6 Ways Students Can Find and Maintain Intrinsic Motivation in Their Lives


Is your behavior driven by internal or external rewards? Do you pursue an activity because you enjoy it or because you expect something in return? Do the ideas of passion, growth and self-expression excite you more than fame, success and winning?

If you relate to the latter parts of the questions, you are likely to be extrinsically motivated.

Well, it’s not wrong to be extrinsically motivated but this kind of motivation does not last long solely because it is dependent on external factors. Yes, it fuels productivity and growth, but one can never really say for how long.

In order to live a fulfilling life, it’s very important to find motivation within ourselves such that nothing can deter us from moving forward. Here are six ways to be intrinsically motivated in life –

Do What Brings You Joy

On an average, people spend more than 90,000 hours in their lifetime at work. Now, would you rather spend that time doing something that leaves you unhappy or something that brings you joy?

While all of us would like to go with the latter, not many have the courage and conviction to take that step. Truth is, if you pursue something you are passionate about, you are bound to be motivated and engaged. You will wake up every morning, looking forward to work because you enjoy it and no longer look at it as a ‘burden’.

Think about it – are you doing what you should or are you doing what you want to?

Step Out of your Comfort Zone

There is no growth in your comfort zone and rightly so.

If you want to grow in life, you need to challenge yourself and move out of your comfort zone. The first step is to overcome your fear of failure and not let your self-limiting beliefs stop you.

The day you accept this as a challenge and choose growth over comfort, you will feed your motivation to go higher and higher. Remember – there will be failures and misses but it’s important to learn from those mistakes and never give up.

Find Meaning

When we find a meaning and purpose in the things we do, we are able to approach them better. We are then no longer fueled by superficial elements because intrinsic forces take over instead.

Always introspect and ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to dig deep and ask yourself difficult questions because when you realize what you’re doing is in line with your core values and goals, it’s a huge motivating factor.

Living a purposeful life not only boosts your motivation and productivity, but also leaves you more satisfied with life which is extremely important for your physical and mental wellbeing.

Focus on Learning

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.”
Albert Einstein

Curiosity is the fuel that propels us to move forward and attain success. Being curious, asking questions and being focused on learning helps us grow which is one of the most important elements of being intrinsically motivated.

So, the next time you can’t find the motivation to finish your essay or any other assignment – take a break, pause and shift your focus on the learning instead. You are more likely to approach the task with a positive and motivated frame of mind.

Lend a Helping Hand

There is nothing more intrinsically rewarding than lending a helping hand and helping people around you.

From offering a piece of advice and sharing your knowledge to giving your time and other resources – anything that brings a smile on someone’s face or makes life easier for them is considered to be a noble deed.

When you help others without expecting anything in return, it instantly boosts your self-esteem, mood and motivation levels. It also enables you to create a positive environment and find a deeper sense of purpose in life.

Acknowledge your Efforts

Just the way you should help others, it’s equally important to help yourself, acknowledge your efforts and practice self-love. When you are kind to yourself, you function better and are able to lead a happier life.

Self-love starts with accepting yourself, being proud of who you are and drawing boundaries to protect yourself. So, be sure to treat yourself with compassion because you deserve every bit of it.

Bio –

A writer and artist, Adela Belin is passionate about sharing stories with a hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. She regularly contributes to this blog.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.