New research shows the brain has an intrinsic motivation switch that when activated makes hard tasks irresistibly appealing. By upgrading outdated extrinsic fuels like money and praise to sustainable intrinsic motivators like purpose, mastery and curiosity, you can enter flow states that compound motivation over decades.
How To Access Your Brain's Hidden Motivation Switch and Crave Hard Work
⚡️ Extrinsic motivators like money boost drive temporarily but run out quick. Intrinsic motivators are self-sustaining, flooding your brain with performance chemicals.
🔋 Intrinsic motivation works better and compounds. The more motivated you get, the more flow you access, which then enhances motivation further.
🚀 Think of extrinsic motivation as a rocket booster. It ignites action but isn't built to last. Intrinsic motivation cruises indefinitely like a rocket's main engines.
⚙️ Focus on upgrading curiosity, mastery, purpose, autotelicity and autonomy. These light up your brain's reward circuitry, enhance attention/pleasure and lower cognitive load.
🔎 Curiosity satisfies a craving to voraciously learn everything about your work. It's not just wanting to know, it's needing to know.
🧠 Autonomy means feeling ownership over your work. You choose the what, when and how. Autonomy releases performance chemicals like neopinephrine and dopamine.
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Why Intrinsic Motivation is More Sustainable: It enters you into flow states, flooding your brain with pleasure and performance chemicals. Flow then enhances intrinsic motivation further, compounding your drive over months and years.
How to Boost Motivation: Assess your levels of curiosity, mastery, purpose, autotelicity and autonomy from 1-10. Focus on raising your lowest motivator by 5 points per year until you max out at 50.
Mastery Drive: Identify skills that will advance your goals if mastered. Then practice those skills deliberately just beyond your comfort zone, correcting mistakes until new habits set in.
Autotelicity: Consider what you're uniquely good at. Strengths make certain tasks feel like play. Over time, flow states will help you come to love activities aligned with strengths.
Autonomy: Even small autonomy perceptions help. View current work as part of a bigger self-directed life journey. And build optionality through skills, network and knowledge.