In 3 Types of Motivation That Can Inspire You to Do Anything, I share my thoughts with NBC News on intrinsic, extrinsic, and the newly discovered category called family motivation.

One of the best books I’ve read on motivation is Daniel Pink’s Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Pink suggests that motivation is largely intrinsic. This aligns with my view from coaching accomplished and emerging leaders that motivation boils down to values.

3 motivation categories


Intrinsic motivation is doing something because it feels good to you. You feel internally rewarded for doing it. In a job, this can be doing work that feels purposeful, enjoying time spent with your teammates, or achieving goals you’ve set for yourself.


Extrinsic motivation is doing something for the external rewards you get from it. In your career, this can include financial gain, benefits, perks, and even avoiding getting fired.


Family motivation can relate to both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. If family is a top value of yours, then your family can serve as an intrinsic motivator. If you feel family pressure or obligations, then that is more of an extrinsic motivator.

Motivation and values

Everyone is different. Not everyone needs all types of motivation. For some people, it’s enough to do work that is meaningful to them, regardless of the financial rewards. For other people, high earnings are more motivating than the type of work they’re doing.

Motivation boils down to values. You are naturally more motivated when you align your work with your top values, whether they’re intrinsic, extrinsic, or family-related.

How to find your motivation

The best way to find motivation if you’re struggling is to identify your top values and choose work in alignment with what you value most. If you’re doing what’s most important to you, motivation will come authentically.


What does motivation look like/feel like to you? When are you naturally motivated? What are your top values? How does honoring your values impact your motivation?


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