Boosting Your Motivational Levels, Based on Neuroscience Research

Motivation is one of the most important assets you can have in the fast-paced modern world we live in today. Decades of research, suggests that motivation can enhance learning and creativity, boost concentration and performance as well as encourage an overall sense of wellness. The latest research provides us with a deeper understanding of the concept of motivation and can help us unlock this power for a happier healthier life.

Intrinsic Motivation
To understand how motivation works scientists have divided it into two categories based on the source of motivation. Intrinsic motivation is not based on external rewards and is instead facilitated by curiosity, creativity, and mastery. In contrast, extrinsic sources of motivation are rewards, appraisals, status, etc.

Scientists have found that intrinsic motivation tends to yield better results than motivation based on external rewards. In many cases, it has been observed that when a task is based purely on external rewards, it yields worse results, even if the individual was initially intrinsically motivated.

Passion and Motivation
Neuroscientists believe that dopamine pathways primarily drive motivation. When we do a task for the sake of it rather than for rewards, we activate a seeking system that opens up dopamine pathways and maximizes our concentration as well as reducing anxiety as we pursue our goals. This implies that we perform better at those tasks we set out to do because we like to do them, rather than those we’ve been compelled to take.

Mastery and Autonomy
Mastery implies that we naturally want to get better at what we do, whether we are painting, programming, writing, etc. Autonomy is the sense that the task you are working on is self-initiated.

Besides passion, motivation is also driven by mastery and autonomy. The best way to get motivated in your life is to ensure that the three factors are balanced for the best results. You can start with these broad steps: Start doing more of the things you love, work towards mastery, and seek creative opportunities to showcase your work.