Finding Drive Beyond Superiority: What Really Motivates Success

Why do some people succeed while others struggle? Is it because of their intelligence, skills, or inherent abilities? While these factors are important, they don’t tell the whole story. In reality, motivation plays a significant role in success. However, the type of motivation that drives success is not what you might expect.

The Two Types of Motivation

There are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from external rewards, such as money or recognition. It’s motivated by the desire to receive something desirable or avoid something negative. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, comes from within. It’s motivated by the enjoyment of the task itself or the fulfillment it brings.

The Problem with Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation can be effective in the short term, but it has its limitations. When we are motivated solely by external rewards, we may lose sight of why we are doing what we’re doing. We become fixated on the outcome, rather than the process, and may sacrifice our own values and passions in pursuit of external validation. This type of motivation can also lead to burnout and dissatisfaction, as the rewards may not always be forthcoming.

The Power of Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is a powerful force. When we are motivated by our passions, values, and sense of purpose, we are more likely to experience flow, a state of optimal engagement and productivity. Intrinsic motivation leads to greater satisfaction, creativity, and perseverance, as we are pursuing something that is meaningful to us.

Cultivating Intrinsic Motivation

Cultivating intrinsic motivation can be a challenge, especially in a culture that places such a high value on external rewards. Here are some tips for cultivating intrinsic motivation:

1. Identify Your Passions and Values

Identify your passions and values. Recognize what drives you and what you truly care about. This will help you find meaning and purpose in what you do.

2. Set Meaningful Goals

Set meaningful goals that align with your passions and values. Make sure the goals are challenging, but also achievable. This will help you stay motivated and focused on what matters to you.

3. Find Flow

Find flow by engaging in activities that challenge you but are also enjoyable. Focus on the process and the experience, rather than the outcome.

4. Practice Self-Care

Practice self-care to avoid burnout and maintain your motivation. Take care of your physical and mental health, and make time for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

5. Embrace Failure as Learning Opportunities

Embrace failure as learning opportunities. Recognize that setbacks and challenges are a natural part of the process, and use them as an opportunity to grow and learn.


Success is not solely determined by intelligence, skills, or inherent abilities. Motivation plays a significant role, and intrinsic motivation is a powerful force that leads to greater satisfaction, creativity, and perseverance. Cultivating intrinsic motivation involves identifying your passions and values, setting meaningful goals, finding flow, practicing self-care, and embracing failure as learning opportunities. By finding drive beyond superiority and embracing intrinsic motivation, we can unlock our full potential and lead fulfilling, successful lives.


Related Posts

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