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Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation is vital in a person’s life as this is the factor that drives a person to achieving more and to being better.  It is important that people in the leadership position like managers, teachers, supervisors, and directors know what makes their people tick. 

There are several factors that can motivate a person and these can be divided into two.  The first is known as intrinsic.  These are the things that come from within. People do things because they want to and they love what they do.  It gives them happiness and it allows them to learn more.  The second is the extrinsic factor which is from the outside of a person.  People would do a task because they get money and recognition from it.

According to Maslow, a person has 5 basic needs in his life.  It is said that before a person can learn to be motivated intrinsically, these needs have to be accomplished. The primary or most essential is physiological.  This includes food, water, vitamins, and many more.  Without these things, a person will not have the energy to work nor the mental capacity to concentrate.  Therefore, if a person is hungry, he would find food first before he does anything else.

The second level is safety which is achieved by protection from hazards and accidents.  This is achieved by having a safe environment, a home, or a guarded workplace.  It could be as simple as having a shelter from the sun or storm, to being in a fire-proof location.   A person will not do anything if it endangers his life or if it affects the life of his family.
The third level in the hierarchy is love and belongingness.  Humans are very sociable and it is very hard for them to keep to themselves and to not speak with other humans like themselves.  They wish to be loved, cared, and listened to.  In the same way, people are motivated when they know that they are heard, their ideas are accepted, and they have a team or group that they can belong to. 

The fourth level includes esteem needs.  People need to have self-confidence, belief in their talents and abilities, and recognized for their achievements. 

The fifth level is self-actualization.  This is hardly ever achieved since to become self-actualized one must achieve his fullest potential and satisfy the other four needs first.  This is sometimes impossible since people are constantly unsatisfied and discontented with what they have.

It is really wonderful if people are intrinsically motivated in doing their jobs or giving services. They are happy with what they do because they are not hungry, they are safe, loved. and have confidence that they are doing the right things. It is difficult to motivate a person who is hungry, insecure, unloved, lacking in confidence, and who is unsatisfied with his life. His needs have to be met first and his issues with himself have to be corrected before he can proceed and make a name for himself in the industry.


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A little motivation goes a long way: is formed with the strategic mission to instil positive thinking into hardworking individuals who feel the need to keep going regardless of life’s challenges.  It also provides a helpful insight into everyday life. © Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved.