7 Ways to Figure Out What Motivates You


 What motivates you in life? What drives you to do better, be better, and achieve great things? Here are 7 tips to help you figure out what motivates you.

When you’ve hit a wall in your life, whether it be professional or personal, and you can’t find the inspiration to soldier on, you need to find motivation.

That’s difficult, however, when you don’t know what motivates you. In fact, that might be the problem to begin with. If you don’t know what is important to you and what drives you, you might not make it a priority.

And when you don’t have enough of what motivates you, it can be hard to maintain your motivation.

Many times, we fall into a rut that puts us on autopilot and we lose our passion. We can start to forget what we really enjoy. 

Let’s get you back in touch with your motivation. Here are seven ways to reconnect with what really makes you happy.

1. Internal vs. External Motivation

An important question to ask yourself whether you’re self-motivated or need motivation from others? Do you find it easy to keep yourself on track, or would another person have more luck?

Think about what makes you want to do your best. Do you work better when others are watching or would you rather find a quiet place to focus?

If you made a promise to yourself that no one else knew about, what is the likelihood that it would get done? Are you more likely to do something if someone else asks you to?

The answers to these questions will give you insight into your motivation.

2. Take a Quiz

The quest for us to know ourselves has generated many quizzes that you can take to help you learn what makes you tick. There are three free tests and questionnaires that you can take online to help you in this area.

16 Personalities

This quiz takes about twelve minutes to finish and lets you know your personality type based on the Myers-Briggs spectrum. 

Once you are finished with the test, which consists of easy-to-answer questions, you will be given a report that will help you understand what motivates you in different aspects of your life.

Psychologies Motivation Test

This website uses eleven questions to help you find out one thing: what motivates you.

Sometimes, answering easy questions can help you find out the answer to one big one. This test is based on the idea that patterns in your desires and tendencies will show you what is most important to you.


Do you want a really easy test? This test consists of simply choosing which colors you like best and which you like the least.

From your answers, this test will tell you what motivates you. There is some science behind this test developed by psychologists and psychoanalysts, but let’s not ruin the simplicity by explaining all that.

3. Examine Your Childhood

Adulthood has a way of stripping away what we used to dream and wonder about. Getting in touch with your childhood self can help you remember the things you got so excited about.

Think about something you’ve enjoyed since you were little or often reminisce about. This could be a person, an experience, or a thing.

Another important question to ask is what you wanted to be when you grew up. Next, ask yourself how close you got to your dream job.

If you’re lacking all motivation, it could be that you’re unhappy with the path you’ve taken since childhood. Pursuing a new career or even just picking up a new hobby could bring back that youthful spark.

4. Pay Attention to Your Energy Levels

Paying attention to your emotional energy can help you figure out what motivates you.

Is there something that gets you excited? This could be a motivational factor in your life that pushes you to reach for new things.

Is there something that brings you peace? This could be a motivational factor in life to get to your end goal.

Is there something you can do for hours without getting tired or bored? This should be a daily activity that refreshes and motivates you.

5. Play the “What If…” Game

Sometimes we end up in a life that we feel pushed into. We may have had to make difficult choices and sacrifices that took us down a different path than we wanted.

To get back on track, take those seemingly unchangeable factors in life and ask yourself: what if?

What if you didn’t have to go to work? What would you be doing with your time?

What if you weren’t living where you are? Would things be different?

What if you went back to college? What would your major be?

What if you had unlimited money? What would you do with it?

If we break down the barriers of your present reality, you might find that you can change it and be more motivated.

6. How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

Another way to find out what motivates you is to think about what will happen when you are gone.

When you die, how do you want people to remember you? Do you want your accomplishments to live on after you’ve passed? Or do you only care that you gave as much love as possible to those closest to you?

What do you want people to say about you when they explain what type of person you were? What kinds of stories do you want them to tell?

When you think of the answer to these questions, you can align your life to fit that profile.

7. List Your Values in Order of Importance

Your values and your motivation are closely linked. Considering what you value the most will also help you understand what would motivate you the most.

For example, if you value your family, you should live a life full of family time. If you value your culture, you want a life that is deeply embedded in it.


For most people, motivation comes from a variety of sources. By looking at the answer to some of the questions above, you may be able to identify what you really want out of life.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to drop everything and go after it at the moment, but you can always make small moves to get closer to your dream life.

As long as you remember what keeps you motivated and surround yourself with these things, you’ll find that you’ll enjoy life now and in the future even more.

About the Author

Caitlin Sinclair is a business manager for Broadstone Vintage Park in Houston, TX.


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