What's the Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation? PART 2

What's the Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation? PART 2

07 Jan

What's the Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation? PART 2

In the last post, we broke down the difference between motivation/extrinsic drive and inspiration/intrinsic drive. We also utilized a great exercise to highlight our highest values, which are the specific items that elicit inspiration/intrinsic drive in our lives (if you haven’t already, now would be the time to go read that blog post and perform the exercise within it).

I also mentioned that some of our responses might not fully align with our long term goals. And this isn’t unusual. Most of the time, people might not be consciously aware that they have values that don’t align with their goals causing confusion and no forward progress. So, we have a few approaches:

  1. Change our values to match our goals
  2. Set goals that match our values

Source: Dr. John Demartini

Let’s dive into how we can tackle both of these approaches:

1) Change our values to match our goals

We highlight a long term goal that has utility for us. However, there are behaviors, things we value in the short term, that are negatively impacting our trajectory towards it. Thus, we layout, in our own mind and on paper, the pieces we would need to implement to reach that goal (this is also a great opportunity to seek out others who have reached that goal for insight and guidance). Then we look at our current approach and see which areas we can improve to move us closer to the goal. Lastly, we create short term goals to help ensure we are trending towards the long term goal.

  1. We have to link productive activities/values to our goal

Long term goal example: Compete at the CrossFit Games

Activities/Values needed:

  • Continual checking in with how this aligns with your long term vision for your life
  • Why is this your goal (refine the answer continually)
  • Consistent sleep and daily rhythm
  • Nourishment to heal and grow
  • Recovery to repair and combat the workload
  • Support system – socially and environmentally to reinforce and support the journey
  • Belief in oneself
  • Staying in your lane – need to remove the noise and sensationalism of society/social media
  1. What areas are we currently not optimizing or negating
  2. Sleep quality
  3. Allowing too much noise to create conflicting thoughts on my ability to reach the goal
  4. Actionable steps to fix those:
  5. Remove excessive lighting before bed, including phone, tv, laptop time; Read something interesting to you, keep a gratitude journal, ensure your bedroom is set up for sleep (see other blog post for more pieces on how to fix your bedtime routine)
  6. Minimize daily exposure on social media; refine who you choose to follow; surround yourself with people who are supportive, driven individuals that will breed further confidence and belief in oneself

                                  iii. Highlight short term goals: day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, etc. This will allow for continual check in’s and ensure progress is trending forward

2) Set goals that match our values

We Identify our highest values. From there, we identify long term goals that are extensions of those values.

  1. We have to link long term goals to our current activities/highest values
  2. Current highest value: Coaching athletes
  3. Long term goal that is an extension of that: Helping more athletes reach their potential in their sport, Increasing the reach of athletes being coached, producing quality educational material to boost the fields insight and exposure to best practices
  4. What steps are needed to move us closer to our long term goal
  5. Identifying a timeline for the goal with intermediary steps between
  6. Refinement of coaching practice

                                  iii. Results

  1. Building rapport with others (athletes and colleagues)
  2. Education (continual learning and growing)
  3. Saving / reinvesting in the vision

                                 vii. Identifying short term goals that build upon the long term

  1. Actionable steps to potentiate growth towards the goal
  2. Step up a projected chart for the year regarding growth across all areas
  3. Continue to refine and improve the coaching service and practice (results will always be a key piece)
    1. iii. Learn, practice, and implement new communication techniques to further strengthen relationships and ability to interact with athletes and people
  1. Set up a plan financially, preferably with a financial advisor, to prepare for the long term goal
  2. Step up a list of short term goals: each week, month, quarter, year, to monitor progress and ensure you are trending towards the goal

     To summarize, we all live by a set of values/priorities, organized from most to least important in our lives. The highest on that list are spontaneously inspired from within (intrinsic drives) to enact and create fulfillment in us. The lowest on that list require outside motivators (extrinsic drives) to achieve it if we decide to give it the attention and effort it demands.

The first step in this process is to identify what our highest values are. From there, we can either create goals that match our values or change our values to match goals. Both approaches work. The key for both is becoming conscious to our current state. From there, identifying what we need to change to move us closer to where we want to go. Create a plan that we can implement, manage, and refine continually.

When you begin doing something you are truly inspired to do you don’t view it as a chore because you truly love it, there’s no strain. It is an embraced action that leads to fulfillment. You’re not here to live in anybody’s shadows. You’re not here to be living by others projected expectations. You’re here to do what is inspiring to you. By doing so, your authenticity will change your life and those around you.


Concepts discussed above are amalgamations of research and knowledge gleaned from the sources below, amongst others. Please refer to them for future understanding and deeper discussion on this topic:

  • Values Factor by Dr. John Demartini
  • Maps of Meaning by Dr. Jordan Peterson
  • 12 Rules for life by Dr. Jordan Peterson
  • Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck
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