Do you want to lose weight? Make more money? Learn to play the piano? Your odds of achieving any of these goals depend not just on how motivated you are, but also, according to a new study of West Point cadets, the source of that motivation.
There are two types of motivation. Internal motivation drives people to achieve a goal for its own sake, whereas external motivation is not directly related to the goal itself. For example, if you are learning how to play the violin, you may be internally motivated by your love of the instrument, but also externally motivated by your parents’ pride or your hope that the skill will help you get into a better college.
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