🔥Harnessing Your Fire or Chasing a Carrot? 🥕

Overcoming the Adult ADHD Motivation Gap: Part I

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Without your intrinsic motivators, life becomes dim, grim, and dark.

Intrinsic Motivation occurs when you do or think about things that you naturally find deeply interesting, fascinating, energizing, satisfying, &/or gratifying.

These are the things in life you look forward to. You yearn for them. They make the effort of otherwise unpleasant tasks easier. They make life brighter & worth living.

Extrinsic Motivation occurs with “If-Then” Rewards, like:

“If you make the most calls-per-hour in the Call Center this month, you get a $1,000.”

Or “How much of this boring task can it get done before my 20-minute timer goes off”?

Extrinsic rewards are “incentives”, useful for short-term, monotonous, repetitive, or routine behaviors. They help narrow & concentrate our focus. However, they also

“diminish the intrinsic motivation, and eliminate Performance, Creativity, & [Ethical] Behavior.”(1)

Extrinsic Rewards can be helpful & useful, when used well. When misapplied, they create additional problems or cause harm.

A silhouette against blue sky background. A stick hangs overhead & a carrot dangling in front; a light bulb dining in the head; a heart aflame in the chest.

When to Use the Carrot vs. the Inner Fire

Harnessing “surplus” energy from intrinsic motivators to power us through the more repetitive, painfully boring tasks produces the best long-term results. However, when it’s inaccessible for immediate needs, the right extrinsic motivators can close the gap.

Next Post?

How do we accurately identify our most powerful Intrinsic Motivators?

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1 Quote from the Brief Audio Book’s podcast summary of
Daniel Pink’s book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Cover to Daniel Pink's book: DRIVE
DRiVE by Daniel Pink



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Jeremy is an ADHD Coach exploring intersections of ADHD & Neurodiversity with Peak Performance Frameworks, Routines, & Strategies, including Flow States.