Types Of Motivation That Make It Possible To Reach Set Goals

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Motivation can be defined as a biological, psychology and, driving force that stimulates someone to initiate and sustain a certain character. This phenomenon is not just limited to humans but also in living organisms.

Motivation At A Glance

Drive involves emotional, cognitive, social, and biological forces that steer behavior. It is a word used unconsciously to describe why a student, an employee, or a spouse does something.

For instance, one would say that a certain employee works overtime, expecting nothing just to have their work completed in good time. Psychologists have categorized motivation into different theories, including intrinsic theory, humanistic theory, and drive theory [1].

motivation at a glance

2 Main Types Of Achievement Motivation

Motivation can be divided into two main categories, including: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

Both of them take equal parts in an individual’s life with certain similarities and differences. Some people respond better to intrinsic motivation (meaning from within) and can complete any obligations that are in line with the area of their passion.

Others are quite the opposite responding better to extrinsic motivation, meaning they can handle even the most difficult tasks, provided there is a reward upon completion.

1. Intrinsic Motivation

The motivational stimulus of intrinsic individuals comes from within. These people can complete a certain task in which their belief system resonates with and which they have some attachment to. Their deep-rooted desires motivate them to chase their goal.

For instance, let’s say someone named Betty has set a goal to eat a low carb diet and avoid sugary foods to control her blood sugar levels. Let’s also assume that this is a drive triggered by the desire to lead a healthy life. Because the desire to change comes from within, the drive is intrinsic.

2. Extrinsic Motivation

The motivational stimuli of extrinsic people come from external factors. It means that the desire to complete a certain task is fully controlled by an outside source. Even when the drive comes from outside, these people still expect some reward for their performance.

Here, imagine Betty feeling the need to engage in a low carb diet because her husband gets worked up whenever she eats sugary foods. Because the pressure is coming from outside, it is extrinsic motivation.

types of motivation

Other Types Of Motivation In The Workplace

All other types of motivation fall under either of the above two primary categories. Here are the minor types of motivation that can make a significant impact in sport, learning, and all other areas of life.


Also referred to as reward-based, these types of people know that they will get a reward after achieving a certain goal. They are always determined because there is something to look forward to at the end of the task. The greater the reward, the higher the levels of inspiration.


If you are an employee working hard to get promoted, get new titles, and roles in your career, you are driven by this type of motivation. Note it is different from the incentive motivation where people expect a reward after achieving a certain goal. Here, people focus on meeting a certain goal to achieve and be promoted. Read more here.


Many people believe that who we know determines the chances of achieving success. Well, if you are one of them, affiliation motivation drives you. Such people tend to thrive when connected with others in high rankings.

motivation at work


Although the word fear seems negative, when it comes to motivation, it is a different case. These people believe that accountability is important and will, therefore, do anything to reach their goals.

This drive is rooted in fear of failure. It is a positive form of fear that helps such people meet their vision to avoid failing in the presence of those who depend on them. As long as the fear is stable enough to prevent you from giving up, it is one of the greatest motivations.


If you are constantly working hard to remain in your high rank or get a further promotion, power-based motivation drives you. These are the people you will find in organizations that are very energized in order to gain more control. If you are looking to make a massive change based on your vision, this type will come in handy.


Attitude is about how one thinks and feels about themselves. At some point, you may have applied this type of motivation in your life. Low self-esteem can cause you to grow weak and give up, leading to a negative attitude towards life. Because a negative attitude can cause you to feel inferior, there are high chances that your overall performance will be hindered.

On the other hand, there is positive attitude. This results in positive changes and high performance at work and at school. Self-belief results in confidence. Click on this link to read about how you can dictate success with just your mind.


Also known as learning motivation, this type is correlated to the achievement type. Here, people are pushed to follow a certain goal by the process and not the reward. The difference here is that competence causes you to lean on the act of learning as you move towards a certain goal. For instance, people driven by competence will join a voluntary job simply to learn new skills.

good attitude

The Components of Motivation

If you have ever had a goal, then you know that simply having the desire to achieve it is never enough. You must have the ability to persist through the obstacles in spite of the difficulties. The three major components include persistence, intensity, and activation.

  • Persistence: This is the continued effort towards a goal amidst obstacles. For instance, if you want to pursue an MBA, it will require a lot of time, energy and resources to complete
  • Intensity: This is seen in terms of the effort that goes into achieving a goal
  • Activation: This is about the decision made to initiate a certain character. It could be about enrolling for a course or searching for a new job

components of motivation


Motivation may not be easy to master, but getting it right comes with multiple benefits. Dreams manifest comes when you are motivated. If you are an employer, you need to know how to motivate your team by studying and practicing the main types of motivation. This is to motivate everyone to put in their best effort when working.