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Intrinsic motivation is key to success.

Stashed in: Motivation

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At least for military officers, intrinsic motivation is the only thing that matters. Even when other factors were accounted for—such as race, religion, gender, socioeconomic background, and scholastic scores—cadets with primarily internal motives were about 20% more likely to make it through West Point than the average. For cadets who did not have primarily internal motivations—even if they were equally driven by internal motives and external motives such as getting a good job or becoming physically fit—their chances of graduating were worse than average, the team reports online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And compared with the cadets with primarily internal motivations, the mixed-motive cadets had a 10% lower chance of sticking with a military career and a 20% lower chance of being promoted early.

I am probably in that data. 

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