We all encounter moments of diminished motivation at some point in our lives, whether it's in the realm of exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, studying, or acquiring new language skills.
I frequently find myself seeking inspiration from individuals who exhibit exceptional discipline in their respective domains.
My aspiration was to master data analytics, with the eventual aim of integrating it with my expertise in fitness, given the growing reliance on fitness trackers for informed decision-making. I embarked on learning through a variety of platforms, including free and paid apps, as well as courses on Coursera.
Regrettably, I failed to complete any of these endeavors.
It dawned on me that I required a more structured approach, one that imposed deadlines for completing assignments. As a result, I enrolled in a course at General Assembly and successfully graduated—a classic example of extrinsic motivation.
Kobe Bryant, renowned for his "Mamba Mentality," once articulated, "I can't relate to lazy individuals. We don't share the same language. I don't comprehend you, nor do I desire to."
Kobe elaborated on his unwavering discipline during an interview with Jay Shetty. He described a personal contract he established with himself, leaving no room for negotiation—a quintessential illustration of intrinsic motivation.
Let's delve into the various forms of motivation:
Intrinsic Motivation: This type emanates from within. Our focus is entirely on the outcomes, and every step of the process can be validated internally. For instance, waking up early to avoid the gym rush and secure the lone available squat rack.
Extrinsic Motivation: Here, the impetus stems from external factors. We undertake a task because of external directives, often from an authoritative figure like a teacher, parent, peer, partner, or even a personal trainer. For instance, scheduling a physical therapy appointment at the insistence of a concerned partner.
Introjected Motivation: Similar to intrinsic motivation, this type originates internally but carries a tinge of guilt if the task remains incomplete. Consider going for a hike with a friend despite not wanting to, solely to avoid feeling guilty for canceling last minute.
Identified Motivation: This form involves recognizing the need for action and knowing the steps, yet hesitating to take the initial stride. For instance, being aware of the importance of consuming more fruits and vegetables but not yet making the effort to increase your intake.
The superiority of one motivation type over another hinges on individual, task-specific, and situational factors. Taking Kobe as an example, while he possessed intrinsic motivation for rigorous practice, he required extrinsic motivation to embrace rest and patience during his recovery from an Achilles injury. The nature of motivation is multifaceted and can manifest differently in diverse contexts.
Furthermore, motivations are not mutually exclusive. It's plausible to simultaneously desire exercise, guidance, and even experience guilt for falling short.
Not all of us can reach the echelons of Kobe, Jordan, Brady, or Jobs. And that's perfectly acceptable. Even Kobe and Jordan relied on personal trainers to establish structure, adjust programs, and monitor progress.
In my opinion, when it comes to exercising for health benefits, enhancing strength, shedding weight, or pursuing other objectives, we can establish foundational benchmarks and progress from there.
About the author:
Conrad (@conradfitness) is a 15-year fitness expert that holds a Master’s degree in Kinesiology, several national personal training certifications, and EMS certifications from XBody, Miha Bodytec, E-Fit, and Wiemspro. Conrad currently works as Director of Education and Technology at Bodybuzz.