Determining What Motivates You

Being able to figure out what motivates you will be a real benefit throughout your life. Once you know what brings you inspiration, you can draw from this list to keep you going whenever you need a boost.

Explore this process to discover your own motivations:

1. Think about the most difficult situation you’ve ever experienced. Then record the answers to these questions:

• What did you think about the event?
• How did you feel about it?
• How did you arrive at how you were going to handle and resolve the situation?
• What was important to you at the time – was it how you felt, what you thought your parents would think, what you believed was “the right thing to do” or something else?
• Ultimately, what did you do to resolve the event?

2. Next, reflect on 2 or 3 of your biggest achievements. Maybe for you, graduating from college or moving out on your own was a big achievement. Continue writing down your answers to these additional questions. This process will help you to identify your own motivations.

• What did you do to achieve your success

• How did you meet your goals?
• What did you think about during the process?
• What motivated you – looking out for your future, wanting to make more money, hoping to make your parents proud, or something else?
• Did you visualize what your life would be like once you had achieved your goal?
• How much did you really want to achieve it?

3. Analyze your answers. After reflecting on the above questions, your mind will be more open to identifying what’s important to you. So far, what have you discovered that motivates you? Are you surprised at what you’ve found?
4. How do you feel about these concepts? What motivates one person might not motivate another. Still, it’s likely that you’ll feel inspired by the same one or two issues consistently throughout your life.

Ideas from this list may ring true to your feelings:

• You strive to feel like you’re doing “the right thing.”
• You want to increase your ability to earn more money.
• Pursuing your passion propels you forward to accomplish more.
• You hope to see the pride in your parents’ eyes.
• Maybe you seek recognition from other people – you hope to be noticed and admired.
• You want to make your or your children’s futures better.
• You feel the need to prove to yourself that you can achieve something.
• You like the idea of stepping up to a challenge in your life.
• Seeking variety in life motivates you to try new things.
• You strive to overcome a difficult childhood and emerge triumphant.
• Discovering and validating who you really are as an individual is important to you.
• You plan to dispute negative messages someone from your past instilled in you.
• You want to do something in life that “really matters.”
• Perhaps you enjoy the sheer entertainment value of doing something.
• Writing down your goals and making an action plan spurs you on to accomplishment.
• You like to see your list of achievements grow.

Whether you want to improve your life, make more money, or follow your passion, discover what motivates you. Then, apply your motivators to situations that really matter. Now, you’re ready to achieve whatever you seek in life.