Home Blog Motivation Types: Key Drivers for Achieving Career and Personal Milestones

Motivation Types: Key Drivers for Achieving Career and Personal Milestones

Photo of Tsvetelina Hinova Tsvetelina Hinova 02 November 2023
"Be Brilliant" neon light

Ever catch yourself scrolling aimlessly instead of tackling that pressing task?

That’s procrastination in action. But, since you’re here, you must be searching for an inspirational nudge. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We all encounter those motivational speed bumps.

From preparing a crucial presentation to brainstorming ideas for your next big meeting, staying motivated isn’t always a walk in the park. However, understanding the different types of motivation can be your secret weapon against those alluring sidetracks.

Join Thankbox as we navigate through the diverse landscape of motivation types. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to channel your unique drive into your professional and personal life. 

Let’s get started!

What is motivation?

Motivation is the driving force that compels us to take action, set and pursue goals, and achieve milestones. It’s the inner spark propelling us forward, providing the energy and determination to overcome challenges and obstacles. 

Society, culture, and various other factors influence motivation, and understanding its different types can help us harness its power.

Why understanding motivation types matters

Motivation guides our every move, shapes our decisions, and sculpts our actions. But why exactly is it necessary to understand the different types of motivation?

A man in a running position
  • Clarity and understanding: Recognising our motivational sources is akin to a torch in the dark, uncovering why some tasks feel easy while others challenge us. This insight sharpens our decision-making and aligns it with our core values.

  • Influence on actions and choices: Our actions and choices are deeply connected to our motivational types. A simple compliment might ensure you stay productive, while personal passion might fuel extended efforts. Identifying our motivation type allows us to approach tasks more effectively and enjoyably.

  • Fueling personal growth and career progression: Picture this – if your goals are the destination, motivation is what gets you there. By pinpointing which specific “type” of motivation drives us, we can reach our personal milestones with greater precision.

In essence, delving into motivation types isn’t just a self-awareness exercise. It’s a strategic tool that guides you towards personal excellence and enhanced job satisfaction. Additionally, if you want to celebrate the achievements and motivations of a friend, family member, or colleague, why not consider using Thankbox?

Thankbox Good luck card sample

Thankbox provides a unique platform for recognising and appreciating the motivations of others via online group greeting cards. It’s the perfect way to foster connections and express gratitude in a thoughtful and unique manner.

Confetti icon Don't put off saying: "Good job! You did this!" Do it now with Thankbox!

Celebrate the achievements of your friend, family member or colleague with a personalized online greeting card. Create for free, select the design and invite others to join.

The different types of motivation

We can break motivation down into two distinct categories – intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation (each with its subsets).

Intrinsic motivation 

Intrinsic motivation is an internal drive fueled by genuine interest and enjoyment in an activity. It’s about doing something for personal pleasure rather than seeking external rewards or recognition. Intrinsic motivation often leads to a deep sense of fulfilment.

A man painting on a table

Let’s check out some examples:

  1. Pursuing a passion project: Imagine a person who spends countless hours painting, not because they want to sell but simply because they find joy in expressing themselves.

  2. Learning a new hobby for fun: Someone who takes up playing a musical instrument purely for the pleasure of it, with no external pressures or goals, is driven by intrinsic motivation. They find happiness in the process.

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is all about external factors that drive our behaviours. It involves engaging in activities primarily for the rewards or benefits we receive from them. These rewards range from tangible things like money to intangible aspects like peer-to-peer recognition.

Examples include: 

  1. Aiming for a promotion: Many individuals work towards promotions at their jobs, not because they love the work but because of the financial benefits and status. 

  2. Working for a bonus: Salespeople often strive to meet their monthly targets to earn performance-based bonuses. In this instance, the financial incentive serves as extrinsic motivation.

Understanding the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation influences how we approach tasks in various aspects of our lives. 

Four types of intrinsic motivation

Attitude motivation

Attitude motivation involves a strong inclination toward positivity and spreading good vibes. It revolves around the desire to uplift others and create a positive atmosphere, leading you to engage in activities that foster these feelings.

Achievement motivation

Smiling woman holding a document

Achievement motivation is the desire to reach a goal driven by personal aspirations or career advancement (not being financially rewarded). It may include obtaining a specific role, title, or position within your professional journey. This motivation is characterised by setting personal bests, reaching personal development goals, or obtaining certifications.

Creative motivation

Creative motivation often arises from a desire to convey one’s thoughts or emotions. It can take various forms, such as writing, art, music, business, or production, stemming from the need for self-expression.

Affiliate motivation

Affiliation motivation focuses on the desire to join an organisation or group. The driving force behind this is acceptance and belonging within a collective. It encompasses the aspiration to connect with peers, establish relationships with individuals in higher positions, and earn recognition for accomplishments and contributions.

Three types of extrinsic motivation

Fear-based motivation

Fear-driven motivation hinges on the fear of something that propels you toward a specific goal. In this case, it’s not monetary rewards or achievements but rather fear itself that serves as the driving force. It’s important to note that in this context, fear is not harmful but essential for motivating you to reach your goals.

Power-based motivation

Desiring control over one’s life is natural, but some individuals seek more – they aspire to control others. Power comes in various forms and can be used for self-serving and benevolent purposes.

Reward-based motivation

A man holding a notebook in the office

This widely recognised form of motivation relies on external rewards, such as bonuses, to boost motivation quickly. However, its effectiveness is short-lived as people get used to it. It’s not a significant motivator without incentives, and the focus is on tangible, external rewards.

Confetti icon Don't put off saying: "Good job! You did this!" Do it now with Thankbox!

Celebrate the achievements of your friend, family member or colleague with a personalized online greeting card. Create for free, select the design and invite others to join.

How to recognise your primary motivation type

Understanding your primary motivation type is essential for harnessing your inner drive effectively. Here are some tips and signs to help you identify which motivation type drives you the most:

  • Self-reflection: Reflect on your actions, goals, and what truly excites you. Consider which activities bring you the most satisfaction.

  • Consider past achievements: Review your past accomplishments and analyse what motivated you to achieve them. Were you driven by personal growth, external rewards, social connections, or another factor?

  • Evaluate your goals: Examine your current goals and aspirations. Ask yourself what outcomes you are most passionate about and what drives you to achieve these objectives.

  • Pay attention to emotions: Emotions provide valuable clues about your motivation type. Notice how you feel when you achieve specific goals. Do you feel most fulfilled when you receive recognition or reach personal milestones?

Wrapping up

Understanding motivation types empowers you to navigate life’s challenges with clarity and purpose. It sharpens your decision-making, influences your actions, and fuels your personal growth and career progression. 

So, as you and others continue towards personal excellence and enhanced job satisfaction, remember that Thankbox is here to help you celebrate. Discover the power of appreciation and create a Thankbox today!

Images: Cover | A man in a running position | A man painting on a table | Smiling woman holding a document | A man holding a notebook at the office