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Intrinsic Rewards: Finding Joy in What We Do

In the world, we often feel pushed by outside things and the want for more things. We sometimes forget about the good feelings that come from inside us. These good feelings happen when we do things just because they make us happy, not because we want something from others. It’s like the happiness you get when you learn something new, make something creative, or help someone. Intrinsic rewards are like hidden treasures that make our lives better. This article will look at these hidden treasures, why they’re important, and how they can make our lives really great.

What are Intrinsic Rewards?

Intrinsic rewards are like the smiles we have when we do things that truly make us happy inside. These good feelings don’t rely on money, fame, or others telling us we’re great. They come from our own desires and the things we enjoy doing. Intrinsic rewards are like hidden gems deep inside us, and they’re not the same for everyone. They can truly encourage us and make us feel happy.

intrinsic rewards

The Science Behind it

Many smart people, like Dr. Edward Deci and Dr. Richard Ryan, have discovered that intrinsic rewards are really special. They made something called the Self-Determination Theory, which tells us about three important things we all want deep inside:

  1. Autonomy: We like having control over what we do. When we choose things based on what we like and believe in, it makes us feel free. This feeling is like a hidden reward from inside us.
  2. Competence: We also want to get better at things and show we’re good at them. When we do things that challenge us and help us improve, it makes us feel capable and motivated. It’s like another secret reward that makes us proud.
  3. Relatedness: We’re social beings, and we like to connect with others and have good relationships. Intrinsic rewards can also come from being nice and helpful to others. When we do these things, it makes us feel connected to others and very happy.

Understanding these needs and how they connect to intrinsic rewards is like knowing the secret to feeling happy and motivated from the inside.

Examples of Intrinsic Rewards

Intrinsic rewards come in many forms and they usually make us feel happy and content. Here are some common examples:

  1. Learning and Curiosity: Learning new things and being curious about the world can make us feel really good. It’s like a hidden treasure we find when we discover something new or understand things better.
  2. Being Creative: Making something new, like art, music, or stories, can be very rewarding. It’s like a unique kind of happiness that comes from creating something special.
  3. Helping Others: When we’re kind and assist other people, it can make us feel really good inside. It’s like a powerful, feel-good prize that we get from doing nice things for others, like volunteering or being there when someone needs help.
  4. Skill and Progress: When we try to become good at something and overcome challenges to reach our goals, it feels really good. It’s like a big sense of pride and personal growth that comes from mastering a skill and becoming the best version of ourselves.

Related Article: Overjustification Effect (Reaping Rewards, Losing Passion)

The Impact of It on Well-Being

Going after intrinsic rewards doesn’t just make us feel good; it improves our lives in several ways:

  1. More Motivation: Intrinsic rewards act like a strong push that makes us want to do things. When we do things we really like, we’re more likely to spend time and effort getting better at them.
  2. Doing Better: When we’re motivated from within, we perform better. We pay more attention, keep trying even when things are tough, and come up with creative ideas because we’re doing things we love.
  3. Being Stronger: Intrinsic rewards can make us resilient and help us handle difficult times. When problems come up, the joy we get from what we’re doing can help us keep going and overcome challenges.
  4. Feeling Happier and Less Stressed: Engaging in activities that bring intrinsic rewards can improve our mental well-being. The happiness we get from these activities can reduce stress and make us feel happier.
  5. Better Friendships: Being kind and feeling connected to others through intrinsic rewards can strengthen our friendships. It helps us have happier and more meaningful relationships with people.

Cultivating Intrinsic Rewards in Your Life

Want to have more of those good feelings inside you? Here are some easy actions to begin with:

  1. Find Your Likes: Think about the things that make you really happy. What gets you excited? These are probably the things that give you those happy feelings inside.
  2. Make Goals You Like: Instead of only thinking about getting things or becoming famous, make goals that match with the things you enjoy and care about. These goals will make you feel more motivated and happy.
  3. Have Your Own Choices: Try to do things that let you decide what you want to do based on what you like and believe in. This will make you feel like you’re in charge, and it’s one of those good, inside rewards.
  4. Learn New Things: Challenge yourself to learn new stuff or get better at the things you already know. Feeling like you’re getting better at something is one of those special inside rewards.
  5. Say Thank You: Think about the good feelings and happy moments that come from these inside rewards. Being thankful for them can make you feel even better.
  6. Be Kind to Others: Look for ways to help people, like volunteering, teaching, or just being nice. This will make you feel connected to others, and it’s one of those special inside rewards that make you feel really good inside.

Intrinsic rewards are like special treasures that make our lives better. They give us the power to do things, make us happy, and help us feel good about ourselves. In a world where many people worry about what others think and have lots of stuff, it’s important to know how valuable these secret rewards are for our happiness and well-being.

To make your life more fun, you can start by discovering what you really enjoy, setting goals that match those likes, and making choices based on what makes you happy. This will lead to a more satisfying life. By going after these hidden rewards, you’ll find what true happiness and feeling content means. So, don’t wait – do what you love, and let these secret rewards guide you to a more fulfilling life.

Learn What is: Pluralistic Ignorance (Break the chain of Collective Misconception)

1 thought on “Intrinsic Rewards: Finding Joy in What We Do”

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