Intrinsic Motivations and Personality

Intrinsic motivation is considered a personality trait when personality is defined as the totality of qualities and traits that are unique to a specific person. However, unlike many personality assessments, intrinsic motivation does not look at the psychological nature of a person. Instead intrinsic motivations are more within the spiritual domain. We define "spiritual" as the vital principle in humans that coordinates and mediates the body, mind, heart and soul in a person. For a more in-depth description of how intrinsic motivation relates to personality, visit our Theory page.

The concept of intrinsic motivation can be traced back as far as classical Greek philosophy. More recently, Dr. Bill Millard has used scientific methods to explore intrinsic motivation within seven types. Over the course of several decades, Millard has assessed thousands of individuals, and has enabled them to discover their own pattern of seven different intrinsic motivations working within them.

The IMAGE tool was developed to identify the strength of each of the seven motivations in an individual. These results can be used for 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

6)     act more effectively in service to the world

IMAGE will help you focus on endeavors that are consistent with the purpose for your life and by living out this purpose you should find a greater sense of fulfillment. IMAGE will show you a distinct pattern of seven motivations that intrinsically reside within you. This pattern strongly affects the way you interact with your friends and family, the roles you are most comfortable with in group situations, which jobs you will like or dislike, even the way you handle your money or make life decisions!

The Seven Motivations
  Based on theory and research, the seven intrinsic motivations can best be labeled and defined as follows. Each motivation is defined by an inward drive (1) and an outward response (2). 



The intrinsic motivation to:

  1. Discern what is morally right and wrong
  2. Respond in service by publicly speaking out from these internal convictions developed



The intrinsic motivation to:

  1. Discern the emotions of others
  2. Respond in service by providing comfort to those who are in emotional distress




The intrinsic motivation to:

  1. Discern encouragement and practical solutions needed for life problems
  2. Respond in service by providing others with steps of actions they should take to overcome problems



The intrinsic motivation to:

  1. Discern truth through careful research
  2. Respond in service by clearly presenting this truth to others in such a way that it will be easy to learn



The intrinsic motivation to:

  1. Discern organizational needs others have in group activities and efforts 
  2. Respond in service by organize and coordinating their activities and setting goals for their endeavors



The intrinsic motivation to:

  1. Discern legitimate needs or tasks others have
  2. Respond in service by providing physical assistance to help them meet these needs and tasks



The intrinsic motivation to:

  1. Discern financial needs in other people and efforts 
  2. Respond in service by investing finances and support in worthwhile people and projects






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