My car is a place for deep thoughts and for pretending I’m a famous singer. Today was a deep thought day. I’ve been reading a book about external versus internal motivation. External motivation includes prizes and praise from others. Internal motivation occurs when the individual sets and reaches a goal without the external prize. Internal motivation sounds noble. It says, “I always do what I’m suppose to do, because I just do it for the right reason”. Here’s the reality for me. I’m intrinsically motivated sometimes. There are many other times where the prize is my goal.
I like congratulations. We’ve had contests at work where the winner gets a Starbucks gift card. I don’t drink coffee but I’m really motivated to get that card. If all external motivation suddenly stopped, I might read books, watch movies and take long bubble baths all day.
In true external motivation fashion, I made myself an award button. The cashier at the grocery store thought it was funny.
Where do you fall on the external and internal motivation debate?