Sometimes, it can be tough to muster up the motivation to do anything, and it’s like our minds are just not in the mood to work. But that’s okay! You don’t have to rely on your own motivation all of the time.

There are 15 types of motivation you can use in your life to get yourself moving. And lucky for you, we’ll tell you all about them! So read on and find out how you can start using these motivations today.

How Do I Know What Motivation Type I Should Use?

This is a great question! Everyone is going to respond differently to each motivation type. Try using motivation types you think would work on you personally or you see you have been motivated by in the past.

Certain types of people despise or do not respond to certain kinds of motivators. For example, using coercive motivation (the motivation of fear and threats) on a person who hates people who force them to do something or else. Even if you use this on yourself, it could be very destructive. The 15 types of motivation are compelling, but they are also dangerous in the wrong hands.

How To Optimally Use Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivation

Below are some of the most optimal ways to use these two types of motivators. Pay attention to these two because understanding them helps you enact the more complex motivation types.

The Best Way to Use Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is about doing something because you enjoy it or want to achieve a goal. This type of motivation doesn’t come from external factors like rewards or punishments. It comes from within you.

The best way to use intrinsic motivation is to figure out what you’re interested in and what your goals are. Once you know that, you can start finding ways to do those things more often. If you enjoy painting, start painting more often! If your goal is to improve your painting, start practicing every day. The more you do something, the more motivated you’ll be to keep doing it.

The Best Way to Use Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is the opposite of intrinsic motivation. It’s doing something for the sake of external factors like social environments, rewards, and punishments. This type of motivation can be helpful if used correctly, but it can also be dangerous.

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How To Use The Advanced Intrinsic Motivation Types

When using any type of intrinsic motivation, setting a straightforward thing that motivates you in that area is crucial. For example, if you are a boxer, the emotional motivation of the feeling of winning a big boxing match could be a motivator for you. Remember to keep your intrinsic motivations clear and constantly on your mind.

Creative motivation

It is all about using enjoying the process of being creative. This type of motivation can be helpful for people who are bored with their current tasks or who are looking for a change. Creative motivation makes coming up with new things fun.

Creative motivation is one of the best motivators because you are happy during the process instead of putting happiness off till you have a finished product.

So how can you start using creative motivation in your life? First, find something you’re interested in. It can be anything from painting to writing to making videos. Once you have an idea of what you’re interested in, start exploring it! Let your creativity flow. Try new things and experiment. The more you do, the more fun you’ll have and the more motivated you’ll be to keep going.

Challenge motivation

It is all about enjoying the challenge of overcoming difficulties. This type of motivation can be helpful for people who are looking for a sense of accomplishment or who need a boost of confidence. Challenge motivation makes complex tasks feel like an opportunity to learn and grow.

If you’re looking for a way to start using challenge motivation in your life, try setting yourself some goals that are outside of your comfort zone. Then, work on overcoming those challenges bit by bit. Each time you accomplish something, you’ll feel a sense of pride and confidence. And that will motivate you to keep going.

Achievement motivation

It is all about accomplishing something great. This type of motivation can be helpful for people who are struggling to find meaning in their current tasks. Achievement motivation can help you see the value in what you’re doing and push you to do your best.

One essential part of using achievement motivation is setting challenging but attainable goals. If your goals are too easy, you won’t feel motivated to achieve them. But if your goals are impossible, you’ll get frustrated and give up. Finding the right balance is vital.

Emotional motivation

Ever done something for a feeling? That’s what emotional motivation is. The goal of this motivational type is the pursuit of experiencing an emotion. Emotional motivation can be beneficial when you need a boost of happiness or trying to get rid of negative emotions.

This motivation is very dangerous. People are known to chase emotions in very harmful ways. On the other hand, you can also use this motivator to improve your mental health by experiencing the feelings you need.

If you want to start using emotional motivation in your life, try doing things that make you feel good. Spend time with friends, listen to happy music, watch funny movies—do whatever makes you feel good. The more positive emotions you experience, the more motivated you’ll be to keep pursuing them.

Curiosity motivation

The motivator of curiosity revolves around experiencing new things that pique your interest in a certain way. This is an excellent motivator for when you want to learn something you are interested in. Finding answers and satiating your curiosity is the primary motivator. It can be enjoyable!

If you’re looking for a way to start using curiosity motivation in your life, try finding something you’re interested in and dive into it. Read books, watch documentaries, talk to experts—do whatever it takes to learn more about your topic of interest. The more you know, the more motivated you’ll be to keep learning.

Attitude motivation

With attitude motivation, the focus is on changing the attitude of others in some way. This type of motivation can be useful for people struggling to find meaning in their current tasks. Attitude motivation can help you see the value in what you’re doing and push you to do your best. Impacting the world positively is a big inspiration in this motivator.

You want to make a plan for how you will change the attitudes of others. Even if it is simple, like making the people you work with smile. More complex attitude motivations can be like convincing others to change their attitude towards a specific thing. For example: changing people’s attitudes about climate change.

Use the attitude motivator to bring meaning and purpose to your life and make it just a little bit more joyful every day.

Spiritual motivation

Spiritual motivation is all about becoming deeper in their spirituality. The motivation here is that the deeper you become in the spiritual realm, the more fulfilled you feel.

Many people seek the same kind of fulfillment they should be getting from spirituality in harmful behaviors. This is not the right way to find purpose and feel fulfilled, and you will only end up worse than when you started. The only way to get that fulfilled feeling you seek will be in recognizing your spiritual motivation is not towards harmful behaviors, but in reality, it is towards a higher force.

There are many ways to become more spiritual. You can start by exploring different religions and finding one that resonates with you. You can also read religious texts, attend religious services, or meditate. The important thing is to find a practice that helps you connect with your spirituality and brings you fulfillment.

Do positive actions that make you feel you are getting deeper in your spirituality.

Physiological motivation

Physiological motivation is based on the body’s needs, and this type of motivation is essential for survival. When you’re hungry, thirsty, or tired, your body tells you that it needs something to function correctly.

If you want to start using physiological motivation in your life, try to pay attention to what will help you better fulfill your needs and what reality would prevent you from fulfilling the needs you want to avoid.

Survival motivation is one of the most potent motivation types.

You are very motivated when you have to work hard to survive and avoid not having your basic needs met.

Competence & learning motivation

Competence and learning motivation are all about developing new skills and knowledge. This type of motivation can help you push yourself to become better at what you do. When you’re competent, you feel confident and capable, and you know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

If you want to start using competence and learning motivation in your life, try setting some goals for yourself. What do you want to learn? What skills do you want to develop? Once you have a plan in mind, start taking steps to achieve it. Enroll in a class, read books, or find a mentor who can help you reach your goal. The important thing is to keep learning and expanding your knowledge.

The reward for competence and learning motivation is knowing you are enlarging your field of knowledge and skills. Focus on how learning and improving yourself will improve your ability to land good jobs and live an easier life.

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How To Use The Advanced Extrinsic Motivation Types

When using advanced extrinsic motivation types, you want to use them to your advantage and not let them use you. For example, use coercive motivation to your advantage; don’t let others use it to help them get ahead without regard for you.

Coercive motivation

Coercive motivation is when you are forced to do something, or there will be consequences. Coercive motivation is also known as fear motivation, and people commonly use this on their subordinates.

Be careful; consistently setting consequences for others if they do not do as you wish will undoubtedly make them resent you.

You can use coercive motivation to motivate yourself to avoid consequences.

One example is: If you do not study hard for this test, you will get a bad grade, making it hard to get a successful job and live an easy, happy life.

Another example: If you do not work hard to be successful, you will have to work low-end or unfulfilling jobs all your life.

Use coercive motivation to keep yourself in check, be careful not to build resentment towards others who use it on you, and they likely have no idea about these types of motivation. It is not their fault; if you think there is someone who could improve their career and get more out of their employees, send this to a boss or manager that could reach the next level by knowing the best ways to use the 15 types of motivation.

Incentive motivation

Incentive motivation is when you are given a reward for completing a task. Incentive motivation is also known as the carrot on a stick motivation, and the carrot is the positive incentive you are chasing after.

When using incentive motivation, make it clear to yourself the rewards you will get if you do the challenging tasks required to get the reward. Even if you are an entrepreneur, there are still many incentives to work hard to become successful, even if they are not black and white. If you work hard enough, you will get a reward most of the time.

When you use incentive motivation, you can think long-term and short-term. Put off rewards you usually indulge in till you do something difficult. Then use those rewards right after doing the difficult thing to say to your mind, “I did this hard activity, so I get a reward that makes me happy.”

When you work very hard and do not get a reward, your mind becomes unhappy and sees that hard work does not result in good things. You want to make sure your hard work always has a clear immediate and long-term reward.

Using incentive motivation continually makes your mind addicted to doing complex activities as it knows it will get a reward.

Affiliation motivation

Affiliation motivation is when you do something to be accepted into a group. When humans lived in small tribes, this was very important for survival. If you were not part of a tribe, you would likely die.

Nowadays, people commonly use affiliation motivation at work to get promoted. They try to make friends with the boss and essential people.

You can use affiliation motivation to find the right groups to be a part of.

For example, if you want to be a writer, find a group of writers and try to get accepted into their social circle.

You can also use the social motivator to encourage you to push yourself harder. You may be more likely to exercise continuously if you join a team that exercises four days a week and expects you to be there.

Power motivation

Power motivation is when you want to have power over others. This is a common motivator for people in management positions. They want to have the ability so to control what others do.

You can use power motivation to get what you want from others.

For example, if you want a raise from your boss, you may use power motivation by threatening to quit unless you get the raise.

Or, if you want your employees to work harder, you may use power motivation by threatening to fire them if they do not meet your expectations.

However, be careful with power motivation as it can backfire on you. People may start to resent you and your authority if you use it too much. They soon become reluctant to accept your absurd and harsh demands and begin looking for a way to leave your presence.

Also, be careful not to let power motivation turn into greed. Greed is when you want to have power just for having power, and it can lead to corruption. Use the pursuit of power as a way for you to have more influence in the world, allowing you to give more to others and leave the world better than you found it.

 

Specific Examples of Ways to Use Motivation Types

Below are specific life challenges that need to be overcome. You may fall very closely or entirely in line with one of these, so it could be beneficial.

What Type of Motivation Should I Use if I Want to Workout?

Let’s face it, 99% of people will not keep up a workout routine unless they feel like they have to. Challenge motivation is what people usually try to use when working out, but long term, they just get burnt out because they feel like the only thing they do is suffer while working out. What you want to do is use a sustainable motivation for you long-term.

Affiliation motivation (the motivation of social groups and people) works perfectly here. You are more likely to continually work out if you have other people working out, too; the peer pressure and desire to not let others down can be a good motivator. Also, there is some competitiveness to the challenge motivation, so it feels a bit more fun.

So Affiliation motivation is the easiest way to exercise consistently for most people, but how can I implement it into my life? Try joining a team; this forces you to continually show up for working out lest you want to let everyone down and disappoint the friends you make there. This can be a severe motivator for many people, better than just being accountable for yourself and your emotions.

You can also use the social motivator by making an accountability spreadsheet and sharing it with a friend. Your friend can look at the spreadsheet whenever they want and see what days you exercised and missed. This is simple but incredibly effective.
Another way of affiliation motivation is signing up for a competition, like a 5k run. Then publicly announce you will train for the 5k run and make continuous updates about your progress and workouts on social media. You are accountable to the competition and all the people you know using this method.

These suggestions do mix in a bit of coercive motivation. They give real consequences to skipping a workout. You can use this to make working out more effective for you.

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What if I Am Unemployed?

The best motivation when unemployed is going to be self-motivation. This is because you have complete control over your time and schedule, and no one is demanding anything from you. So the question becomes, how do you self-motivate when you are unemployed?

The best way to do this is to set small goals every day. Make a list of things you want to accomplish, and make sure you complete them by the end of the day. This could be anything from sending out ten job applications to walking around the block.
It is important to make sure these goals are achievable. If they are too big, you will get discouraged and give up, but you won’t feel a sense of accomplishment if they are too small. Find a happy medium and stick to it.

Another way to self-motivate is by setting a goal for the week or month. Something like, “I will job search for 4 hours every day this week” or “I will send out 50 job applications this month”. This gives you something to strive for and keeps you focused.

It is also essential to keep a positive attitude. This can be hard when you are unemployed, but it is necessary. Surround yourself with positive people and things that make you happy. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

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What if I Am Bored With My Work?

The best way to combat boredom at work is to find a way to make your work meaningful. This could be anything from setting goals for yourself to finding ways to help others.

One way to make your work meaningful is to set goals for yourself. This is a challenging motivation and could be anything from completing a project in a certain amount of time to helping a certain number of people. Whatever your goal is, make sure it is achievable and will make you feel good when you accomplish it.

Another way to make your work meaningful is to find ways to help others. By helping others, you use attitude motivation, which is the motivation to change the attitudes of others, like making their day better. This could be anything from mentoring a co-worker to volunteering for a local charity. Whatever you do, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and not just to make yourself feel good.
It is also important to find ways to stay engaged with your work by using incentive motivation. This could be anything from reading industry news to taking on new assignments. Whatever you do, make sure you do it because you want to and not just because you feel like you have to. Then reward yourself for making your work more enjoyable in some way.

Boredom at work is a common problem, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. By finding ways to make your work meaningful, staying engaged with it, and setting goals for yourself, you can combat boredom and find ways to enjoy your work again.

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What If I Am A College Student?

The best way to stay motivated as a college student is to use a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from within, like a desire to learn or do something for its sake. Extrinsic motivation is the motivation that comes from external factors, like grades or rewards.

One way to use intrinsic motivation is to find a way to make your studies meaningful. This could be anything from setting goals for yourself to finding ways to help others.

One way to use extrinsic motivation is to set goals for yourself based on external rewards. This could be anything from getting a certain grade in a class to winning a scholarship. Whatever your goal is, make sure it is achievable and will make you feel good when you accomplish it.

It is also important to keep a positive attitude. This can be hard when struggling in school, but it is essential. Surround yourself with positive people and things that make you happy. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

College can be a tough time, but by using a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, you can find ways to stay motivated and succeed in your studies. Find what works best for you and stick with it.

What if I Need to Work Hard to Live a Better Life?

When you reach a moment in your life when things just are not the way you want them to be, you may be forced to work exceptionally hard and effectively. Success and living a better life are not for the faint of heart, it takes a lot of grit, but every bit of effort is worth it when you see the results.

The first step is to come to terms with your situation and be honest about it. This can be a difficult thing to do, but it is essential. Once you have done this, you can start making a plan. You can motivate yourself to live a better life with nearly every motivator.

What’s most important is having your motivations written down and very clear. There are many reasons to be motivated to live a better life, but it is often hard to see it constantly. Living a better life could be an outstanding achievement for you. You may have a particular way of living and feeling you would like to have when you get what you want (emotional motivation, being motivated by the pursuit of emotion) and many other motivation types.

It is crucial to lay out what you want clearly. You can find motivation for this step if you pay attention to what strikes you most. What do you desire most? What do you hate most about your life now, and how would working hard and becoming successful change that?

You can do this; keep your motivations close and stay focused.

Final Thoughts

No matter your situation, there is a type of motivation that can help you succeed. It is essential to find what works best for you and use it. Whether you are a college student or someone who is working hard to live a better life, staying motivated is essential. Use the tips in this article to help you find ways to stay motivated and achieve your goals.