Intrinsic or Extrinsic Motivation

From Weekly I/O#66

Would I still do it If I could never talk about this to anyone? Assess whether our motivation stems from intrinsic or extrinsic factors.

Podcast: Tim Ferriss: How to Learn Better & Create Your Best Future | Huberman Lab Podcast

How to determine if our actions are driven by intrinsic or extrinsic motivation? One useful way is to ask ourselves: "Would I still do it If I could never talk about this to anyone?"

Take the example of interacting with a celebrity. Could we enjoy the experience as much without the opportunity to share with others that we met someone famous?

Tim Ferriss provides another example regarding the use of psychedelics. Suppose people do psychedelics primarily because they want to tell the story at a social gathering later. In that case, the motivation is more aligned with seeking social recognition and validation rather than a genuine interest in the experience itself.

I found engaging in activities driven by intrinsic motivation much more fun than extrinsic ones because I can enjoy them fully in the present, independent of things I cannot control, such as external validation. Conversely, when we do something solely because we can later share it on social media, doing that becomes less fun immediately. This is the same as #28.2, "Buy what you would buy if you were the only person on Earth."

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