INTRINSIC or EXTRINSIC?


The question
Parkour of course a thing of the mind as every other activity. I mean it is the mind that puts the body into movement, and it is the mind that decides to go out and train. And so it is a great question as to why we move at all?

Intrinsic or extrinsic?
Probably most people have heard about „extrinsic and intrinsic motivation“. They basically mean that the reason for your motivation to do something is either outside of yourself, or inside of yourself.
An example for an outside reason (extrinsic motivation) : You only do your job because you get money for it. It is an exchange.
An example for an inside reason (intrinsic motivation) : You do your job, because you love to do it.

Now the question of extrinsic and intrinsic arises in every walk of life – but it is especially obvious in sports. And even more in high performance sports or potentially dangerous sports, such as Parkour.
But the question of inside or outside is not so easy to answer, not even for yourself, because there is another problem:
Advertisements/propaganda have clearly shown mankind that, what seems like an intrinsic motivation can be an extrinsic motivation in disguise, because it was „installed“ in you.
Now of course culture, society, education, environment and many other influences also install beliefs/views in you. If you grew up in a very competitive environment or culture, you might feel like „I want to win“ all the time and you train hard and take part in competitions to become the best. And all the time you are believing it to be your own will, though it never even came from you. It was just the way that you learned to see the world.
On the other side, you might be in an environment, in which taking part in competitions is despised for whatever reason, and not taking part in them earns you more respect from yourself and surrounding. Would you then not be just as extrinsically motivated as the competitive-minded?
If the one who is not taking part in competitions is on his inside feeling morally supreme over the ones taking part, and if the ones taking part are feeling supreme over others by being on a podium… are they not both doing the exact same mistake but on different levels? Though the one taking part in competition is probably honest about his wish to be better than others, whereas the one not taking part is probably having that wish as a little secret… and probably doesn´t even know himself that he is hosting that wish.

So you can see, wether the motivation to do something is intrinsic or extrinsic cannot be clearly identified by a specific form of behaviour. It can only be seen by yourself, when you look inside with the lense of merciless honesty. A humbling process.

Soul?
The question of intrinsic or extrinsic in its last consequence really is: if you would deconstruct all the installed stuff, would there be left anything of you? Would there wait an „I“ in the end? It really goes down to the man-old question of a soul - a self untouched by even material influences.
The purely materialistic-worldview-minded would maybe in an overconfident feeling of certainty say that there is of course nothing like a soul! But also here applies the same question: Is this an intrinsic understanding or is it an „understanding“ that had been installed by these times? An opinion, a belief? Did he acquire true knowledge or does he just copy paste, repeat mantras?