What’s your Motivation?…

Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? – An element of self-discovery

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.”

Saul Bass

In today’s growth blog we are looking at a concept which we hope can help you uncover what truly guides you in your life and studies, and to help identify some personal motives for your work. It is a form of self-discovery, which we believe is vital in becoming your best-self.

If you want to find out how this concept can help you to find your true calling and thrive in your studies, read on…

The concept we speak of is…INTRINSIC MOTIVATION


On the other hand, extrinsic motivation refers to behaviour that is driven by external rewards such as academic grades, money, fame, and even praise. This type of motivation arises from outside the individual.

For example, if we dislike our job, but we go to work for the money, this is an example of extrinsic motivation at play because the paycheque is essentially our ‘reward’ for our time…even though we really dislike what we are doing whilst at work.

I want to make a point that extrinsic motivations do serve a purpose and there is no doubt that they can be beneficial to us. For example, in a business you may sometimes find yourself driven by a financial goal, and if this is what motivates you then you should use that to your advantage. In your studies you may be driven to achieve a particular grade. This is great.


However, we also believe to truly succeed or reach your potential there must be a level of intrinsic motivation present. We believe that if you need to consistently ‘find motivation’ or ‘will power’ to do something, you are probably doing the wrong thing. This is because, for something that is personally rewarding you never need to seek motivation…it will just come naturally and feel almost effortless.

Let’s use Semester as an example again, we are doing something we love (personal growth), and we are driven by a desire to grow personally, whilst also finding it internally rewarding to serve others…you the student. This allows us to keep going on the days that feel tough and continue to serve students each and every day with their personal growth and wellbeing needs.

We cannot tell you which side of the fence to sit on, but simply inform you of them so that you can create your own picture of what you need to get more motivated and find more success and fulfilment in your studies. Our argument would be that if you are chasing things solely on the basis of rewards outside of yourself, you may begin to feel unfulfilled and you may lack meaning.

The truth is you cannot just ‘create’ intrinsic motivation for something. This is why we believe that understanding your values is a huge tool and why self-discovery is so important in personal development. It ensures you are on the right path! (Look out for our blog on values and how you can understand your own better next week)

Tools around self-discovery are included within the Semester Product but we wanted to give you some further questions to work through today, which again we hope can serve you. Grab a pen and paper now and answer the following questions:

Are you living in a way that reflects the person you want to be?

If you had to have one… what would be your own personal definition of success?

What are the times that you are most inspired and most motivated?

What does intrinsic motivation mean to you?

When do I feel it is important to be driven by extrinsic factors?

These are just a few questions for you to begin working through but hopefully they will shed some light on your own personal motives. If you feel you are on the right path then keep going, or if you feel you need to change direction slightly this is ok.

If you feel like there is more work to be done, check out some of our other blogs around self-discovery or reach out to us with any questions. If you found this blog useful please let us know or share it with others.

And as always… be sure to share your personal journey and progress with us and the wider Semester community.

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