Eudaimonic motivation is the willingness to initiate actions toward personal excellence (Huta and Waterman 2014; Waterman 1990). Eudaimonic pursuits are oriented toward the realization of (a) individual potentials specific for a particular person (e.g., pursuing athletic career) and (b) best universal human potentials shared by each human being (e.g., cultivating wisdom, kindness, or gratitude). The ultimate goal of eudaimonic motivation is the state of flourishing which marks the full development of best potentials. Eudaimonic motivation has been often used and characterized in the opposition to hedonic motivation, i.e., seeking pleasure and avoiding pain (e.g., Waterman 1990). This duality also allows distinguishing between eudaimonists and hedonists as individuals dominated by eudaimonic or hedonic motives. While hedonists primarily seek to feel in a particular way, eudaimonists seek to be a particular type of a person.
- Waterman, A. S., Schwartz, S. J., Zamboanga, B. L., Ravert, R. D., Williams, M. K., Bede Agocha, V., Kim, S. Y., & Brent Donnellan, M. (2010). The questionnaire for eudaimonic well-being: Psychometric properties, demographic comparisons, and evidence of validity. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5, 41–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar