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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

20 Motivational Podcasts to Start Following in 2021

20 Motivational Podcasts to Start Following in 2021

We could all use a little motivation here and there. Sometimes those pick-me-ups are useful for providing us with the inspiration and direction we need to take that next step towards our goals!

This is why I’ve rounded up some of the best motivational podcasts that you should consider listening to and subscribing to for 2021.

1. No More Excuses: Monday Motivation

    It’s no mystery that the trend is to dread Mondays. Nobody looks forward to a full work week ahead of them before they get another chance to lay back, relax, and actually do some of the things they do enjoy.

    But imagine how much better our weeks would be if we were actually motivated for them instead of dreading them.

    This is exactly what the “No More Excuses” podcast is all about. Sandi Ballard helps motivate people for their upcoming weeks, encourages people to be more accountable for their lives, and provides helpful self-improvement tips that we can all take action on.

    Listen to the Podcast Here.

    2. Meaningful Work, Meaningful Life

      The search for meaning and life significant in our careers and personal lives is probably one of the most challenging pursuits we’ll ever encounter.

      Luckily for us, there are a few motivational podcasts out there surrounding this topic which can provide us with useful advice on our journeys.

      Few provide listeners with better advice than Francine’s “Meaningful Work, Meaningful Life” podcast. Through a variety of tips, interviews, and guides, Francine helps us to re-ignite our inner sparks to discover the answers to these truly challenging life questions.

      Listen to the Podcast Here.

      3. The Tim Ferriss Show

        The “Tim Ferriss Show” is one of those motivational podcasts that you won’t be able to stop listening to after you start.

        Author of the best-seller The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss, interviews individuals from the top of their respective fields to give his listeners an insider examination of exactly what it is that these people do to perform at their best, continually improve, and how to overcome challenges along the way.

        It’s no wonder that so many people have this podcast at the top of their personal lists. The wealth of information one gains about a wide variety of topics is truly astounding!

        Listen to the Podcast Here.

        4. TED Radio Hour

          If you already enjoy TED Talks, then you’ll love TED Radio Hour. For those of you who are not familiar with TED Talks, they’re basically small speech presentations that provide the audience with thought-provoking ideas, inventions, research, and discoveries.

          Hosted by Guy Raz, the TED Radio Hour takes a bunch of these topics around a particular theme and provides us with an hour’s worth of insights to get our minds moving!

          These presentations are then supplemented with side-interviews with the original presenters which only adds to the engaging nature of the content.

          Listen to the Podcast Here.

          5. How I Built This

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            This is another motivational podcast hosted by Guy Raz. Basically, the “How I Built This” podcast immerses listeners into the story of a company for a full hour.

            Though the companies range in the field of expertise and size, these companies are typically highly-reputable.

            The insights presented are invaluable to anyone interested in entrepreneurship. If you’re interested in potentially launching your own idea or company one day, then this is one of the motivational podcasts that you have to try listening to.

            Listen to the Podcast Here.

            6. Art of Charm

              The “Art of Charm podcast” with hosts AJ Harbinger and Johnny Dzubak, walks us through how to master human dynamics, relationships, and becoming your best self.

              This podcast is not only motivational but provides a truly unique perspective from the majority of entrepreneurial-based shows. Whereas most focus on self-improvement, high-performance habits, and steps for business success, the “Art of Charm” focuses much more on the relationship dimension.

              This podcast helps us to understand how to simply become better with people because our success is so highly dependent on our social and emotional IQ. These episodes, if you implement the lessons they contain, will change not only how you perceive relationships, but possibly your whole life focus as well.

              Listen to the Podcast Here.

              7. Mindvalley Podcast

                Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley, hosts this motivational podcast and provides tons of welcomed material encouraging our personal growth.

                It’s quite likely that your personal development journey may be sparked or redirected after listening to a few of the expert interviews hosted on this podcast.

                Though a wide variety of topics are discussed, there is definitely some favoritism shown towards the mind, relationships, health, and performance.

                So if these topics interest you, make sure you add this one to your list of motivational podcasts!

                Listen to the Podcast Here.

                8. Lead to Win

                  It’s incredible how many useful pieces of information I’ve been able to take away from listening to Michael Hyatt’s “Lead to Win” podcast. Not only has this podcast outlined how I can best go about achieving my career and personal goals, but it’s also helped me understand the steps I should be taking to lead a more successful life!

                  Anyone who is in a leadership role, or looking to take on more leadership qualities, should be listening to this podcast.

                  Hyatt is an expert in the field of leadership and you will not regret listening to some of the invaluable insights that he has to offer.

                  Listen to the Podcast Here.

                  9. Rise Together

                    This is a podcast hosted by the dynamite husband and wife duo Rachel and Dave Hollis. Each of their episodes provides listeners with advice regarding how they can work with others they have relationships with to continually be striving to bring out the best in each other.

                    It truly helps listeners to be more mindful within their relationships and how each of us can work towards becoming better and more supportive partners as well as in our everyday relationships.

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                    Listen to the Podcast Here.

                    10. The Dave Ramsey Show

                      If you’re looking to improve your financial state this year, then add this one to your list of motivational podcasts because this one will serve you endlessly.

                      Simply put, Dave Ramsey is a master of inspiring people to change through life-altering advice on topics such as building wealth, eliminating debt, and personal finances.

                      The proof really is in the pudding with this one. “The Dave Ramsey Show” has been named as one of Apple’s most downloaded shows in 2018.

                      Though people’s opinions may vary about Ramsey’s theories, it’s undeniable that he really knows what he’s talking about and that you will benefit from the financial advice he can provide.

                      Listen to the Podcast Here.

                      11. Entrepreneurs on Fire

                        For the entrepreneurs, or aspiring entrepreneurs reading this article, take special note of this motivational podcast. From identifying your niche to outlining your business plan, the “Entrepreneurs on Fire” podcast hosted by John Dumas has got you covered.

                        This is a daily show through which John interviews some of the top entrepreneurs in their fields.

                        If you want inspiration to shoot for the stars, achieve your dreams, and take your life to that next level as you search for your passion and life purpose, this one is for you.

                        Listen to the Podcast Here.

                        12. Eventual Millionaire

                          The “Eventual Millionaire” podcast hosted by Jaime Masters provides a window into the resources and strategies that these individuals utilize to make huge strides and achieve massive success in their fields.

                          Possibly the most unique aspect of this podcast is its message and promise to teach listeners these money-making strategies while ensuring that they never sacrifice what’s important to them.

                          That may seem insignificant at first, but typically to achieve any type of success we must make huge sacrifices. So knowing that there are strategies out there that help us avoid some of those sacrifices makes this podcast worth a listen.

                          Listen to the Podcast Here.

                          13. The One You Feed

                            From mental health, mindfulness, positive leadership, self-awareness and improvement, all the way to human dynamics, and faith and spirituality this podcast has it all.

                            Eric Zimmer uses his podcast to walk people through some influential ideas regarding what habits and strategies we can each begin utilizing to stay on the positive side of life.

                            In a world that seems increasingly fixated upon the negative and our individual flaws, this podcast is a welcomed breath of fresh air.

                            At the very least, you’ll feel a little more positive in your everyday life. At the most, you could identify a few things that work for you to keep you continually finding that silver lining and motivated to move forward!

                            Listen to the Podcast Here.

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                            14. Happier with Gretchen Rubin

                              Building off the last suggestion is the “Happier” podcast hosted by Gretchen Rubin. She provides some tips and practical advice for becoming happier and strategies that we can use to begin learning new good habits.

                              With all this positivity surrounding you daily, it’ll be difficult for you to begin not feeling a little better, a little more inspired, and a lot more motivated!

                              Listen to the Podcast Here.

                              15. Hidden Brain

                                This podcast is from the National Public Radio family of podcasts and is definitely one you should consider listening to. This is another podcast that was named as one of Apple’s Most Downloaded shows in 2018.

                                This podcast offers a more scientific approach to understanding why we do the things that we do and helps us to understand not only the world around us but better understand ourselves as well.

                                It will help you to understand what’s driving your behaviors and decisions as well as how you can begin to influence those forces.

                                Not only this podcast very insightful, but it’s also highly entertaining which put it a cut above the vast majority of other motivational podcasts in its niche.

                                Listen to the Podcast Here.

                                16. Changeability

                                  I’ve found that the “Changeability” podcast is great for commuting. Hosts Kathryn Bryant and Julian Illman utilize each episode to provide useful strategies and tools that anyone can implement to bring more success and happiness to their life.

                                  Kathryn and Julian combine information and topics from the fields of science, business, spirituality, entertainment, and sports to generate enriched and engaging discussions on how to manage our minds and how we can begin making changes to more frequently be putting our best foot forward.

                                  Listen to the Podcast Here.

                                  17. Sports Motivation Podcast

                                    This one is for the athletes out there as well as for the people looking to get more motivated about a particular sport or physical activity.

                                    This podcast is hosted by former NFL running back Olaniyi Sobomehim (Niyi Sobo) who aims to provide his listeners with information on how they can dominate during game-day and achieve their athletic goals.

                                    From creating a winning mindset to setting goals, mastering our mental and emotional states, and visualizing our success, there is something for everyone to take away from this podcast.

                                    If you’re into athletics, this is one of the motivational podcasts you won’t want to miss.

                                    Listen to the Podcast Here.

                                    18. Good Life Project

                                      The “Good Life Project” podcast is a great motivational podcast to listen to if you’re looking to raise your spirits quickly and feel a little better.

                                      Simply put, this podcast presents listeners with a variety of stories of people living meaningful, purpose-driven, connected, and engaging lives.

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                                      Additionally, on this podcast, you’ll listen to some of the most influential authors, speakers, and experts talk about the steps and secrets required for inspired living, how our brains work, and alternative approaches we can take to obtain health and well-being when the regular routes are no longer an option.

                                      It motivates us to achieve these types of lives as well and truly shows that joy can be found anywhere in life. What truly matters, is that we understand ourselves well enough to know what this means to us personally.

                                      Listen to the Podcast Here.

                                      19. Inspire Nation

                                        The “Inspire Nation” podcast will be your guide to living the life you’ve always wanted by helping you to reach your highest potential and realize your dreams.

                                        Self-help expert, Michael Sandler hosts this engaging show for an hour every single day, so you’ll always have episodes to choose from.

                                        Topics such as the Law of Attraction, health, spirituality, and personal growth are covered with guests of the show including influential personal-growth gurus, authors, and speakers.

                                        There is a to-be-learned from these individuals, so sit back and enjoy as the wisdom pours out of the speakers and into your ears providing you with useful tips and tricks that you can implement to become inspired in your own life.

                                        Listen to the Podcast Here.

                                        20. This is Your Life

                                          This is another motivational podcast for the leaders out there. Not only will this one motivate you, but the “This Is Your Life” podcast will help you understand how you can grow into the leader you’ve always wanted to be.

                                          Not surprisingly, this podcast is also hosted by leadership expert Michael Hyatt and emphasizes a simple yet vital message,

                                          “Win at Work. Succeed at Life. Lead with Confidence.”

                                          And Michael has been quoted that the purpose of the podcast is to

                                          “give you the clarity, courage, and tools you need to stop all the frenzy and start living with focus.”

                                          The insights that leaders can gain simply from listening to this podcast are invaluable and make it one of the top motivational podcasts in this niche.

                                          If you’re looking to get motivated or become a better leader than do yourself a huge favor and subscribe to this podcast!

                                          Listen to the Podcast Here.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          And there you have it! 20 of the most impactful, motivational and inspirational podcasts at your fingertips for you to begin listening to this year.

                                          Some of these may be new to you, some you probably already listen to. Regardless, I hope that this list has piqued your interest and encouraged you to check out a few of these motivational podcasts.

                                          Also, if you have further suggestions for motivational podcasts people should consider please either send them to me directly or leave your comment down below for other readers!

                                          More Inspirational Podcasts

                                          Featured photo credit: Blaz Erzetic via unsplash.com

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                                          Mark Lynch

                                          Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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                                          Last Updated on April 19, 2021

                                          Why Intrinsic Motivation Is So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                                          Why Intrinsic Motivation Is So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                                          Motivation is one of the main reasons we do things — take an action, go to work (and sometimes overwork ourselves), create goals, exercise our willpower. There are two main, universally agreed upon types of motivation — intrinsic motivation (also known as internal motivation) and extrinsic motivation (external motivation).

                                          The intrinsic kind is, by inference, when you do something because it’s internally fulfilling, interesting or enjoyable — without an expectation of a reward or recognition from others. Extrinsic motivation is driven by exactly the opposite — externalities, such as the promise of more money, a good grade, positive feedback, or a promotion.

                                          And of course, we all know about the big debate about money. It’s surely an external driver, but is it possible that it can sometimes make us enjoy what we do more? A meta-analysis that reviewed 120 years of research found a weak link between job satisfaction and money[1].

                                          And what’s more — there is some evidence to suggest that more money can actually have an adverse effect on your intrinsic motivation.

                                          Regardless of its type, motivation is still important to get you moving, to improve, excel, and put that extra effort when you feel like you don’t have a single drop of energy left to keep going.

                                          So, let’s see some of the best things you can do to keep the fire going, even when you’d rather just indulge in pleasant idleness.

                                          Why Intrinsic Motivation Tops Extrinsic Motivation

                                          “To be motivated means to be moved to do something.”[2]

                                          Generally speaking, we all need motivation.

                                          An avalanche of research, though, shows that when it comes to finding the lasting drive to “do something,” internal incentives are much more powerful than extrinsic rewards.

                                          Why? It’s simple.

                                          There is a great difference when you engage in something because “I want to,” as opposed to “I must.” Just think about the most obvious example there is: work.

                                          If you go to work every day, dragging your feet and dreading the day ahead of you, how much enjoyment will you get from your job? What about productivity and results? Quality of work?

                                          Yep, that’s right, you definitely won’t be topping the Employee of the Month list anytime soon.

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                                          The thing with external motivation is that it doesn’t last. It’s susceptible to something psychologists call Hedonic Adaptation[3]. It’s a fancy way of saying that external rewards are not a sustainable source of happiness and satisfaction.

                                          When you put in 100-hour weeks in order to get promoted, and you finally are, how long does your “high” last? The walking-on-a-cloud feelings wear off quickly, research tells us, making you want more. Therefore, you are stuck on a never-ending “hedonic treadmill,” i.e. you can progressively only become motivated by bigger and shinier things, just to find out that they don’t bring you the satisfaction you hoped for, when you finally get them.

                                          Or, as the journalist and author Oliver Burkeman wonderfully puts it[4]:

                                          “Write every day” won’t work unless you want to write. And no exercise regime will last long if you don’t at least slightly enjoy what you’re doing.

                                          If you want to find out more about the different types of motivation, take a look at this article: 9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams

                                          Benefits of Intrinsic Motivation

                                          If you are still unconvinced that doing things solely for kudos and brownie points is not going to keep you going forever, nor make you like what you do, here is some additional proof:

                                          Studies tell us that intrinsic motivation is a generally stronger predictor of job performance over the long run than extrinsic motivation[5].

                                          One reason is that when we are internally driven to do something, we do it simply for the enjoyment of the activity. So, we keep going, day in and out, because we feel inspired, driven, happy, and satisfied with ourselves.

                                          Another reason has to do with the fact that increasing intrinsic motivation is intertwined with things such as higher purpose, contributing to a cause, or doing things for the sake of something bigger than ourselves or our own benefit. A famous study done by the organizational psychologist Adam Grant is case in point[6].

                                          By showing university fundraisers how the money donated by alumni can help financially struggling students to graduate from college, their productivity increased by 400% a week! The callers also showed an average increase of 142% in time spent on the phone and 171% increase in money raised.

                                          Internal motivation has been found to be very helpful when it comes to academia, too. Research confirms that the use of external motivators, such as praise, undermine students’ internal motivation, and, in the long-run, it results in “slower acquisition of skills and more errors in the learning process.”[7]

                                          In contrast, when children are internally driven, they are more involved in the task at hand, enjoy it more, and intentionally seek out challenges.

                                          Therefore, all the research seems to allude to one major revelation: intrinsic motivation is a must-have if you want to save yourself the drudgery we all sometimes feel when contemplating the things we should do or must do.

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                                          6 Ways to Enhance Your Intrinsic Motivation

                                          So, how does one get more of the good stuff — that is, how do you become internally motivated?

                                          There are many things you can do to become more driven. Here are the ones that top the list.

                                          1. Self-Efficacy

                                          The theory of self-efficacy was developed by the American-Canadian psychologist Albert Bandura in 1982[8]. Efficacy is our own belief in whether we can achieve the goals we set for ourselves. In other words, it’s whether we think we “got what it takes” to be successful at what we do[9].

                                          Find intrinsic motivation with self-efficacy.

                                            It’s not hard to see the link of self-efficacy to higher self-esteem, better performance, and, of course, enhanced motivation. People with high self-efficacy are more likely to put extra effort in what they do, to self-set more challenging goals, and be more driven to improve their skills[10].

                                            Therefore, the belief that we can accomplish something serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy — it motivates us to try harder to prove to ourselves that we can do it.

                                            You can learn more about self-efficacy in this article: What Is Self Efficacy and How to Improve Yours

                                            2. Link Your Actions to a Greater Purpose

                                            Finding your “why” in life is incredibly important. This means that you need to be clear with yourself on why you do what you do and what drives you.

                                            What is intrinsically rewarding for you? Find that out with this free Worksheet For Instant Motivation Boost. Get your free worksheet here.

                                            And no matter how mundane a task may be, it can always be linked to something bigger and better. Psychologists call this “reframing your narrative.”

                                            Remember the famous story of John F. Kennedy visiting NASA in 1961? As it goes, he met a janitor there and asked him what he did at NASA. The answer was:

                                            “I’m helping to put a man on the Moon.”

                                            Inspirational, isn’t it?

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                                            Re-phrasing how your actions can help others and leave a mark in the universe can be a powerful driver and a meaning-creator.

                                            3. Volunteer

                                            Volunteering is a great way to give back to the world. It can also help boost your internal motivation by making you feel important in supporting the less fortunate, learning new skills, feeling good about yourself, or linking to some of your inner values, such as kindness and humanitarianism[11].

                                            When you remove any external reward expectations and do something for the pure joy and fulfilment of improving others’ lives, then you are truly intrinsically motivated.

                                            4. Don’t Wait Until You “Feel Like It” to Do Something

                                            A great piece in the Harvard Business Review points out that when we say things as “I can’t make myself go to the gym” or “I can’t get up early,” what we actually mean is that we don’t feel like it[12]. There is nothing that psychically prevents us from doing those things, apart from our laziness.

                                            But here’s the thing: You don’t have to “feel like it” in order to take action.

                                            Sometimes, it so happens that you may not want to do something in the beginning, but once you start, you get into the flow and find your intrinsic motivation.

                                            For instance, you don’t feel like going to the gym after a long day at work. Rather than debating in your head for hours “for and against” it, just go. Tell yourself that you will think about it later. Once in the gym, surrounded by similar souls, you suddenly won’t fee that tired or uninspired.

                                            Another way to overcome procrastination is to create routines and follow them. Once the habit sets in, suddenly getting up at 6 am for work or writing for an hour every day won’t be so dreadful.

                                            5. Self-Determination, or the CAR Model (As I Call It)

                                            The Self-Determination theory was created by two professors of psychology from the University of Rochester in the mid-80s—Richard Ryan and Edward Deci[13]. The theory is one of the most popular ones in the field of motivation[14]. It focuses on the different drivers behind our behavior—i.e. the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.

                                            There are three main needs, the theory further states, that can help us meet our need for growth. These are also the things which Profs. Deci and Ryan believed to be the main ways to enhance our intrinsic motivation—Competence, Autonomy, and Relatedness (CAR).

                                            If our jobs allow us to learn and grow, and if we have enough autonomy to do things our way and be creative, then we will be more driven to give our best, and our performance will soar. In addition, as humans are social beings, we also need to feel connected to others and respected.

                                            All of these sources of intrinsic motivation, separately and in combination, can become powerful instigators to keep us thriving, even when we feel uninspired and unmotivated .

                                            6. Tap Into a Deeper Reason

                                            Some interesting research done in 2016 sought answers to how high-performing employees remain driven when their company can’t or won’t engage in ways to motivate them—intrinsically or extrinsically[15].

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                                            The study tracked workers in a Mexican factory, where they did exactly the same tasks every day, with virtually zero chances for learning new skills, developing professionally, or being promoted. Everyone was paid the same, regardless of performance. So there was no extrinsic motivation at all, other than keeping one’s job.

                                            A third kind of motivation was then discovered, which scientists called “family motivation.” Workers who agreed more with statements such as “I care about supporting my family” or “It is important for me to do good for my family” were more energized and performed better, although they didn’t have any additional external or internal incentive to do so.

                                            The great thing about this kind of driver is that it’s independent of the company one works for or the situation. It taps into something even deeper—if you don’t want to do something for your own sake, then do it for the people you care for. And this is a powerful motive, as many can probably attest to this.

                                            If you want to tap into your deeper motive, join the free Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation. In this focused-session, you’ll learn how to figure out your deeper cause for life and build a more sustainable motivation engine. Join the free class here.

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            Frederick Herzberg, the American psychologist who developed what’s perhaps still today the most famous theory of motivation, in his renowned article from 1968 (which sold a modest 1.2 million reprints and it the most requested article from Harvard Business Review One More Time, How Do You Motivate Employees? wrote:[16]

                                            “If I kick my dog, he will move. And when I want him to move again, what must I do? I must kick him again. Similarly, I can charge a person’s battery, and then recharge it, and recharge it again. But it is only when one has a generator of one’s own that we can talk about motivation. One then needs no outside stimulation. One wants to do it.”

                                            Herzberg further explains that the so-called “hygiene factors” (salary, job security, benefits, vacation time, work conditions) don’t lead to fulfillment, nor motivation. What does, though, are the “motivators”—challenging work, opportunities for growth, achievement, greater responsibility, recognition, the work itself.

                                            Herzberg realized it long ago…intrinsic motivation tips the scales when it comes to finding long-term happiness and satisfaction in everything we do, and to improving our overall well-being.

                                            In the end, the next time when you need to give yourself a bit of a kick to get something done, remember to link it to a goal bigger than yourself, and preferably one that has non-material benefit.

                                            And no, don’t say that you tried but it’s just impossible to find internal motivation. Remember the janitor at NASA?

                                            Because once you find your internal generator, you will be truly unstoppable.

                                            More Tips to Boost Motivation

                                            Featured photo credit: Juan Ramos via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

                                            [1] Harvard Business Review: Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review of the Research
                                            [2] Contemporary Educational Psychology: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions
                                            [3] Scientific American: The Science of Lasting Happiness
                                            [4] The Guardian: Is the secret of productivity really just doing what you enjoy?
                                            [5] European Journal of Business and Management: Impact of Employee Motivation on Employee Performance
                                            [6] Adam Grant : Impact and the Art of Motivation Maintenance: The Effects of Contact With Beneficiaries on Persistence Behavior
                                            [7] Grand Valley State University: The Effect of Rewards and Motivation on Student Achievement
                                            [8] Encyclopedia Britannica: Albert Bandura
                                            [9] Pinterest: Self-Efficacy Theory
                                            [10] Educational Psychologist: Goal Setting and Self-Efficacy During Self-Regulated Learning
                                            [11] University of Minnesota: The Motivations to Volunteer: Theoretical and Practical Considerations
                                            [12] Harvard Business Review: How to Make Yourself Work When You Just Don’t Want To
                                            [13] Richard Ryan and Edward Deci: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions
                                            [14] Richard Ryan and Edward Deci: Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being
                                            [15] Nick Tasler: How some people stay motivated and energized at work—even when they don’t love their jobs
                                            [16] Harvard Business Review: One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?

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