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Where Does Your Motivation Come From?

Wednesday April 25, 2018 comments

Fact: if you’re not personally motivated to do a job, it’s not going to happen. Period. It doesn’t matter how many deadlines you set for yourself, or how many sticky notes you leave around the house. You need to figure out what your personal motivators are for them to be effective. For some people, it’s promising themselves a reward at the end of a completed task (like a pedicure or a dinner out). For others, it’s being held accountable by someone else. Everyone is different.

If you are like most other people, you really don’t know why you do what you do. Take a look at the list below to help figure out your driving factor:

A sense of accomplishment

For many, the promise of a job well done is the only motivation needed. They love the feeling of excelling at their work, and that pleasure alone keeps them going. They continue to learn new skills and increase their knowledge base because they want to be the best at what they do. For them, the pride and self-esteem that come with completing a task is motivation enough.

Earning an Incentive

For some people, no task is worth doing unless they’re earning something in return. Often, the incentive is financial (for example, doing a good job at work to earn a paycheck), but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. The reward could be anything the individual deems valuable, and they will work very hard to earn their compensation.

External Accountability

Many people are unable to find internal motivation and can only do their best work when held externally accountable. A very common example is the person who cannot bring themselves to exercise at home but will work their tail off with a trainer – for them, not wanting to disappoint another person is the driving factor. It’s easy to quit when no one is watching, but knowing that someone else is counting on you can give you the necessary sense of purpose.


Some people thrive on the power of achievement. They strive to be the very best at what they do and long for the respect and recognition that come along with that. Often, these people continue to strive for the next step to gain more and more respect. For example, an employee at a company might work their way up to manager, and then to regional manager, and so on, gaining the respect and admiration of fellow workers.


Sometimes, a driving passion is the only motivator a person needs. They love what they do so much that they don’t require any sort of reward or external motivation. They simply take joy in whatever it is that they’re doing and that happiness alone keeps them going.

There is no right or wrong way to motivate yourself. Different things make different people tick. The only thing that matters is figuring out what helps you do your best work, so you can succeed at everything you aim to do in life!