Generating intrinsic motivation
If you’re intrinsically motivated towards a task, that means you’re willing to do it just for it’s own sake.
Think about something fun that you like to do in your life. Something like playing video games, or watching TV. You do these things just because they’re fun. You don’t need anyone telling you to play more games, or offering a special reward for watching TV, because you do it anyway. In fact, if you started receiving a reward for watching TV, you’d probably end up enjoying it less.
It is for this reason that Self Discipline Sensei will gradually adapt your motivations from being extrinsically motivated into being intrinsically motivated.
Having replaced external regulation with extrinsic rewards, the next step is to replace extrinsic rewards with intrinsic rewards. Intrinsic rewards are intangible. Being able to speak another language is the intrinsic reward for learning a new language. Improving your work rate and self discipline is the intangible reward for using Self Discipline Sensei. These intangible rewards are represented with the mastery badges and discipline belts mentioned in the gamification section.
You might find it hard to believe that you could come to be motivated purely by being rewarded with higher levels of belts and badges, but the key here is that the reward is not the image of the belt or badge. The graphical representation of this reward is irrelevant.
A black belt in Self Discipline Sensei is merely the visual representation of a users success in training his own self discipline. A mastery badge similarly represents a high level of expertise in one subject. The coveted white mastery badge for example, is gained after 10,000 hours work – the level at which it is (controversially) said a subject has been mastered.
This is the first step of creating intrinsic motivations. In self determination theory, competence is a required element of intrinsic motivation. This means that the feeling that you’re getting better at a task as you invest time in it is important. And it’s precisely why Self Discipline Sensei uses game elements like belt levels and mastery badges to represent skill. This is clear feedback of competence that will set the idea of intrinsic motivation into your head.
Another element required for intrinsic motivation that extrinsic motivations do not require is autonomy. Autonomy simply means that you decide to work on the task yourself.
This has some very interesting implications. It means schools and workplaces are intentionally stopping people reaching the highest levels of motivations.
Because external regulation is chosen as the means of motivation, people never have autonomy in deciding what they want to do. Without autonomy, they can never feel intrinsically motivated.
This means that if you’ve only ever completed tasks because you were told to, you have much more potential that has never before been unlocked. If you can develop intrinsic motivation, you can unlock a level of energy and enthusiasm for tasks that you’ve never experienced before.
Self Discipline Sensei creates intrinsic motivation by reinforcing habits using operant conditioning (see gamification). Rather than acting as a virtual boss and telling you what to do, Self Discipline Sensei works to nuture your own natural desires and energies.
Creating good habits is the key part of this. When we have an ingrained habit, it becomes a part of ourselves. In self determination theory, this is called integration with our goals. Once this occurs, the willpower cost of working on a goal is dramatically reduced.
Relatedness is the final element needed to turn extrinsic motivations into intrinsic motivations. This refers to feeling connected to something beyond yourself – that your goals have a purpose beyond a mere means to an end. This is a feeling that the entirety of Self Discipline Sensei is designed to induce.
The cultivation of a natural energy and joy for working on tasks is the principal aim of Self Discipline Sensei. This is why we never use negative reinforcement as a motivational technique. You will never be punished for failing to work on your goals – the worst that can happen is that you will miss out on a reward.
This has the effect of reducing pressure and increasing enjoyment of working on tasks. Eventually, you will be able to reach a high level of focus, motivation and energy that comes without stress, struggle or strain. This is the Wu-Wei of work described in the introduction section – truly effortless effort.
Now that you fully understand the importance and power of creating deep motivations, read on to see all the features Self Discipline Sensei contains for gathering and disseminating productivity data. The reality is that you don’t know how much you don’t know. Until we check hard data, we have no idea if we’re working unproductively, or where our areas of weakness are. We can’t start fixing our problems until we know what they are!
If you’re ready to stop working unproductively and learn how Self Discipline Sensei can fix flaws you didn’t even know you had, read on to the next section.
Want to start working towards a brighter future right now? Click here to download Self Discipline Sensei.