Last Updated on June 1, 2021

Do You Know Your Motivation Style?

Do You Know Your Motivation Style?

Every now and then, we struggle to find the motivation to do anything in life. There are quick bursts of motivation, but it eventually runs out and you begin to fall behind.

What I tell people who struggle with motivation is this: you can’t just focus on motivation. You need to focus on your motivation style to figure out the best way to stay motivated. Knowing what your motivation style is is the key to perpetual motivation.

Why Knowing Your Motivation Styles Is Important

I’ll go into detail of what these styles are in a moment, but first, why is knowing your motivation styles so important? Here are some benefits and reasons that are worth knowing about:

  • Change our behavior – Depending on the motivation you’re using it’ll alter your mindset. Where one motivation style could discourage you long-term, another could give you deep personal meaning and push you forward.
  • A deeper sense of satisfaction – Your motivational style will push you to be setting the goals you care most about. This translates to satisfaction as you have the motivation to complete the goals that you care most about.
  • Grows your interest – If you have no motivation, you’re not going to spend time on it. Having the right motivation means dwelling on something that helps you build interest in that area.
  • Develop traits that serve you – Goals are all about habit building and when you have the motivation to go through these, you’re developing traits. These traits will help you in that specific situation, but they can be used in other scenarios.

Knowing your motivation styles gives you a better sense of self-awareness. You’ll be able to identify problems and find the motivation to push through them and persist.

Do You Know Your Motivation Style?

You may have multiple motivation styles that work for you. By having several styles available to you, you could leverage motivation from several sources to reinforce habits.

To help you figure out your motivation style, we’ve got a convenient and free assessment What’s Your Motivation Style? to help you.

With this Motivation Style Assessment, not only do you get a clear idea of what styles suit you but you will learn how to leverage your motivation styles to always stay motivated. The assessment will provide you with a detailed analysis for all the motivation styles, and you can easily identify your primary and secondary motivation styles so you know which ones to rely on more. Take the assessment here for free.


Now that you’re ready, let’s dive deep into each of the motivation styles.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

But before getting into the specific styles, there are two core types of motivation that are essential to understand: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Understanding these types of motivation will help because you’ll have a better grasp of when to use one over the other.

Extrinsic motivation is also known as external motivation – motivation that’s coming from around you. Examples are Youtube videos, motivational speakers, posters or articles that inspire you. Anything from the outside that impacts your motivation is extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation is the opposite. It’s internal motivation and is believed to be the superior motivation since it’s all coming from within. One of the prime examples of internal motivation is having a why or a specific attitude toward your goals.

Both of these motivations are crucial – regardless of one being supposedly better than the other. There are specific situations where these types of motivation can shine and are not without their own shortcomings.

The 8 Motivation Styles

From those two major types of motivations comes the motivation styles that I’ve been talking about.

Intrinsic Motivation

1. Physiological

This motivational style happens beyond our own explanation. This type of motivation is primal and something that we can’t ignore no matter how hard we try. This type of motivation is highly situational and you’ll likely find it in covering your basic needs.


Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory explains that and is a good example of this motivation at work. The theory states that we’re all motivated to cover our basic needs like food and shelter but also those higher-level psychological needs and self-fulfillment. We all have this type of motivation from the start.

2. Achievement

This type of motivation stems from the achievement of a task or a goal itself. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re motivated solely by the reward that comes with it. Instead, you find motivation through the process, you take joy and find self-motivation by going through the steps and making progress little or big.

An example of this is losing weight. Someone who is achievement motivated is someone who takes joy in stepping on the scale and seeing they dropped a few pounds. They might not be at their target weight goal yet, but the initial loss in weight is inspiring.

3. Attitude

Another form of intrinsic motivation is attitude motivation. It’s the type of motivation that is cultivated by your desire to change the way you or others think and feel. Those who are motivated in this fashion excel at engaging in actions and interactions in order to embolden those around them, providing words and actions that make others feel better or uplifting.

An example of this is motivational speakers. For those around them, it’s all external motivation. But that positive and uplifting feeling is something that compels the motivational speaker to get on stage, shoot videos, and provide motivational content in the first place.

4. Competence & Learning

Also called learning motivation, its motivation leans further into the process than the reward. Think of it as achievement motivation but all they care about is the process and learning aspect.

This type of motivation is all about getting better and finding motivation by moving the needle of progress towards completing your goal or task. The destination is nice, but it’s not the main reason for what you are doing.


Out of the intrinsic motivation styles around, this is the most valuable one. It’s the type of motivation you’ll experience when you’re working towards any goal or task. Every bit of progress you make will bolster you. Again, it’s similar to losing that couple of pounds on the scale. Other examples are being half done writing up reports or a school paper.

Extrinsic Motivation

5. Incentive

Moving to extrinsic motivation, the most prominent one you’ve probably heard about is incentive motivation. What this means is that you find motivation in the results or rewards rather than in the process or completing the goal or task.

A good example of this is signing up to participate in a marathon because you want to win. You’ll train hard every day so that you have higher odds of winning. Another one is studying for a test because you want to have the highest mark in the class.

6. Fear

Fear motivation is finding motivation in driving yourself into fear or in an uncomfortable position. Because of this nature, the external influence is going to be something negative, but effective. An example of this is that you’ll find the ability to work overtime because the fear of not being able to pay for your bills will cause you unease. The fear of what your inability to pay can provide you with enough motivation to push forward.

You can also twist it into a positive light. For example, say your family has a history of heart problems. That fact can lead you to work out more frequently and maintaining a healthy body.

7. Power

Those who are motivated by power are people who are motivated by having control over their own lives and can be extended to others as well. Everyone wants to be able to make choices and if you’re given more options to pick and choose, you’ll find this motivation manifesting in your life.

An example of this motivation is given the option of what kind of school or career you’d like to pursue. This provides power motivation since it requires you to be intentional with your thoughts and actions and allow you to manifest the life you want to lead.


8. Affiliation & Social

The final motivation style is affiliation and social motivation. This sort of motivation is something that is innately in us as it’s motivation that stems from our desire to connect and contribute to a social group.

Diving deeper into this, you will find motivation stemming from this to revolve around your desire to be accepted and to belong in particular groups.

Bottom Line

Now you’ve probably already got an idea of what motivation styles suit you but if you still haven’t taken the Motivation Style Assessment, I recommend you to do this now: What’s Your Motivation Style?

When you have an understanding of what motivates you, you’ll have more control over your own life. You’ll be able to better change yourself and push you through that change.

On top of that, there also comes deeper understanding in what brings you satisfaction, what you’re interested in, and ultimately have habits that contribute to your growth.

Featured photo credit: Joseph Chan via

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 29, 2021

How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up

How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up

It’s Monday morning. The alarm goes off. Do you know how to get motivated at that moment? What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you open your eyes? 

Are you excited to get up and go to work, or are you dreading the day and week ahead?

Whatever your response may be, ask yourself this question:

“What is it that makes you feel unmotivated?” What’s driving you to feel negative or positive about your Monday ahead? If you want to know how to get motivated, keep reading.

The Two Types of People

You likely know of people who have been doing the same thing for years and seem to not have any problem staying stagnant. Whether it be in their marriage, job, or personal endeavors, they seem to be getting along just fine without progressing towards anything “better.”

On the other hand, I’m sure you also know of individuals who focus on the positive, goals setting and are constantly pushing themselves to greater heights. Be it promotions at work, building a family, celebrating marriage milestones, traveling more, or going to school again, these individuals seem to constantly progress towards something that improves or enhances their life.

So what’s the difference between these two types of individuals?

What you feel capable of doing comes down to one thing: motivation. It’s the force, or lack of, that keeps driving you forward to overcome challenges and obstacles to achieve your goals.

Without motivation, you’ll give up after a few failed attempts, or even on the first tough challenge that comes your way. Or you’ll just remain where you are: unhappy yet not doing anything to progress ahead.


What Is Motivation, Really?

Whether you realize it or not, motivation is a huge force in your life, and it needs to be harnessed in order to excel and actually enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing on a daily basis. If you find yourself thinking, “I need motivation,” there are specific steps you can take.

Unfortunately, many overgeneralize the word motivation. We think of being either motivated or unmotivated as a simple “yes” or “no” state of being.

But motivation is not a switch. As discussed in the Fast Track Class – Activate Your Motivation, motivation is a flow. To feel motivated, you need to dive beyond the surface. Just reading a motivational quote, being encouraged by your friends or mentor, or writing out a short to-do list won’t help you build sustainable motivation in the long run.

You can think of the motivation that we want to achieve like the Sun (self-sustaining and long-lasting), which supplies a constant influx of energy to all life on Earth. Just like the Sun, your “motivation engine” has different layers, starting from the core and spreading out to the surface. The surface is what you see, but the real process is driven from the core (your internal motivation); and that’s the most important part.

If you can create a self-sustaining motivation engine, you’ll be able to find more meaning in your life and enjoy every minute of what you’re doing, which will make your roles and responsibilities less of a chore. 

Let me help you understand this motivation flow better by breaking down the motivation engine into 3 parts:

  1. Core – Purpose
  2. Support – Enablers
  3. Surface – Acknowledgement

The Third Layer: Surface

The outermost layer, also known as Acknowledgement, encompasses any type of external recognition that might give you motivation. It may come in the form of respect or recognition, such as compliments and praise.

Or it could be emotional support through encouragement, feedback, and constructive criticism. It could also be affiliation, where you have mutual companions or buddies sharing the same goal or burden with you.

One recent study pointed out that “rewards had a positive impact on work motivation but no significant relationship existed between reward and job satisfaction”[1].


Therefore, it’s important to recognize that rewards will motivate you, but they won’t necessarily make you happier in an undesirable situation.

This is generally what you see on the surface when you look at other people. You see the external acknowledgement, respect, and recognition they’re getting.

The Second Layer: Support

In essence, the second layer of the motivation engine (also known as Enablers) is what supports your goals. They can magnify the motivation core you have, or speed up the momentum that you build. Basically, they create favorable circumstances for things to go smoothly.  

If you want to know how to find motivation, positive enablers are key. This could include friends and family, or any support network you’ve created in life.

The Innermost Layer: Core

But what’s most important, and the true driving force behind your motivation flow, is the innermost core, your Purpose. Your purpose is what differentiates the motivated from the unmotivated, the achievers from the underachievers, the happy from the unhappy.

Your motivational core is your Purpose, and it is sustained by two things: having meaning, and forward movement. With these two as a foundation, you’ll have a power source that will feed you motivational energy indefinitely.

If you want to learn more about the Motivation Flow, join our Fast Track Class – Activate Your Motivation for free now!

How to Sustain Your Purpose

Having meaning is simple. If you want to learn how to find motivation, just ask yourself a question: Why?

Why are you pursuing a certain goal? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. While motivation provides you energy to do something, that energy needs to be focused somewhere. So without meaning, there is no direction for your energy to focus.


Yet, having a meaningful objective doesn’t mean you have to change the world or have a huge impact on society. The secret to meaningful work is simple: it should contribute value to something or someone that matters to you.

One study suggested creativity as one possible path to meaning, saying: “Many of the core concepts in work on the meaning of life, such as the needs for coherence, significance, and purpose or the desire for symbolic immortality, can be reached through creative activity”[2].

Next up is gaining forward movement. In short, this means to just keep moving. Like a snowball, motivation from having progress creates momentum. So to keep this up, you have to keep moving.

The good news is, your progress doesn’t have to be huge for you to recognize it. Small amounts of progress can be just as motivating, as long as they keep coming. Like driving a car, you may be really impatient if you’re at a complete halt. But, it lessens if you’re moving forward, even if you’re moving slowly.

Creating a simple progress indicator, like checklists or milestones, is a great way to visualize your small (and big) wins. They trigger your brain to recognize and acknowledge them, giving you small boosts of motivational energy.

This is why video games are so addictive! They’re full of progress indicators everywhere. Even though the progress is completely virtual, they’re still able to trigger the motivation centers in your brain.

Find out What Drives You Today

Why not take some time today and do a quick reflection of where you’re at now? Take one aspect of your life that you’d like to progress further in.

For example, it may be your current job. Start with your why. Write down your reasons for why you’re in the job that you’re in.

Then, think about your Motivation Core: your Purpose. Write down what it is within your job that gives you meaning, and what are some things that will help push you forward in life.


Once you have those points, it’s time to do a comparison. Does your current job help you make progress towards that purpose that you’ve written?

If it does, you’re on the right track. If it doesn’t, or if you’ve realized your life isn’t going where you want it to, don’t panic. There’re tools that can help you get through this. The Actionable Motivation On Demand Handbook is one of those effective tools that can help you always stay motivated. Get your own handbook and never lose motivation again!

Do your best to not focus on the negative. Review your goals and aim yourself in a positive direction, even if it means that you start small.

Final Thoughts on Staying Motivated

Happiness doesn’t need to be a vague term or illusion that you’re constantly chasing after with no end in sight. By finding your true motivation, you’ll be one step closer to realizing your happiness and finding meaning in everything you do.

You may have tried many solutions to help you stay motivated and found that none of them really have any impact. That’s because they bring about incremental changes only, and permanent change requires a holistic approach. It requires more than just focusing on one area of your life or changing one part of your routine or actions.

You want to make a fundamental change, but it feels like big, unknown territory that you can’t afford to venture into at this point in your life.

The truth is, taking your life to the next stage doesn’t have to be this complicated. So, if you’d like to take the first step to achieving your life purpose, the time to learn how to find motivation is now!

More on How to Find Motivation

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via


[1] European Journal of Business and Management: Impact of Reward and Recognition on Job Satisfaction and Motivation
[2] Perspectives on Psychological Science: Finding Meaning With Creativity in the Past, Present, and Future

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