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Kinds of Motivation

A few polarities of motivation that you’ll find in the theories and that serve to create clarity on one’s own motivation. As with all polarities, it’s not about either/or, but about the position, one has in a certain spectrum.

Positive vs Negative

Motivating forces can be positive, as in impelling one to reach a certain goal. They can also be negative, as in driving one away from an unwanted situation.
You can be positively motivated about going to work because you like your colleagues and some parts of the work, and negatively motivated because you have bills to pay (moving away from poverty) and you wouldn’t dare show up.

Internal vs External

There is internal motivation, or push. It’s an internal state that impels one to act towards achieving a certain goal. Then there is external motivation, or pull. It’s when an external goal influences one’s behaviour towards them. Behaviour is a complex blend of internal pushes and external pulls.
You can be internally motivated to go to work because it makes you feel useful and creative. At the same time, it is expected of you by your surroundings and you may be doing something that only partly fulfils your desires.

Basic vs learned

Motivation leans on motives. Motives are often categorized into basic motives and learned motives. Basic or primary motives are unlearned and common to both animals and humans. We’re talking hunger, thirst, sex, avoidance of pain, and perhaps aggression and fear. The learned or secondary motives include achievement, power, recognition, love…
You’ll go to work to get food and avoid social exclusion. And you’ll also go to work to achieve something, and possibly order others around.

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