Intrinsic Motivation Model

Discover Your Unique Intrinsic Motivations!

One of the more difficult things for people to do is to discover their own uniqueness and to accept it. We live in a society that gives far more emphasis to conformity than to uniqueness. Consider what typically happens in the following arenas:
Advertising, Education, Media, Church, Workplace, Home, Politics

Usually a certain type is identified as a good or right type, and everybody else is encouraged, if not expected, to conform to this pattern. Society becomes an assembly line turning out plastic widgets, trying to make each widget like the others.

This is wrong! We were created as unique individuals, and we all respond to life in a different way. In order to live a significant life where we thrive rather than just survive, we need to understand and embrace our uniqueness and maximize it in our lives.

Intrinsic Motivation plays an important part of what makes us unique.  IMAGE (Intrinsic Motivation Assessment Guide & Evaluation) was developed by Life Discovery to help you discover an important aspect of intrinsic motivation in your life.

What is Intrinsic Motivation?

Intrinsic refers to something that belongs to a thing by its very nature, lying within that thing. Motivation means to provide with a reason to act in a certain way. Combining the two together we discovery that intrinsic motivation is something that exists within an individual that provides the individual with a reason to act in a certain way.

Life Discovery bases its approach to human dynamics on the research and theories of Dr. Bill Millard concerning human uniqueness. He has identified three universal qualities desired by people all around the world—meaning, significance, and hope.  He has discovered that these qualities can best be found when you serve others in the world around you through a unique pattern of seven intrinsic motivations that:

  • strongly influences the way you respond to people, situations and problems in the world
  • helps determine the roles you will adopt as a result of these motivations


Where do the seven motivations identified in IMAGE come from?

IMAGE is based on the research and applications conducted over the last four decades by Dr. Bill Millard. His work traces its roots back to research first done with adolescents and later expanded to encompass adults as well. During this time he has assessed thousands of individuals and has enabled them to discover unique patterns of seven different intrinsic motivations working within them. The concept of intrinsic motivation can be traced back as far as classical Greek philosophy. Dr. Millard, however, organized his classification of intrinsic motivations identified in IMAGE to seven, which he patterned after seven identified in the first century writings of Paul of Tarsus, a keen observer of human nature.

Based on the historical context of Paul’s writing, the seven intrinsic motivations can best be labeled and defined as follows (click on the motivation to view more information about that motivation):

Description: nchorPROCLAIMING: the Principled Protector

...the inward motivation and capacity to:

•       Discern what is morally right and wrong

•       Respond in service by publicly speaking out from these internal convictions that have developed

HELPING: the Supportive Assistant

...the inward motivation and capacity to:

•       Discern needs or tasks others have

•       Respond in service by providing assistance to help them fulfill these needs and tasks

TEACHING: the Instructive Investigator

...the inward motivation and capacity to:

•       Discern truth through careful study and research

•       Respond in service by clearly presenting this truth to others in such a way that it will be easy to learn

EXHORTING: the Practical Advisor

...the inward motivation and capacity to:

•       Discern encouragement and practical solutions needed for life problems

•       Respond in service by providing others with steps of action they should take to overcome life problems

GIVING: the Charitable Sponsor

...the inward motivation and capacity to:

•       Discern financial needs others have in their lives or efforts

•       Respond in service by investing finances and support in worthwhile people and projects

MANAGING: the Organizing Director

...the inward motivation and capacity to:

•       Discern the organizational needs others have when working collectively together

•       Respond in service by organizing and coordinating their activities and setting goals for their endeavors


COMFORTING: the Merciful Empathizer

...the inward motivation and capacity to:

•       Discern the emotional state of others

•       Respond in service by comforting those who are in emotional distress


The IMAGE Tool

IMAGE was developed as an important part of the process to identify the strength of each of the seven motivations in an individual. These results can be used to enable people to 1) better understand themselves, 2) plan for their lives, 3) improve relationship skills, 4) identify roles with which they will be most comfortable when they are in group situations, 5) evaluate career decisions, and 6) act more effectively in service to the world.

The IMAGE Star Logo

Life Discovery uses the seven-point star depicted above as a symbol of the seven motivations and their interaction.

  1. First, the star gives a picture of completeness, with each of the seven points part of a single star. Relationships in organizations of people require each of the seven motivations. Each is good and valuable. The seven points in one star also depict that each of the seven motivations is at work within everyone at some level.
  2. Second, the star portrays balance. The qualities of "justice" and "mercy" find balance between Proclaiming and Comforting. "Research" and "practicality" find balance between Teaching and Exhorting. "Leading" and "serving" find balance between Managing and Helping.
  3. Third, the star depicts dependency. Each of the six other motivations to some extent relies on its ability to be supported and underwritten by Giving, the rarest of the seven motivations.
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