Exploring Motivation: Theory & Quotes For Motivation Wallpaper

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated October 17, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Are You Having Difficulties Finding Motivation?

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. - Lou Holtz

Being motivated can make many loads easier to bear. That can be true whether the "load" referred to is your responsibilities at work, taking care of your home and family, or just simply rolling out of bed in the morning to face whatever the new day has in store for you. 

Many can find that much-needed motivation in a multiplicity of places—wallpaper, quotes, positive thinking, phone apps, your social circle and much more.

Understanding the types of motivation and knowing how each can affect you can be a good place to start. Read on to learn more about motivation and quotes that can inspire you through your next season. 

What Is Motivation?

Put simply, motivation can be any reason you have for doing something. The "reason" can be a need or desire you have, or a goal you are seeking to fulfill.  Those reasons can then spur us into action. 

Words which can get linked to motivation might include:

Incentive – Generally defined as a tangible or intangible reward

Enthusiasm – Generally defined as an eagerness to accomplish a set goal

Inspiration – This term can be used interchangeably with motivation, especially in cases where we are speaking of doing something creative.

The things which motivate you can generally be placed into one of two categories, namely, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is generally thought to come from within. It can be what drives you to do something simply for the personal joy of it, acting as an internal source of motivation for your passions. Examples may include taking pride in learning a new skill, and the drive you might feel to complete a lengthy or intricate task that aligns with your long-term goals.

Intrinsic motivation is sometimes said to drive some people’s creativity, possibly fueling the urge to explore new possibilities and the ability to "think outside the box." It is often credited with keeping us more focused on completion of a task than external rewards are sometimes able to do. This may vary for many, however, as it’s currently thought that everyone may have their own preferred method of motivation

Extrinsic Motivation

When our actions are driven by any kind of external reward, then we might be experiencing extrinsic motivation. It can take many forms, including monetary payment, praise, an award, acceptance by someone or a group, good grades and fame, to name a few. Extrinsic motivation can also be in the form of a punishment we are trying to avoid. 

For example: The punishment of having to pay a fine or go to jail may motivate us to not break the law.

Extrinsic motivation can be very important when it comes to getting us to do things we might not enjoy or get any sense of inner fulfillment from. One example could be your continued work at a job you don't particularly like because the salary (your source of motivation) generally helps you to pay your bills (which is your desired end result).

Exploring The Relationship Between Extrinsic And Intrinsic Motivation

There are generally known to be many complementary and contradictory elements between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. We’ve summarized a few key points below: 

  • Extrinsic motivation can stimulate intrinsic motivation as in situations with an external reward.We can see this in the example of a promotion at work, for example. You might feel that salary or other forms of compensation are the initial reason(s) you perform an activity, such as learning a new skill. Then, you may come to enjoy what you are doing so much that you make the decision to pursue the skill area even more, an effort that is purely driven by your own motivation. This is where we see a possible handoff between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation types, possibly empowering a person to reach new heights. 

  • Is there a risk of “too much” extrinsic motivation? Likely not—however, the presence of external rewards for an activity you already genuinely enjoy doing can lead to what is called the overjustification effect. It’s known by many to be an interesting phenomenon in which extrinsic motivation can gradually lower intrinsic motivation and can lead to a loss of interest in performing an activity.

Can Intrinsic Motivation Come From Others?

Generally, the answer to that question is "no." It has been shown, however, that we can feel good about ourselves when we help others and when we receive genuine praise and encouragement from others. This inward happiness, in turn, can motivate us to continue doing well.

You can increase the amount of good feedback you get from others in several ways. Some strategies can include surrounding yourself with a supportive social circle and choosing to dedicate your time and energy to helping others.

In the same way, as your intrinsic motivation can be driven by others, you can decide to be a source of motivation to others. A few words of encouragement or simply "saying it with a smile," might be all someone else needs to make their day. 

Motivation Images And Quotes For Making Your Wallpaper

Everyday reminders to stay optimistic, more relaxed and in the flow of things can be an effective way to direct your thoughts. Additionally, the quality of your thinking and how you manage your thoughts can affect your mood, and directly impact your life.

Many people choose to do this by putting positive reminders on your desktop as wallpaper—which can be a helpful way to keep thoughts most important to you top-of-mind. This can help to increase the level of intrinsic motivation you feel and your eagerness to go out and get things done.

 You can consider creating your own motivational wallpaper by downloading inspiring images and placing quotes over top to make motivation pictures, posters, wallpaper and more!

Motivation Quotes

  • “Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” - John Wooden
  • “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” - Jim Rohn
  • “Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” - Tony Hsieh
  • “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” - Winston Churchill
  • “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” - Leon C. Megginson
  • “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” - Bruce Feirstein
  • “Hard work brings its luck.” - Unknown
  • “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not the absence of fear.” - Mark Twain
  • “Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” - Charles F. Kettering
  • “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” - Steve Jobs
  • “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” - Jim Ryun
  • “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” - Margaret Thatcher
  • “Success is just a war of attrition. Sure, there's an element of talent you should probably possess. But if you stick around long enough, eventually something is going to happen.” - Dax Shepard

If you need motivation icons and more, you can search sites like Flaticon or Shutterstock for free or paid-for download options. Also, you can check out BrainyQuote for more inspirational sayings from a wide variety of famous people, past and present.

If you’re looking for additional strategies to help keep you motivated, you may consider downloading one (or more) of the many motivation apps which are available for both iOS and Android devices. These apps were generally designed to help you start your day; or can help to keep you focused so you can accomplish tasks on time.

How Can Online Therapy Help Those Looking To Build Motivation? 

If you’re experiencing persistent feelings of demotivation, you might consider talking to a qualified therapist. Using online therapy, you can do so in the comfort of your own home or secondary safe place. BetterHelp can match you to a therapist who is best suited to your needs, possibly empowering you to have a higher quality of life overall as you work to build motivation. 

Are You Having Difficulties Finding Motivation?

Is Online Therapy Effective? 

Online therapy has been designated by most as more convenient and possibly more affordable than in-person therapy. Multiple studies have also shown that the modality can be just as effective as in-person therapy in treating a wide array of mental conditions. 


Motivation can come from inside, outside or a combination of both. A good tip can be to stay in charge of your own motivation by choosing a quote from the list above and placing it on your phone, computer or tablet’s wallpaper. Online therapeutic support can also help you to hone the skill of directed motivation. BetterHelp can connect you with an online therapist in your area of need.

Struggling To Find Motivation In Your Life?

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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