“You have been deceived
by the fear you inspire in others
and by your own pride.
You live in a rock fortress
and control the mountain heights.
But even if you make your nest among the peaks with the eagles,
I will bring you crashing down,”
says the LORD” (Jeremiah 49:16 NLT).
There are a number of ways and things that are used as incentives to motivate others–to inspire them to do something–but none is as powerful for an individual as being intrinsically motivated to accomplish. In this passage of scripture, we see the prophet speaking against the enemies of the children of Israel and their ability to inspire fear in others–extrinsic motivation.
While motivating others or inspiring others to do something is a wonderful concept, it seldom works well–outside of creating fear. In order to accomplish something productive, the greatest motivation must be intrinsic–deep within the individual–for only then will the accomplishment have true meaning.
I was “extrinsically” motivated to get good grades in school–awarded money for every “A” and as long as that lasted, I got good grades. When the money was no longer available, I started slacking until I got to college, when I realized the motivation for good grades had to come from me–not others.
I have been “intrinsically” motivated to maintain a regimen of walking–getting enough exercise to motivate my heart to function well. The books I write have all been written by inspiration of Holy Spirit and other events that gnaw at me from the inside. I’ve tried to write from extrinsic forces and it fails–the words do not flow and I have to leave it alone.
Now, I am intrinsically motivated to accomplish another goal–learning the basics in martial arts. I’ve made a conscientious decision to pursue a yellow belt in karate. Some may think this is no big deal since it is the first earned belt, but it is a very big deal to me. I’ve over 60 years old, I have a herniated disc and have been told that I need back surgery, and it is difficult for me to get up from a sitting position if the chair has no support. I know the rigors of obtaining this belt since my grandson is in advanced rank (green w/stripe–working towards blue). I am only interested in the yellow and pray I don’t injure myself in the process. Goals–with intrinsic motivation–are generally accomplished when the purpose is clear in the mind of the person attempting the goal.
Being intrinsically motivated means that I will not need anyone to remind me to practice, to workout, to remember the terminology or do my general best–the motivation comes from within and goal is to satisfy me–not others. I am positive that with Holy Spirit, I can accomplish my goal, to the glory of The Lord and know–“I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”