“there is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”
? Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
Intrinsic motivation refers to the ability to want and do something without external rewards such as money, fame, or awards. In anything you do in life you are either doing it for an external reward or an internal one. The people who succeed and thrive are the ones who do things because they enjoy the challenge and they want to prove to themselves that it can be done.
As humans we always tend to seek the approval of others to fulfill our self worth, instead of loving who we are and developing who we are. The steps it takes to be a better you is something you need to do on your own because if you don't than you will just be following the crowd. Being yourself and doing things for yourself is an empowering experience that no trophy or amount of money can do. You have to love what you do and do it with everything you have to be successful.
You can do a lot in life if you're doing it for yourself and doing for a challenge, but this requires you to develop a type of self worth and happiness with who you are. If you can't be happy with who you are than you will constantly seek the approval for others and never fully develop a sense of self. Learning to grow by having an open mind and to pursue the path of enlightenment is paved through loving yourself, learning as much as you can, striving for inner progress, and to decrease the amount of self suffering and self abuse we instill in our mind.
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts. It is made up of our thoughts. If one speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows one, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the wagon.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts. It is made up of our thoughts. If one speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows one, like a shadow that never leaves."
(Dhammapada 1-2 / Müller & Maguire, 2002.)