How to Find Your Why (Purpose) and Garner Intrinsic Motivation

Before you start on your new path towards success, it’ssoimportant to distinguish the difference between productivity and purpose. 

Nothinggreat is accomplished without a little motivation and accountability. No matter what goals you’re trying to achieve, staying focused is a must. With that said, if productivity is youronlygoal, you’ll quickly find yourself uninspired. Rigidly sticking to a schedule and prioritizing your to-do list is a good method in theory.

However, if what you’re doing feels like work, you’ll more than likely start to work less at it. 

Pouring your heart and soul into a purpose that doesn’t serve youis simply not sustainable.So, instead of staying busy for the sake of it, try leading with purpose. Ask yourself what your priorities are,whythey exist, and whether or not they serve you. Are your priorities bringing positivity into your life? If not,what would? 

Once you figure out what fulfills you, you’ll be more motivated than ever to get it done and make it happen. In this how-to guide, we’ll help you find your purpose, otherwise known as your “why.” 

What is Intrinsic Motivation? 

Before we get started, you may be unaware of what intrinsic motivation really is and how it’s different from the good oleaverage motivation. 

Intrinsic motivation is the act of doing something or creating habits that willinternallybenefit you. It causes you to take a look at your motivators and determine whether or not they align with healthy goals. 

Imagine you’ve taken up running. If your goal is to be faster than everyone while losing weight fast, chances are your relationship with running will become grueling at best. However, if you approach the act of running as a commitment to your physical and mental health, you’re more likely to enjoy the experience and keep at it diligently. In both examples, positive results can occur. With that said, intrinsic motivation will allow you toenjoyandvalueyour endeavors. This will improve your dedication to them, thus yielding rewards that are abundant andlasting.

Step 1. Read and learn more.

To make the switch from productivity to purpose, embrace your ability to learn and grow. 

  • Take a moment to consider how much downtime you have and how you typically spend it. How are these activities breathing life intoyourlife?

  • Now, consider what your days, weeks, and months would look like if you utilized this time in intentional ways. Are there any activities, practices or habits that you know you need to cut out? 

Atomic Habits by James Clear and The Polymath Planner

With a little editing, you can make room for educating yourself in enjoyable ways. 

Humans are curious creatures. Wewant to learn, and we’re actually really good at it when we enjoy it. So, take advantage of your highly evolved brain- it’s amazingly capable! The more you diversify what you read, listen to, watch, and research, the more well-rounded your knowledge base becomes. 

Gathering knowledge in different areas will also help you find links between information. In fact, we encourage you to seek out these connections.

  • Find commonalities between your newfound interests - these parallels will tell you what you feel most passionate about. Once you identify the areas of interests or causes you’re most drawn to, you can then see how they line up with your priorities.Does this overlap give you insight on your higher purpose?

No matter where you are, infinite resources are at your fingertips. The way you take in information will directly influence you. Make room for discoveries and new connections.Let yourself be teachable. 

Step 2. Understand your values.

To define your why, you first need to have an understanding ofwho you are at your core. 

Ask yourself: What are my values?

Finding your purpose is kind of like finding a sense of identity. What we do and how we spend our lives is ultimately a reflection of ourselves. So, if success to you means chasing dreams you don’t believe in, then it’s time for a serious brain make-over. No one’s winning that game. 

Get clear on what you care about and remind yourself frequently. Our values are our only true possessions - they deserve to hold space. 

Knowing what your values are doesn’t necessarily mean announcing them or placing them upon others. Showing up as your best self is an act of service in itself. By doing what you love and using your skills in the best way possible, you are making a powerful contribution to society. 

Step 3. Determine what excites you.

Now, for the fun part! Based on what you like to learn about and the values that you hold, you can determine what excites you the most. 

If you want to garner intrinsic motivation, passionhas to be a part of your purpose. No matter how driven of a person you are, you’ll inevitably lose steam if your interests and values don’t align with your work. Besides — if it’s not fun, why do it? 

Rethink your motivators. If you’re letting money or prestige lead, you may not make it very far. As hard as it may be, follow what inspires youfirst. After all, we’re looking for the “why” here — not the “what” or “how.” 
Listen to your intuition, and pursue the avenues you’re innately drawn to.Theseare the paths that will pay off in the long run. 

Step 4. Build a community.

The community around you is aresource.Get involved in your city and explore within it. Instead of staying comfortable in your social circle, make it a goal to meet new people with varied interests and passions. Put yourself out there, and you’ll start to build a rich community around you. 

Making new connections gets you out of your comfort zone, opens new doors, and expands your idea of what’s possible. By building a network of people you admire, you’re also cultivating resources, support, and inspiration.You may find yourself meeting a person that helps you land your dream job orintroduces you to the love of your life. When you decide to explore, the universe will work with you... 

Step 5. Give first, receive second.

In order to gain, you have to give.

When you give to others,everyonebenefits. This act generates connection, creates new opportunities, and helps you to understand your purpose at its core. It also changes your mindset about your role in your community, this world, and in yourownlife. Giving doesn’t mean abandoning your finite time, energy or resources - in actuality,it will come back to you. Through generosity, you open yourself up to receiving abundance. Don’t be afraid to give a hand, a dollar, or a smile! 

Make Your Work WorthYour Time

Time is the most precious thing we have. If you want to spend your time wisely, take the necessary steps to understand what matters to you. Is your current job, project, or relationshipworthit? If the answer is no, you have the power to change things up. If you can find a way to spend every day doing what you love, you are well on your way to finding fulfillment. After all, every single one of us deserves to embrace our own variation of “a perfect life.”