Improving Intrinsic Motivation Through a Sense of Purpose

The Monday morning alarm interrupts your deep sleep; a rude reminder that the weekend is officially over. Is there a feeling of excitement about the week ahead, or are you resetting your day counter to ‘5 more to go’?

Post COVID trends such as a lack of resources, competing priorities and remote work have made it difficult for many of us to get excited about working life. These trends may have contributed to motivational challenges. This begs the question: How can we be more motivated to get up for work rather than wanting to hit that snooze button?

I took this challenge on and did an activity that has led to greater intrinsic motivation through creating a sense of purpose in what I do. Intrinsic motivation is finding out what motivates us to engage in a behaviour because we get satisfaction or fulfillment from it, and having a purpose generates intrinsic motivation. It leads to a more enjoyable life, having agency and feeling a sense of accomplishment in what we do. My morning alarm is now a reminder to live life on purpose.

My purpose is “To create community and love through building self-awareness, compassion and empathy. I build relationships so that people can connect authentically and be fully self-expressed.” My work, personal life and decisions, indeed do, contribute to that purpose.

How did I get here?

The book, “The Unsold Mindset”, by Colin Coggins and Garrett Brown, showed me the way by helping me discover why I do what I do – what is the value I bring?

  1. First, list your positive character traits – what makes you unique? If that is a challenge, ask friends what they respect about you. My ask to those I know well, generated a long list of what people value in me; it felt like an obituary (in a good way). What a gift and reminder about those important qualities others see in me!
  2. List ways you like expressing those characteristics. How are you are being and interacting with others in those situations?
  3. Consider times when you feel most authentic and joyful. What does it feel like and what are you doing?
  4. Combine all the research in steps 1 – 3 and create a few empowering statements that are written in the present tense. What could you continue to live into or create that optimizes your best self?
  5. Remind yourself of your purpose throughout the day and take moments to be grateful for when you actioned your purpose.

We all want to have purpose in our lives, add value and make a difference. And leading others with purpose will improve team motivation and confidence, and will create a sense of value in the work we do.

Glen Sollors, Partner