us do things that we would normally not be able to do. For example, I wrote for many hours every day for the past week. Under normal circumstances, that would not be possible because I do not write every day, especially not that much. External motivation is generally also a stress factor, however. It might mess up our bodily and cognitive functions.
If I had to choose between them, I would prefer to have internal motivation at all times. The ideal world is where everyone finds their own internal push. But this ideal does not exist. So, we will always need to find the balance between the two. I believe the balance is when internal motivation is the default and external motivation is time or situation-specific. Too much reliance on internal motivation might cause us not to do things that need to be done. Too much reliance on external factors brings in too much reliance on people. What would we then do when we don’t have people around?
What motivates you the most? Are you internally motivated naturally or do you like deadlines or reminders from friends? Do you generally find it hard to motivate yourself? What do you do if you have to? Let’s talk about motivation.