I did the life coach session yesterday and I must say it went very well. I’m feeling excited again, for the first time in a couple of months, and ready to face even more difficult things in order to dissolve them and be able to get on with building my happy little life. So I signed on for the three month. There is one thing that bothered me though. She asked me a pretty straightforward question that stumped me:

“What motivates you?”

Ummmmmmmmmm. (Followed by dead air for at least two minutes passing as I stare at the corner of the room where the ceiling meets the walls). I don’t know. I really had no answer to this. We moved on eventually, in the effort to not waste too much time. But then came back around to it. Maybe I didn’t understand the question. I eventually asked her:

“What motivates me to do what? Wake up every morning? Do my adult chores? Go out and socialize?”

She shrugs, it’s up to me to figure this one out. But it’s something I’m going to have to think about right now. So what do I do today? Of course I turn to the internet and Google “what motivates me” looking for tests, quizzes, advice?

I find the first test at:

Random Google generated online motivation quiz

According to them I am motivated by emotions. Well I KNEW that. Of course family, love and friendship motivate me. Maybe they motivate me to want to be a better person and that’s where all this soul searching is coming from. OK I guess that’s helpful. But I don’t really know the validity of this test or Psychologies magazine from the UK. Emily Blunt is on an advertised cover, and there is some really bad stock art with a business lady and a headset on the quiz, I’m going to group this being about as valid as Cosmo magazine, maybe the quick Google isn’t going to be the best place for this. Let’s redo this a different way…

I put together a Library guide a while ago about career services. I have self-assessment tests on there and I’ve taken probably all of them a million times. I can revisit those and see if they give me any direction, even if they are geared towards finding a job that suits you I think that it will probably line up pretty well with passions/interests/motivations…

Myers-Briggs is always a fan favorite. I have taken this test probably at least 25 times in my life, once or twice I think I got INFP, but about 90% of the time I score INFJ so we will stick with that. This score reminds me I’m extremely empathetic and an idealist. I value beauty, art and truth. Which I assume could be things that motivate me.

Myers-Briggs Test

Strong Interest Profile, this one tells you your interests, which I suppose could be the same thing as your motivators. I got artistic= 14, investigative= 11, and social=9 as my high points. My closest job match came up to be music therapist. That’s kind of interesting. But then of course I do see library sciences, post-secondary institution. WOOT, it’s right. That’s what I do. And creative writing, which I’ve been trying to do more of lately. Go to assess yourself, then interest profile and rate a bunch of tasks on whether you like or dislike them. It’s kind of interesting.

Strong Interest Profile

What about the Life Values Inventory? This one is a bit more involved. I had to actually create an account, then go in and take a 4 part assessment. Which only took about 10 minutes, but still seemed like a lot of work. Then it generated me a 13 page report about it, which took a while to get through, but turned out to be generally insightful.

Life Values Inventory

So what have I gathered from all this, what motivates me. Independence, creativity, lots of time for myself, and the need to feel belonging to some kind of social group. That all seems so basic though and I feel like those are just things that may motivate everybody. So let’s go back to these questions above again, the first three that came to mind

Why do I wake up each morning? Because I’m glad to be alive and each day could bring something new and awesome. (Gratitude or spirituality)

Why do I do my adult chores? Because I love living on my own in a space I love that I keep according to my standards, including décor and cleanliness. (Independence and privacy)

Why do I go out and socialize? AKA participate in other’s life events and occasionally go to concerts, or bars on a random Tuesday: Because I need to feel like I belong to a social group or body of peers and need love and acceptance. (Family, love, friendship, etc.)

I think it’s all starting to make a bit more sense to me now. Of course these assessments are just for educational purposes, they are in no means supposed to substitute for a therapist, career counselor, life coach, etc. But they are fun. Self-discovery can be prompted by almost anything, and assessments like this can be tools that give insight into yourself that was otherwise unclear, or maybe unseen. Maybe it’s easier for some people to just instinctively know what makes them tick and what motivates them. For me it’s been more of a challenge, especially these days. Maybe one of these tests can help you, even if not it will kill some time, and allow for some light reading. Life is really about just finding your own truth, and that may sound super simple and straightforward.. But it’s pretty complicated. This discovery brings to my mind a Keats poem Ode on a Grecian Urn, which was once so brilliantly incorporated into a Simpsons episode where Lisa enrolls in military school:


Meme courtesy of If you are a Simpson fanatic (seasons 1-10 only disclaimer) like myself you should really go and check it out.


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