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Curious Muse

🀯 How to stay motivated WITHOUT burning yourself

Published about 1 month agoΒ β€’Β 2 min read

Hey Reader, ⭐

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Finding motivation can be hard. Personally, I often feel like I'm just going through the motions, or sometimes pushing myself to do something that doesn't bring real joy or satisfaction. Sounds familiar?

And yet, understanding what propels us forward towards personal and professional achievements can be transformative.

Imagine you are a photographer. In one scenario, you're taking photos because a client has commissioned you for a project. You aim for photos that meet the client's expectations, focusing on the paycheck that will follow. πŸ“ΈπŸ’°

This is extrinsic motivation: the drive comes from outside rewards and recognitions. This type of motivation encourages actions not for their own sake but for the outcome they produce. While effective in the short term, extrinsic motivators can sometimes detract from the enjoyment of the activity itself.

Now, let’s flip the scenario. You're walking around just for fun, taking photos of things that catch your eye. You feel happy and excited, not because you're getting paid, but because you love taking photos. This joy is what we call intrinsic motivation. πŸ“Έβ€οΈ

While extrinsic motivation revolves around external rewards and recognition, such as money, fame, or praise, it motivates behavior not for the action’s own sake but for the outcome it yields. Though effective for achieving specific results, reliance on extrinsic rewards can sometimes diminish the intrinsic pleasure found in activities, making them feel more like obligations than choices.

Multiple studies suggest that having intrinsic motivation as your driving force ensures you can keep the long-term focus on your goal while also enjoying the process:

  • Employees driven by intrinsic factors are often more engaged, innovative, and committed. They find purpose in their work beyond paychecks and promotions. For example, a software developer might enjoy the process of coding because they find problem-solving exhilarating, not just because they need to deliver a project by the deadline.
  • Similarly, in educational settings, students who are intrinsically motivated are likely to embrace learning not just to ace an exam but because they find joy and fulfillment in acquiring new knowledge. For instance, a student might study astronomy not merely to get a good grade but because they are genuinely fascinated by the stars and the universe.
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Why is this important?

Understanding these types of motivation can help us find what makes us excited and engaged, whether we're at work, school, or just living life. Having intrinsic motivation as your driving force ensures you can keep the long-term focus on your goal while also enjoying the process: By seeking out intrinsic motivation, we can feel more satisfied and be more creative and happy. 😊

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✍️ Quote of the week

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." – Henry Ford πŸš—

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Stay curious and see you next week!

Artem from Curious Muse

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