External incentives, like a salary increase, can provide motivation. Generally speaking, however, the higher our intrinsic motivation, the easier we will find it to complete something. Intrinsic motivation is the internal motivation that comes from within an individual. When our intrinsic motivation is high, we experience a “flow” when working (or during any other activity). A flow is a state where we are so deeply engrossed in an activity that we lose track of time. Intrinsic motivation does not depend on our salary or any other external factor.
The opposite of this is extrinsic motivation. In the professional world, this is created, for example, through salary or holidays, but also through negative factors such as the threat of dismissal. These can also motivate us to a certain extent. Of course, we are happy to be paid more, but if we do not like our work, being paid more every month will not make us like it any more. We generally become unhappy or dissatisfied if there is a lack of intrinsic motivation over a longer period of time.
According to the PERMA model, there are five factors that influence our well-being and therefore our intrinsic motivation:
- Positive emotion (positive feelings)
- Engagement (activities that we can get engrossed in)
- Positive Relationships (with other people)
- Meaning (purpose in life)
- Accomplishment (achievements)
We should think about these factors in order to identify what is important to us. For example, you might ask yourself the following questions: What do you see as the purpose of your work? How does what you do help others or your company? What inspires positive feelings in you and what activities can you get so engrossed in that you forget everything around you? Do you want to spend more time with your family or be able to travel the world?
The more clarity we have about our own needs, the better we can formulate our goals and find the motivation we need to achieve them.