7 Types of Motivation You Need to Acknowledge

3 minutes read -
Matt Coates
Written by
Person succeeding
Table of Contents
Summary: Motivation can be quite mysterious. But understanding the seven main types of motivation can help to launch you forward and start moving mountains.


If you want to be driven, committed, and strong in your personal and professional journey, you should first acknowledge and understand the types of motivation that drive your decisions.

Reaching your goals and dreams requires fuel. That fuel is your motivation, a resource that is constantly consumed and regenerated by your subconscious mind.

There are different motivational states that you can leverage to skyrocket your performance in every pursuit you take. Here’s where you can find more about them:

Cut the distractions, pay full attention, and let’s go.

Child dressed up as a pilot

7 Different Types of Motivation

In the broadest terms, there are two major types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Besides that, there are several other “minor” motivations that have a different orientation.

#1: Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the drive that comes from within. When you motivate yourself to do something and want to achieve a purpose for your own benefit because you know that it’s going to be productive, you’re using intrinsic motivation.

People that are intrinsically motivated seek rewards such as self-fulfillment, contentment, and the joy of accomplishment.

For example, Joe goes to the gym in order to improve his health, body look, and presence because that is naturally healthy and advised.

Since Joe’s wish to do better comes from within, he’s leveraging intrinsic motivation.

#2: Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation is the drive that’s generated by external circumstances and factors.

When you are motivated to do something in order to gain external rewards (raises, appreciation, acceptance, not getting fired, etc.), you are using the so-called ‘extrinsic motivation.”

For example, if Joe goes to the gym in order to gain the attention of a girl he fell in love with, his motivation is extrinsic.

#3: Achievement motivation

Joe wants to become the best custom writing professional in his country. He wants that because he wants to prove to himself that he can do it. That is an achievement for him, and he’s constantly using an achievement-based motivation to pursue his dream.

Achievement motivation is often present in the professional realm, whereas personal life preoccupations are often left neglected. People who strive to achieve a rank, status, or position in any hierarchy also use common achievement motivation.

#4: Incentive motivation

Incentive motivation is the type of motivation that’s immediately present when something is at stake. If there’s an attractive enough reward once the work is done, incentive motivation will help you achieve great things.

Nevertheless, you should remember that every one of us creates his motivation differently.

For example, while Joe is motivated by the fact that he could overstep his boundaries and achieve something great, John (who is motivated by incentives) will often be motivated by the salary increase.

Whenever you do something because you want to get something in return, you’re using incentive motivation.

#5: Growth motivation

Growth motivation, as the name suggests, represents the drive to grow as an individual, both personally and professionally. As human beings, we’re born with this drive.

Unfortunately, as we grow up, we tend to associate the truly useful and productive things as painful or boring. In time, our growth motivation decreases because we start becoming contempt with ourselves even though we could do better.

Well, whenever you feel like growing, it’s growth motivation that you’re using. This is one of the most powerful types of motivation, one that can only be enhanced by consistent practice.

#6: Fear motivation

Fear motivation arises when you’re trying to avoid pain, damage, and negative consequences. It can also manifest when you are afraid of someone or when somebody “gives you the creeps”.

This motivation is not actually healthy at all because it provokes stress and often consumes you.

For example, if Joe needs to get big grades in order to keep receiving pocket money from his parents, he will mainly study in order to afford the “good life”. The thought of losing money or opportunities will be constantly motivating Joe to learn.

#7: Power and abundance motivation

Some people (not many) are motivated by power, status, and abundance. These are the individuals who are constantly trying to extend their influence, power, and financial resources.

This is actually a productive type of motivation because it helps you take your standards to the next level and expect more from life. If Joe studies to become rich in order to be powerful and abundant, he’s using exactly this type of motivation!


Now that you know, it’s time to apply.

It’s highly suggested that you perform some introspections to establish what types of motivation drive you, then simply use them to improve the quality of your existence.

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Matt Coates

Matt Coates

Matt is a copywriter for Mindvalley. As a professional word putterer, he can be found constantly squeezing his creative juices to concoct personal growth narratives to transport people to a place where great potential knows no bounds. He is also on a quest to be seriously funny.
Written by

Matt Coates

Matt is a copywriter for Mindvalley. As a professional word putterer, he can be found constantly squeezing his creative juices to concoct personal growth narratives to transport people to a place where great potential knows no bounds. He is also on a quest to be seriously funny.

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