What triggers motivation?

I would argue one of life’s most crucial “elixir” is Drive and Motivation. Yet, it seems to difficult at times to keep on top of that ride, often we tumble down into the ocean of worries, lethargy and pointlessness. So, how can we keep on top of it?

First, decide what are we talking about: Extrinsic or Intrinsic motivation!

Research has proven that extrinsic factors (such as salary increase, reward systems in form of medals and hierarchical structures) work in some work environments (that require mechanical skills), but are highly ineffective in work cultures that require our cognitive skills. What engages a team and motivates a colleague to do your expected task first, has a great deal to do with how you motivate yourself and your team.

These are the 3 crucial ingredients that you need:

  • Autonomy: being in charge of personal and professional decisions and having a field of responsibility and impact
  • Belonging (Relatedness): the feeling of belonging to a group, to a vision, a reason for doing higher than oneself
  • Competence: being capable of successfully mastering a task whilst feeling a stretch, with room for improvement

Okay, originally it was an “ARC” of motivation, but you get the point. 


“We have three innate psychological needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When those needs are satisfied, we’re motivated, productive, and happy.”

Daniel Pink

There’s an excellent book out there by Daniel H. Pink called Drive. If you haven’t read it yet, maybe you would like to watch his TED video first and try our Worksheet with simple exercises on how to change your mindset. 

**Quick peek into our WORKSHEET**


Putting it into practice

Try This!

_Quickies 5min

A) Beat Your Gremlins:

Write down a list of limiting beliefs, fears and inner voices that keep you from doing what you want. Check if there’s a recurrent theme. Don’t analyse, just observe. What can you do about this in the present?

Does the Belief Nr. 1 (2,3,4, …) hold true in all circumstances?

Check your Meta Structure:

  • When is that not true?
  • How does it change depending on context?
  • Who are we talking about exactly? And whom not?
  • Does this apply 100%? How honest is that measurement?
  • What else applies here?


B) Create an environment that thrives on motivation:


…more exercise in our worksheet here.


Always keen to know how you are getting on!




Executive Coach. Consultant. Trainer. Facilitator.


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