10 Steps To Finding What Motivates You (An In-depth Guide)

There are different kinds of motivation and motivators, and each person responds to them differently. I don't pretend that my blog is going to motivate every reader, but I can help you find what works for you!

First of all, let's see what the different types of motivators.

1. Intrinsic motivators - those that come from within

  • Competence and learning motivators

  • Attitude motivators

  • Achievement motivators

  • Creative motivators

  • Physiological motivators

2. Extrinsic motivators - those that come from outside

  • Incentive motivators

  • Fear motivators

  • Power motivators

  • Affiliation motivators

You can learn more about them here.

There are also different types of methods they are delivered. Condensed into three sections, there are speeches, articles, or other mediums. that:

  • Show you tough love

  • Encourage you

  • Energize you

  • Factual

Tough Love

This is pretty self-explanatory, this is the type of motivation that will pull out the worst in you to show you what you might not want to see. Through this, it pushes you to better yourself and dread the alternative. This is people telling you to stop being a wimp, to "stiffen up that upper lip", life is tough for everyone so either quit or try harder.


This type of motivation is essentially the opposite of tough love. This type of motivation is where you are told you're great, and that you have potential. It encourages you to go out there and take what you know you can. Or it might show you that you are much more than what you think you are.


Possibly the type of method you're most familiar with, this is the majority of motivational videos on YouTube, the ones with motivational music and speakers shouting their messages at you. It is also found outside of videos, however, articles, books, and any other medium can energize you in their own ways too.


Not all motivational material energizes you, even if that's most likely how you feel after being motivated. There is material that makes you feel pumped, and other that gets you motivated but in a more calm manner. An example of this is, in my opinion, movies like The Founder, the story of how Ray Kroc took over McDonald's and made it what it is today. It gets me motivated and energized but the medium itself isn't energizing.

Remember that these methods are not mutually exclusive. A motivator can use all these techniques in different content, and even within the same medium. I use all four, sometimes even in the same article.

Lastly, before we get down to the 10 steps, there are also two different themes:

  • Greater than life

  • Down to earth

10 Steps

If you didn't read the first part, I suggest you do as it makes these steps clearer to use and understand, however, it is not necessary. I also suggest writing down your answers to these questions in detail.

  1. What do you want to accomplish?

  2. Why do you want to accomplish this?

  3. Recall the last time you were motivated, what happened?

  4. What resonated with you?

  5. Dissect your why, is something you want to earn or someone you want to be? (This will show you if you are intrinsically, or extrinsically motivated.)

  6. Boil down what you want to one or two words, eg. business, money, success, weight loss, mental health

  7. Dissect the last time you were motivated, what method was used? (Remember it could be more than one, it could also be something I haven't talked about.)

  8. Dissect what resonated with you, was the concept something bigger than life, or more down to earth?

  9. Now, try out different YouTube videos, blogs, speakers, books. Explore and find motivational material that resonates with you.

  10. Reassess. It's most likely that you overlooked something or you found out something new, it never hurts to repeat these steps every once in a while.


Hi, I'm Matthew, my mission is to spread knowledge about motivation, productivity, and enabling people to achieve the best that they can be! I have a vast background in psychology and a passion for self-improvement. I literally can't remember a time when I didn't have a psychology book in my hands. On top of that, I've traveled around the world from a very young age, and seen many different courses of life, forming friendships with highly successful people, as well as people who are willing to do anything to make ends meet. My own life took me down a roller coaster of highs and lows, and I'm forever grateful that I've been able to overcome everything it threw at me. Now I want to take the opportunity to give back, and help others learn tools and methods for becoming who they were born to be!


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