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How To Discover What Truly Motivates You?

ByRobert Coleman

Jun 11, 2023
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Read Time:10 Minute, 37 Second

Motivation is the driving force behind our actions and decisions. It’s what keeps us moving forward, even when faced with obstacles and challenges. However, discovering what truly motivates us can be a difficult task.

If you’re struggling to find your motivation, don’t worry. In this article, we will explore different strategies to help you discover what truly motivates you. By understanding your motivations, you’ll be able to develop a clearer sense of purpose and achieve your goals with greater ease. So, let’s dive into the process of discovering what truly motivates you.

Identifying Your Primary Type of Motivation

When it comes to motivation, there are two main categories: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation refers to external factors that drive us, such as rewards and recognition from others, while intrinsic motivation comes from within and is driven by personal interests, values, and satisfaction.

It is essential to take some time to reflect and determine what motivates you most. Is it the potential for a promotion or a pay raise? Or do you find personal fulfillment in the work you do, regardless of the external rewards?

Identifying your primary motivation is crucial in achieving personal goals. If your primary motivation is extrinsic, it’s important to set goals that align with those external factors, such as achieving sales goals or yearly targets. On the other hand, if your primary motivation is intrinsic, you might need to think about what brings you joy in your work and create goals that are meaningful to you.

It’s important to note that these two types of motivation are not mutually exclusive. In many cases, both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can play a role in driving us. However, identifying which type motivates you the most can help you focus on what truly matters to you.

Reflect On Your Passions

Reflecting on your passions is an important step in discovering what truly motivates you. To begin the process, take some time to focus on the things that you enjoy doing, both in and outside of work.

Think about what brings you the most happiness and fulfillment and how you feel when you are engaged in these activities. Consider if there is something specific that you always look forward to doing or talking about. This may provide valuable insight into what drives you and what you may be truly passionate about.

Once you have identified your passions, take the time to write them down. Consider how they relate to your current work or interests. Are there any areas where you can incorporate your passions into your daily life? For example, if you have a passion for writing, you may be able to incorporate this into your job by creating written content for your company’s website or social media pages.

It’s also important to recognize that your passions may change over time. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate your list and adjust as needed. By focusing on what truly drives you and brings you fulfillment, you will be better equipped to create a life that aligns with your interests and passions. So take the time to reflect on your passions and see how you can incorporate them into your life for a more satisfying and fulfilling future.

Examine Your Values

When it comes to motivation, we often focus on external factors such as career growth or salary. However, true motivation comes from within and is linked to our values – the things that are most important to us in life. By examining your values, you can identify your primary motivators and gain a deeper understanding of what drives you and what you are truly passionate about.

Take some time to reflect on what really matters to you. This can include personal values such as honesty or kindness, as well as work-related values such as excellence or teamwork. Write down your core values and rate each item on a scale of 1-10 to further clarify their significance to you. This exercise can help you to identify patterns or themes in your values and highlight what is most important to you.

Evaluating your values can also help steer you towards a sense of direction and purpose, especially when it comes to motivation. For example, if you highly value creativity, you may look for career opportunities that allow you to express your creativity. Alternatively, if teamwork is a core value for you, you may seek out work environments that prioritize collaboration.

Incorporating your values into your daily life can also help boost your motivation and fulfillment. By aligning your work with your values, you may find greater satisfaction and sense of purpose in what you do. Additionally, by living according to your personal values, you may experience greater joy and fulfillment in your personal life.

Identify Peak Experiences

Peak experiences are moments in our lives where we feel completely alive, energized, and fulfilled. They can occur during personal or professional experiences, and are characterized by feelings of joy, excitement, and engagement. For many, recalling peak experiences can be a valuable tool for discovering what truly motivates them in life.

To identify your own peak experiences, take some time to reflect on specific moments in your life where you felt fully engaged and alive. These moments could be related to work or personal experiences, but the key is to identify those moments where you felt like you were at your best.

Once you have identified these moments, write them down and describe what made them special. Was it the people you were with? The task you were performing? The environment you were in? Try to capture the details of these experiences as best you can, as this will give you a better understanding of what motivates you.

By identifying your own peak experiences, you can begin to gain insight into what kind of work or activities will fulfill you. Maybe you discovered that you felt most alive when working on creative projects, or when collaborating with others. Perhaps you found that your peak experiences occurred when you were helping others, or when you were in a particular environment.

Whatever the case may be, taking the time to identify and reflect on your own peak experiences can be a powerful tool for discovering what truly motivates you in life. By pursuing activities that align with your values and bring you joy and fulfillment, you can create a life that is truly rewarding.

Evaluate Personal Strengths

Evaluating your personal strengths is a crucial step in discovering your intrinsic motivation. Identifying your strengths can help you understand what you excel at and enjoy doing, which can ultimately guide you towards finding activities and careers that fulfill you.

To begin evaluating your personal strengths, it is recommended to take personality and strengths assessments, which are available online or with the help of a career coach. These assessments can help you better understand your personality traits, values, and interests.

By taking these assessments, you can gain insight into your personal strengths, such as your ability to problem-solve, your communication skills, your creativity, or your leadership abilities. Understanding these strengths can be particularly helpful in articulating your unique skills and abilities to potential employers or collaborators.

Highlighting your personal strengths is important as it serves as a foundation for growth and productivity. Leveraging your strengths can boost your confidence, lead to a greater sense of purpose, and ultimately enhance your sense of fulfillment in your personal and professional life.

Some key takeaways from evaluating your personal strengths include finding ways to incorporate these strengths into your daily life and career, seeking out opportunities that align with your strengths and values, and continuing to cultivate those strengths through ongoing learning and development.

Experiment And Explore

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What truly motivates me?” It’s not always easy to identify what drives us and brings us satisfaction in life. However, there is a process you can follow to help uncover what truly motivates you – the process of experimentation and exploration.

The idea here is to try different activities, even if they don’t seem related to your current interests or job. By taking baby steps towards achieving something new, you can assess how it makes you feel and determine whether it aligns with what really motivates you.

During this process, it’s important to reflect on which activities give you a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment. Don’t discount even the smallest moments of satisfaction. Take advantage of your personal time to seek out new experiences.

This process of experimentation and exploration can help widen your perspective in life, and it might even identify new elements in life that bring personal growth. By trying new things and exploring different parts of life, you may discover a passion you didn’t even know existed.

Reflect On Your Goals

Reflecting on your goals is the first step towards figuring out what truly motivates you. When you have a sense of direction, you’re more likely to be committed to achieving your goals. This can help you stay on track when things get tough, and keep pushing even when the going gets rough.

To start, it’s important to set specific and measurable goals that you can work towards. Chunk these goals into manageable tasks that you can work on each day to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Breaking down your goals into smaller, more achievable targets means you’re more likely to stick with them. This can help you build momentum and make progress towards your overarching goals.

Turning your ‘shoulds’ into ‘musts’ is another key factor that can help you stay motivated. When you’re committed to your goals, you’ll be more focused and determined to see them through. This can help you resist distractions and stay on track even when the going gets tough.

To keep your motivation levels high, it’s also important to celebrate your achievements along the way. Reward yourself for your hard work and accomplishments, whether that’s treating yourself to a massage or taking a day off to relax. By implementing commitment devices, such as setting up a rewards system for yourself, you can create a sense of accountability and motivation that helps you stay on track.

Lastly, take some time to reflect on what really matters to you and how your goals align with your values and strengths. When your goals align with your values, you’re more likely to be invested in achieving them. This can help you stay motivated even during the tough times when it’s easy to lose focus.

Pay Attention To Your Emotions

When it comes to discovering what truly motivates you, paying close attention to your emotions is a key factor. After all, emotions are one of the primary indicators of what we care about and what drives us. Take some time to reflect on how you feel about different aspects of your personal and professional life. Do you feel excited, anxious, or bored? These emotions can provide a clue as to whether you are being motivated by intrinsic or extrinsic factors.

To dig deeper, think back to times when you have felt the most fulfilled and energized. What were you doing during those moments? What activities or experiences brought you joy and made you feel accomplished? This exercise can help you identify what truly matters to you and what you are naturally drawn to.

The key is to use your emotions as a guide to lead you towards what you truly care about. If you find yourself feeling fulfilled and happy when pursuing a certain path, it’s likely that it aligns with your intrinsic motivation. On the other hand, if you find yourself motivated primarily by external rewards such as money or prestige, it may be a sign of extrinsic motivation.

Ultimately, the goal is to find a balance between the two. It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate external accomplishments, but also prioritize intrinsic factors such as personal fulfillment and enjoyment. By paying attention to your emotions and using them as a guide, you can discover what truly motivates you and find greater satisfaction and fulfillment in both your personal and professional life.


In conclusion, discovering what truly motivates you is a journey that requires self-reflection, exploration, and experimentation. It’s important to remember that motivation can change over time and that what motivates you today may not be the same as what motivates you tomorrow. The key is to be open to new experiences and to continually evaluate what brings you the most fulfillment and satisfaction in life.

By doing so, you can align your passions and goals with your actions and create a life that is truly fulfilling and meaningful. So, take the time to reflect, explore, and experiment, and you’ll be well on your way to discovering what truly motivates you.

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