Intrinsic motivation is that which makes us do something for nothing—meaning, no expectations of recovering what we have spent, financial or otherwise. It gives us self-worth and meaning.
When I was teaching, I couldn’t help getting involved with students’ lives--not all of them, but some. A few didn’t even belong to my classes but they were certainly part of my life as a teacher then.
As a scriptwriter/documentor, the people I wrote about were not merely “subjects”—nor were those who answered survey questions I asked. When I wrote feature stories for television and print, I did not interview victims (especially abused children) directly and neither did I capture their images. I felt that they were giving me so much more than the story I hoped to write.
I remember how my husband would write lyrics for no fixed fee and sometimes even uncertain about compensation. He also gave up a few writing jobs as he believed that if he had to prevent his own children for watching shows he wrote, he was not in the “right” show.
Though I was always searching for the balance between earning and making me happy, there were really times when I did not even bother to verify the entries on my paycheck. I’m sure we all experienced having done something so fulfilling without getting anything in return—those things, I believe, we did because of intrinsic motivation.
It’s not just doing something without expecting anything in return. It’s also doing it well because it means so much to us to be able to do it. Intrinsic motivation is what makes whatever we do meaningful.
Being a mother to my children taught me intrinsic motivation. I may not have been a perfect mom, but I sure did my best!
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.