Finding intrinsic motivation isn’t always easy, especially for those of us who aren’t passionate about our work. Luckily, there is a way to compensate: Think about your family. Although not as widely recognised as its counterparts, this has emerged as a third source of motivation proven to be a strong source of inspiration — even for those who do not feel intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to do something.
Researchers have conducted a new study into a group of factory workers whose jobs entailed performing the same mundane task day after day, without any rewards for good performance. You’d think in the absence of both an intrinsic and extrinsic motivator, the workers would have little incentive to work hard in their roles. But what the researchers found was that some people who lack both kinds of motivation are still spurred on by a third factor namely, “family motivation”.
Those who identified with this type of motivation felt more energised and performed better each day, even when they didn’t find the work enjoyable and had no financial incentive to perform it.
Every job — whether you’re washing dishes or performing kidney surgery — provides us with the opportunity to affirm our identities as capable, respectable individuals, upon whom the most important people in our lives can rely.
We’ll keep that in mind next time we spend the afternoon wrangling through our email inboxes.