11 Quotes on Extrinsic Goals & Extrinsic Motivation

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When you set extrinsic goals and have extrinsic motivation, you look for external sources of fulfillment. It can lead to a lack of happiness, greater stress, and an overall lower interest in accomplishing your goals.

If you’ve ever set a goal and just couldn’t make yourself work on it, you might have set an extrinsic goal. Any time your main motivation is something like money, popularity, or external validation, you’ve got an extrinsic goal.

You can learn more about extrinsic goals and extrinsic motivation in these articles:

Today though, we’re going through a few quotes on extrinsic goals to help you understand them better and see why you shouldn’t set them and why intrinsic goals are better.

Quotes on the Disadvantages of Extrinsic Goals

“The problem with making an extrinsic reward the only destination that matters is that some people will choose the quickest route there, even if it means taking the low road. Indeed, most of the scandals and misbehavior that have seemed endemic to modern life involve shortcuts.” ― Daniel Pink

“Some research suggests that too much extrinsic motivation may undermine learning and goal achievement over time and reduce intrinsic motivation.” — Jacquelyn Johnson, PsyD

“Not only do extrinsic goals not make us happy… they are actually associated with narcissism, anxiety, depression, poorer mental health in general, and even poorer social functioning.” — Nils Salzgeber

“Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality” — Les Brown

Quotes on What to Do Instead of Extrinsic Goals & Extrinsic Motivation

“Pursuing an intrinsic goal, compared to an extrinsic goal, is more positively correlated to physical and psychological wellbeing.” — Seungae Lee & Kathryn R. Pounders

“Intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity; controlling extrinsic motivation is detrimental to creativity.” — Daniel H. Pink

“If we focus on achieving that which we cannot control, we give away our power over those things we can.” — The Accidental Monster

Best Quotes on Extrinsic Goals

“Depending on the situation, extrinsic motivation can come from positive reinforcement, such as a reward, or negative reinforcement, such as a punishment.” — Jacquelyn Johnson, PsyD

“Most people aren’t anywhere near to realizing their creative potential, in part because they’re laboring in environments that impede intrinsic motivation.” — Teresa Amabile

“Our prevailing system of management has destroyed our people. People are born with intrinsic motivation, self-respect, dignity, curiosity to learn, joy in learning. The forces of destruction begin with toddlers – a prize for the best Halloween costume, grades in school, gold stars – and on up through the university. On the job people, teams, and divisions are ranked, reward for the top, punishment for the bottom. Management by Objectives, quotas, incentive pay, business plans, put together separately, division by division, cause further loss, unknown and unknowable.” — W. Edwards Deming

“You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self motivation.” — Homer Rice

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, these quotes have helped you understand extrinsic motivation better so you can avoid extrinsic motivation and instead set intrinsic goals. If you want to discover more about this topic, check out the articles I linked to in the introduction.