to the Altris Blog

What Truly Motivates You To Succeed?



You know that feeling where you wake up in the morning dreading the day ahead? Only to realise it’s only Monday? Compare this to the mornings you wake up feeling happy to be alive and supercharged with all the possibilities ahead.  Both scenarios are you, but what a huge difference between the two!

What drives you to start something and stay with it to succeed or get halfway through and then quit?  Sometimes we get part way through a goal and then lose motivation (I’m putting my hand up to this one!).  New Year’s Resolutions anyone?  We all know there’s a big difference between starting and having the motivation to stick with it to achieve your goal.

If you’re not motivated, it’s very unlikely or at least a lot harder to succeed, right?  So, to achieve your success, it’s important to understand where your motivation comes from.  Because what you’re motivated by will determine the decisions you make, and in turn, your decisions drive the actions you take or not take which directly affects the results you achieve.

Extrinsic Motivation

Lisa was a high performer.  She was known for getting results, consistently.  She thrived on getting the win and hearing the praise when she finished the project or closed the deal.  Combined with her strong motivation to be the best was the fear of falling short or ‘failing’ and this drove her to work harder and harder, often for 60 – 70 hours a week, or more.  But after each high of the win, she was always left with the feeling of what’s next, sometimes not even pausing to absorb the praise of the win, but launching straight onto the next challenge.  These are all examples of motivation by external factors.

Examples of extrinsic motivation:

  • Writing an article or book to sell
  • Putting in extra work under the threat of losing your job
  • Studying hard because you want to get praise for achieving an A
  • Securing more sales to win the company bonus/prize/praise
  • Doing something to avoid being reprimanded
  • Participating in a sport to win the award

The risk with any extrinsic motivation is that once you’ve received the external reward you’re often looking for the next ‘hit’ and what’s next?

Intrinsic Motivation

Tim woke each morning with a feeling of positivity about the day ahead, sure there were some things that he had to do that he didn’t like so much, but overall what he chose to be doing was in line with his personal values, and the work itself was personally rewarding.  He felt like he was connected to, and living his true ‘why’ in life.  This intrinsic motivation is more powerful and sustainable than any extrinsic motivation.

Examples of intrinsic motivation:

  • Writing an article or book because you can’t contain it
  • Participating in a sport because you enjoy the connection and fun
  • Playing an instrument for how you feel while playing
  • Solving a puzzle for the challenge
  • Working for the sense of purpose or contribution

Knowing what truly motivates you means you will be fully conscious of why you’re doing what you’re doing, and avoid the nasty trap where your external motivations clash with your internal values.  Maybe you know you ‘should’ be motivated, but you’re exhausted or feel an inner frustration.  For example, you’re pushing more hours, meetings and sales to achieve a bonus but it’s clashing with your internal values of integrity, purpose or balance.  Knowing that you may have outgrown past extrinsic motivations and the need for external significance that you once valued is no longer a driving force in your life.

See this powerful clip on understanding your why

Questions to ask yourself to connect with your full motivation:

  1. What about this goal is truly important to me?
  2. Which of my personal values align with this goal?
  3. Am I being motivated towards something or away from the thing I don’t want?
  4. What are my top 10 personal values?
  5. What truly is success for me? How will I know when I have it?

Often, we are unaware of what motivates us. With this, you could feel lost or find your life seems to be different from what you believe is right for you.  Becoming aware of, and choosing to live fully in line with your intrinsic motivations is key to achieving sustainable success, happiness and fulfilment in all areas of in your life.

If you would like to know more about how you can understand your true inner motivations and how to live fully in line with them, you can contact me here.


Leave a comment