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Last Updated on December 11, 2020

16 Best Podcasts on Motivation to Help You Reach Your Goals

16 Best Podcasts on Motivation to Help You Reach Your Goals

Every Monday is a great time to pump up your spirits, make goals for the upcoming week and keep yourself motivated to achieve them.

But what do you do if you cannot find motivation within yourself? Instead of beating yourself over it, why not take help from external sources to get motivated?

Apart from self-help books and inspiring speeches and movies, good podcasts can also lift up your spirits when you need it most.

At a time when we are all racing against time, you no longer have to “make” time for listening to inspirational podcasts because they make for an immersive and convenient option. So the next time you are stuck in traffic or are out for a run, optimize that time by listening to motivational podcasts.

Here is a list of 15 really good podcasts that you must have on your playlist to stay motivated and reach your goals:

1. The Tim Ferriss Show

It would be sacrilege to enlist good podcasts without starting with The Tim Ferriss Show, also called “the Oprah of audio” by The Observer.

Ranked #1 out of 500,000+ podcasts on many occasions, this is the first business podcast to have crossed 300 million downloads and be selected as “Best of” Apple Podcasts for three consecutive years.

Hosted by best-selling author Tim Ferris, this podcast’s guest list features famous names such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James, Maria Sharapova, Jamie Foxx among many others. It has Tim inviting world-class performers to discuss their habits, routines and secrets that make them what they are for listeners to take a leaf from their books.

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2. The One You Feed

Hosted by Eric Zimmer and Chris Forbes, The One You Feed is based on the principle that it ‘takes conscious, constant and creative effort to make a life worth living’.

The podcast features conversations with guests from various walks of life. They discuss topics surrounding mental health, motivation, self-awareness, spirituality and more such topics that help us become better versions of ourselves. So, listen to the episodes on their website and get your daily dose of motivation!

3. TED Radio Hour

Following the success of TED Talks, TED Radio Hour is a fascinating podcast that brings together some of the most remarkable minds in the world. A co-production between TED and National Public Radio (NPR), TED Radio Hour is hosted by Guy Raz.

Exploring topics ranging from inspirational leadership to self-awareness, this 18-minute talk show promises to make you think, question and introspect, while offering fresh approaches and solutions to old problems.

4. The Gary Vee Audio Experience

Feeling listless and low on energy? Make listening to The Gary Vee Audio Experience part of your daily routine and you are bound to see a positive change in your perspective.

Hosted by entrepreneur, author, CEO, public speaker and vlogger Gary Vaynerchuk, this podcast has a no-nonsense approach to get you up and running.

Gary imparts motivational advice via speeches and interviews in a riveting manner that makes you sit up, listen and take note.

5. The Lifehack Show

The Lifehack Show is the official podcast show of Lifehack. It offers incredible insights from experts on overcoming obstacles and breaking free from limitations. In each episode the show’s host interviews experts in different fields to share their thoughts and experiences on getting over challenges and reaching their goals.

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Start listneing to it here: The Lifehack Show

6. School of Greatness

Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness podcast aims at inspiring people to dream bigger and live better. From relationships and entrepreneurship to self-development and health – School of Greatness features solo sessions with host Lewis and interviews with famous people from the world of business, sports and entertainment sharing their nuggets of success.

Once in a week, listeners also get to enjoy 5 Minute Friday which has Lewis inspiring people with some really quick advice on some of the most relevant topics we can all relate to.

7. Inspire Nation

This podcast covers a diverse range of subjects – you name it and they’ve got to have it covered! Inspire Nation aims to “help you shine bright” through their motivational episodes that touch upon every aspect of your life.

It has host Michael Sandler sharing some life-changing experiences and also invites authors, spiritual leaders and others to offer inspiring advice that fills you with positivity and leaves you charged up. With so much to offer when it comes to self-improvement, you are sure to get hooked on to this podcast in no time.

8. The Brendon Show

The Brendon Show is hosted by the world’s leading personal development coach, Brendon Burchard. Through this highly inspiring podcast, Brendon shares his life mantra, what keeps him going and how we can all shape the extraordinary life we wish to lead.

He dives deep into interesting issues that we are all a victim of such as ‘Dealing with Self-Doubt’, ‘Why People Don’t Support You’ and ‘The Motivation Killer’ among others. This show is all about finding the right direction in life and has the power to inspire people to take action.

9. Happier

Another good podcast is Gretchen Rubin’s Happier. This thought-provoking podcast features some really practical advice on living a happier life. Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth discuss habits and hacks to make everyday joyful in this thoroughly enjoyable podcast.

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10. Goal Digger

If you have questions surrounding chasing your passion, living your dreams, taking risks, quitting your 9 to 5 job and similar other concerns, the Goal Digger podcast promises to answer them all for you.

This podcast has host Jenna Kutcher bring you inspirational stories that can make a difference to your lives. She speaks about tips and tricks on staying motivated, being productive and becoming a ‘self-made’ millionaire.

Adopting a ‘live-workshop style business podcast’, this one is specifically directed to helping ‘girl bosses’ make their dreams come true.

11. The Mastery Sessions

Powerful daily tools coupled with profound insights is what comprises The Mastery Sessions podcast wherein life coach Robin Sharma helps you live your best life. His words of encouragement and advice inspires listeners to be optimistic and hopeful.

Whenever you’re having a bad day, tune in to The Mastery Sessions and listening to even just one episode is enough to get you get you back on track – that is how powerful his words are!

12. The Good Life Project

The Good Life Project features in-depth conversations that are honest and deeply-moving. Hosted by writer and entrepreneur, Jonathan Fields, this podcast aims to share stories of experts and everyday people meant to inspire listeners.

Stories connect us all and that is exactly what this podcast embodies. The Good Life Project airs twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays and you can give them a listen on their website.

13. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

If you thought Oprah Winfrey has only taken over television, you are mistaken. This megastar also has her own podcast called Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations.

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Aimed at helping people discover the deeper meaning of the world around them, this podcast features Oprah’s personal selection of her interviews with thought leaders, authors, spiritual leaders and other well-known experts. Trust SuperSoul Conversations to help you find value and meaning during turbulent times and emerge victorious.

14. Life is a Marathon

Life surely is a marathon and motivational speaker Bruce Van Horn wants you to live it with a positive outlook, as reflected in his podcast, Life is a Marathon.

Having utmost passion for personal development, positive thinking and self-esteem, Bruce shares his thoughts on breaking negative thought patterns in order to live a life of joy and abundance through this podcast.

15. The Daily Boost

The Daily Boost has generated over 26 million downloads, making it the most popular daily motivation program. Combining personal development strategies and common sense, this podcast is anything by predictable.

It presents a fun take on motivation and keeps you engrossed owing to its fresh and upbeat approach. Host and founder Scott Smith makes the show all the more entertaining with his witty wisecracks and words of wisdom that very well resonate with listeners.

16. Optimal Living Daily

Wish you had the time to read and soak up motivational content from some of the best blogs but don’t? Now, that’s why you should definitely subscribe to Optimal Living Daily because it picks up top content from the internet and summarizes it into a 10-minute clip. Wonderful, isn’t it?

It is hosted by Justin Malik who offers daily readings covering topics such as minimalism, productivity, life-hacking techniques and more.

With Optimal Living Daily on your list, there is no way you can miss out on inspirational content to boost your morale.

The Bottom Line

Don’t let your busy schedule bog you down and leave you demotivated. Thanks to these inspiring podcasts, you can get your daily dose of motivation wherever you may be. So, subscribe to them and keep yourself motivated to reach your goals.

More Podcast Recommendations

Featured photo credit: Juja Han via unsplash.com

More by this author

Adela Belin

Writes about motivation, mental health, personal development and shares stories inspired by her personal journey.

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Published on May 12, 2021

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation: Is One Better Than The Other?

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation: Is One Better Than The Other?

Have you observed the behavior of children as they carry out daily tasks? They may naturally be inclined towards playing games with friends but would need a push to do their homework. Children may enjoy eating junk food by themselves but need adult monitoring while reluctantly having vegetables.

As these kids grow up, the behavior remains the same. There are many reasons we do certain things. Sometimes, we’re internally motivated to make something happen, and other times we’re driven externally. Such a dichotomy involves contrasting intrinsic motivation versus extrinsic motivation:[1]

“When intrinsically motivated, people engage in an activity because they find it interesting and inherently satisfying. By contrast, when extrinsically motivated, people engage in an activity to obtain some instrumentally separable consequence, such as the attainment of a reward, the avoidance of punishment, or the achievement of some valued outcome.”

Read on to learn more about intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation and find out how reward-oriented behavior influences our productivity and how we can regulate it!

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What Is Intrinsic Motivation?

All the theories that describe what classifies as intrinsic motivation talk about a natural drive from within to pursue an activity because it gives us pleasure.

Some psychology researchers have associated intrinsic behavior with basic human needs, creativity, performance enhancement, and contentment.[2] When we carry out a task that fulfills our natural urges, such as hunger, thirst, and sleep, we are better equipped with the drive to complete a task. Other times, we might simply do something because it stimulates the aesthetic experience of being in that state of activity, such as hobbies.

Simply put, activities that bring us satisfaction and joy are powered by intrinsic motivation because an internal reward system fuels them.

Examples of Intrinsic Motivation

  • Studying because you enjoy the process of gaining knowledge and not simply because you want good grades
  • Helping out a friend/family member with something out of love without expecting anything in return from them
  • Standing in the kitchen for hours to prepare your favorite meal because the end product satiates your hunger and gives you joy
  • Pursuing a hobby, such as gardening, trekking, camping, and playing sports, among others, to experience an aesthetic pleasure
  • Running a marathon to feel physically rejuvenated instead of seeking the prize money
  • Taking up extra responsibility at work/school to improve your skills without the intention of gaining recognition or earning someone’s favor

What Is Extrinsic Motivation?

When we are not inherently motivated to perform a task because it does not bring about a sense of satisfaction, we are extrinsically motivated. Such motivation facilitates our desire to attain a reward or avoid punishment.

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Not all the work we do brings us joy, owing to its repetitive nature, urgency, necessity, frequency, duration, or monotony. Whether it is dragging ourselves to work/school every morning or working on weekends, we tend to undertake tasks that might not inherently please or satisfy us. Usually, an external force or ulterior motive drives us to complete such tasks. Rewards like money, praise, and fame drive our motivation extrinsically.

However, extrinsic motivation does not necessarily mean that we are unwilling to do something. We just seek an external reward from it. For example, a person might like writing but goes the extra mile to make money out of it.

Point to be noted: Offering external rewards for something that already rewards inherently can decrease motivation, known as the overjustification effect.[3]

Examples of Extrinsic Motivation

  • Working a part-time job to make extra money while still being a student
  • Participating in competitions to win prizes and earn fame
  • Attending classes regularly not because the lecture is exciting but to maintain the attendance record
  • Going to the office on lazy days to avoid pay-cut
  • Completing a task well before time to earn praise and recognition
  • Doing something you don’t like just to avoid public judgment
  • Doing chores to flatter parents before requesting something from them

The 3 Regulators of Productivity

As social beings, we interact with our surroundings to tend to our satisfaction and gain. Despite being interlinked with various social factors, we still act independently as individually identifiable beings with preferences and opinions.

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Daniel H. Pink, in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, talks about the evolving state of the digital economy and leaders can adopt more effective methods of motivation. He proposes three principles of increasing productivity: autonomy, mastery (alternatively, competence), and purpose. Detaching his propositions from the workplace context to universalize it, I shall discuss the impact of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on these three principles.

  • Autonomy refers to the amount of creativity and control we hold over individual expression without any external influence. It determines our independence in making choices and deciding the course of future actions.
  • Mastery or competence is our capacity to execute a task to the best of our ability without any external help. Our competency level governs how well we can perform when tasked with something.
  • Purpose alludes to the yearning within individuals to contribute to humankind’s more meaningful existence beyond the self.

Productivity is a cumulative result of the above three that motivation regulates. In the following section, we shall explore the differing impacts of the two kinds of motivation on individual performance: intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation: Is There a Third Option?

In a psychological study, Richard M. Ryan and Edward L. Deci found out that “conditions supportive of autonomy and competence reliably facilitated this vital expression of the human growth tendency, whereas conditions that controlled behavior and hindered perceived reflectance undermined its expression.”[4]

In other words, whether a task is intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, it should not negatively impact our natural abilities.

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They also concluded that “Excessive control, nonoptimal challenges, and lack of connectedness…disrupt the inherent actualizing and organizational tendencies endowed by nature, and thus such factors result not only in the lack of initiative and responsibility but also in distress.” Simply put, unachievable challenges and emotional detachment can diminish individuals’ natural abilities and negatively impact performance.

Hence, it is safe to conclude that positive motivation is the key to performance enhancement without mentally, physically, or emotionally tiring out an individual. Whether it is at school, work, or social circles, superiors must ensure that an assigned task must be positively motivated in a way that warrants commitment, interest, and productivity. Hence, the type of motivation is not significant to performance as long as it does not hinder the three principles of productivity.

How Can You Positively Motivate Others?

Provide regular feedback: Individuals putting in efforts to make something happen, like hearing about their strengths and weaknesses. But before doing that, you must establish feedback-giving as a positive and encouraging process towards development within the social setup!

  • Set attainable goals: Asking too much from people negatively impacts performance as it does not respect their abilities. It can also be severely discouraging as it prevents individuals from giving their best, thinking that it is unattainable.
  • Challenge them by gradually increasing the level: Once you have gauged a person’s skill level, you can slowly give them more significant tasks to expand their abilities.
  • Inspire them: Setting an example is the best way to motivate others. You could perform your best to let people know what you expect from them.
  • Establish a trust relationship: Trust is the key to maintaining any human relationship, whether personal or professional. Ensuring the existence of this emotion comforts and inspires them to do better.
  • Maintain a healthy reward system: Humans cannot resist rewards, whether intrinsic or extrinsic. Maintaining a healthy reward system can propel others to work harder and productively.
  • Seek feedback from them: Finally, seeking feedback is just as important as giving it. Don’t forget to ask people’s opinions on the changes you can make to your approach!

Final Thoughts

Looking at your life with a bird’s eye view isn’t always easy. You sometimes need external motivators who see your potential and help you pave a path to success. But even when you have external motivators backing you up, paying close attention to your internal dialogue will help you cross the roadblocks.

And do not forget, motivation isn’t the goal in itself—it’s the pathway to a long journey where you achieve more milestones, and looking at the bird’s eye view of your life becomes easier. Have a happy journey!

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Featured photo credit: Stephen Leonardi via unsplash.com

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