Discover what motivates you

4 min read

Understanding one's deep motivations promotes fulfillment and success. Motivations are the driving forces behind our thoughts, actions, and choices. By defining their contours, we gain the ability to align our goals with our true desires. We can set goals that are meaningful to us and pave the way to a life that we find meaningful and fulfilling. In this article, I propose to explore the role of deep motivations, provide examples of common motivations and introduce you to some approaches to discover them.

The importance of discovering one's deepest motivations

Discovering our deeper motivations allows us to tap into our authentic selves. When we understand what truly motivates us, we can better direct our energy and focus on activities that align with our core values ​​and aspirations.

It also allows us to recognize and challenge limiting beliefs or conflicting desires that may be hindering our progress. These beliefs are often deeply rooted and may stem from past experiences, societal conditioning, or self-doubt.

By gaining insight into our inner motivations, we empower ourselves to create a fulfilling life aligned with our true selves.

Exploration of motivations

Motivations take many forms and vary from person to person. Here are some common examples:

Achievement: These are people who are driven by a strong desire to excel and succeed in their chosen fields. They are motivated by personal growth, recognition and the satisfaction of having achieved their goals.

Contribution: these are people who are motivated by having a positive impact and contributing to the well-being of others or of society as a whole. They thrive on helping others, feeling like they're making a difference, and leaving a lasting legacy.

Autonomy: this refers to people whose motivation lies in independence, freedom and the ability to make their own choices and decisions. They value personal autonomy and strive to have a sense of control over their lives.

Creativity: Many people are driven by self-expression, innovation, and exploring their creative potential. They find joy and fulfillment in bringing their ideas and artistic vision to life.

Learning and Growth: Some people are driven by a thirst for knowledge, learning, and self-development. They seek challenges, new experiences and are motivated by the possibility of expanding their skills and abilities.

We can combine all these motivations but some are more marked than others. Knowing them can help you make the right choices and decisions for you.

Here are some avenues to explore to help you begin to identify them:

Take time for self-reflection. Engage in activities like journaling or meditation to connect with your thoughts, feelings, and desires. Ask yourself probing questions about what truly brings you joy, fulfillment, and meaning. Don't forget that the Cogito section is made for that.

Identify your core values ​​by reflecting on what matters most to you in life (justice, freedom, honesty…). Consider the qualities, principles and beliefs that guide your actions and decisions. Understanding your values ​​helps uncover motivations that match your authentic self.

Past experiences
Reflect on past experiences where you felt energized, passionate, and deeply engaged. What were the motivations behind those moments? Identify recurring patterns or themes that emerge and explore how they can be incorporated into your future goals.

Ask those around you
Engage in conversations with trusted friends, family members, or mentors who can provide objective insight into your strengths, passions, and areas in which you excel. External reviews can help validate and uncover motivations you may have overlooked. It is also always enriching to know what our loved ones perceive of us.

Try new activities, explore interests and get out of your comfort zone. Pay attention to activities that naturally energize and inspire you. Think about the underlying motivations that drive your active participation and energize you. This process of exploration and experimentation will allow you to discover new sides of yourself and identify motivations that may have been dormant or undiscovered.

Clarify and refine your goals

Once you've gained a deeper understanding of your core motivations, it's time to turn them into achievable goals:
  • start by setting yourself clear and specific goals that correspond to your motivations,
  • break them down into smaller steps. That is to say, in actions that you will find achievable in a reasonable, even short, time. In this way you will fully experience your progress and stimulate the energy necessary to go after your goal,
  • evaluate and refine your goals as you better understand your motivations and aspirations.

By following these steps, you put the odds on your side to properly identify your deep motivations and use them to better choose and follow your life goals. It is a process that requires time and sometimes effort but which is a great help afterwards.

Knowing your deep motivations allows you to:

  • to make conscious and informed choices, which leads to greater satisfaction and can avoid regrets,
  • to engage in activities that correspond to our passions and our values,
  • to choose goals that make sense to us, which will give us the energy and perseverance to overcome obstacles.

By aligning our motivations with our actions, we increase our chances of achieving what is important to us and being happy about it.

Photo by Peter Conlan