Defining Your Own Values: Reexamining What Motivates You

Do you ever feel like something is missing from your life, regardless of its success?

Defining Your Own Values: Reexamining What Motivates You

Do you ever feel like something is missing from your life, regardless of its success?

As creatives, it’s easy to focus on skill development and getting better results when measuring our accomplishments. However, this can often lead us to forget that our motivation should come from within. Even though it might sound scary or overwhelming at first, many freelance designers and other creatives have made it a regular habit to think about their values and motivations. This helps them keep their work meaningful.

Here, we'll talk about the steps you need to take back control of what drives you so that your success isn't just measured by how others see you, but also by how you see yourself as a person with a purpose.

So let's get started!

What motivates you—and what doesn't

What motivates us is deeply personal and often reflective of our core values, passions, and beliefs.

We’re motivated when we feel a sense of purpose or meaning in our lives, when we find an activity that stimulates us and challenges us to grow, or when we have the opportunity to make a positive impact in our community and the world. When something resonates with us or drives us to take action, it can be incredibly motivating.

On the other hand, there are things that can demotivate us as well; feeling unappreciated or unheard, for example, can leave us feeling drained and unfilled. We may also be discouraged if our efforts don’t seem to make any difference—if no one acknowledges our work or seems to care about what we do. In the same way, if the tasks we have to do are boring and repetitive and don't offer many challenges or ways to grow, they may not really motivate us.

It’s important to take stock of the things that motivate and inspire us—they are usually indicators of what brings out our best selves.

Conversely, being aware of some of the things that don’t interest or excite us can be helpful in helping us avoid burnout and emotional fatigue.

By reexamining what motivates you regularly and making conscious choices regarding how you spend your time and energy, you can ensure that you stay inspired by pursuits that bring out your highest potential.

During sunset, a woman dressed in a sports outfit runs over rough terrain.

What motivates you in life and work?

Motivation is a critical factor in life and work because it determines our level of success and effectiveness in any given task.

Motivation is what drives us to strive for more, to work hard, and to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone in order to achieve our objectives. Many different types of motivation can be used, including intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation includes things like passion, pride, and curiosity that motivate us from within. Extrinsic motivation involves external rewards such as money or recognition.

In terms of what motivates me in both life and work, I’d say my primary source of motivation comes from within.

I’m a passionate person who loves to learn new things and challenge myself daily. If I'm passionate about something, it will give me the drive I need to achieve excellence. Curiosity also plays a role in this; when I approach something unfamiliar or challenging, it gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction that keeps me going until the goal is achieved.

On the other hand, extrinsic rewards also play a role in my motivation levels; money helps give me the incentive to stick with difficult tasks when things get tough, and recognition inspires me to show what I am capable of achieving.

Finally, overcoming obstacles can be another great source of inspiration for those who are trying to reach their highest potential in life or work. No one ever said success was easy, but the feeling you get after struggling through a challenge makes it all worth it in the end!

When faced with adversity, instead of becoming discouraged or giving up entirely, use those moments as opportunities to grow further and become even better than before!

The difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the type of motivation that comes from within and is driven by an individual's desire to accomplish something.

This type of motivation usually stems from personal interests or values and tends to be more lasting than extrinsic motivation. Examples of intrinsic motivation could be doing a project for the sheer enjoyment of it, learning something new because you are curious, or engaging in a physical activity simply because you enjoy the feeling it gives you. Intrinsic motivation can come from various sources, including self-fulfilment, personal growth, creativity, or autonomy.

Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is driven by external factors such as rewards or punishments.

It typically involves doing something to get a reward or avoid punishment. Examples of this could be completing a school assignment to get an A grade, working hard at your job to receive a promotion, or joining a sports team in hopes of gaining trophies and recognition. Extrinsic motivators are often seen as weaker than intrinsic motivators because they do not have nearly as much staying power; once the reward is gone, people tend to lose interest quickly.

When trying to make decisions about what actions to take, it is important to consider both types of motivators.

Intrinsically motivated activities will often lead to long-term success and fulfilment whereas tasks done with only extrinsic motivators may only lead to short-term gain. Finding ways to combine both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations can help create powerful positive outcomes and foster sustained efforts toward long-term goals.

For example, if you start running for fun but also decide that you want to set a goal for yourself, such as running a marathon, then this would combine both intrinsic (enjoyment) and extrinsic (reward) motivations into one powerful combination that will likely lead towards achieving your goal.

How to find your intrinsic motivations

Finding your intrinsic motivations can be a difficult journey, but it is also incredibly rewarding.

To begin this process, you must first understand what it means to have intrinsic motivation. In short, it refers to the enjoyment and satisfaction derived from doing something simply for the sake of doing it.

There are no outside rewards or pressures that make you do it. Instead, you do it because it makes you happy.

The best way to uncover your intrinsic motivations is to start by reflecting on activities that bring you joy and fulfilment; these are likely already part of your daily life and serve as a foundation for identifying what drives you. Ask yourself questions such as "What makes me feel alive?" or "What activities do I feel passionate about?" Taking time to write about these things in a journal can help you find patterns and understand them better.

Once you have identified potential motivations that drive your passions, take steps to build upon them and make them an integral part of your life.

Create an action plan: set measurable goals that will help you reach those aspirations. Having something concrete to work towards can be incredibly motivating; even if progress is slow, seeing tangible results will help keep you motivated and focused on achieving your goals.

In addition to setting specific objectives, find ways to incorporate activities into your day-to-day life that align with your values and allow you to express them in meaningful ways.

This could mean attending workshops related to the topic at hand or simply reading more books about topics related directly or indirectly to what drives you internally.

Additionally, surrounding yourself with people who share similar interests can provide positive reinforcement for pursuing your own personal aspirations. Being around people with similar interests will create an atmosphere of growth and collaboration that will help you get closer to figuring out what really drives you.

Finally, don’t forget to take time out of each day simply to appreciate where you are in the moment—even if progress seems slow, reflect on how far you have come since starting this journey and celebrate any small victories along the way! With patience and hard work, we can figure out what really drives us.

With our deepest values as our true north, we can keep going after what makes us happy for a long time to come.

On a trig point, a young girl is reading a book.

Defining your values is an important step in creating a life that is meaningful to you.

It can often be difficult to determine what is truly important to each of us and how we prioritise our values.

From career goals to personal relationships, in order to live a full and meaningful life, it’s essential that we actively identify and question the values we have—or think we have. It's not enough to just go along with what society expects of you. Instead, you should carefully look at your own motivations to figure out a set of values that fits your personality, priorities, and beliefs.

When you take an active role in creating your own personal value system, you begin living each day with intentionality and are better able to make choices that lead to genuine fulfilment.

A lady sits on a mountain top, taking in the breathtaking scenery.

Your values should be based on what is important to you, not what others think is important.

When it comes to determining what is important, it can be easy to get stuck in the mindset of "everyone else thinks this is important, so I should too."

However, determining your own values requires exploration and introspection. It takes looking at yourself, assessing your strengths and weaknesses, and understanding what really motivates you from within. Taking the time to give yourself honest answers about what matters most to you can lead to developing core values that bring about real growth and positive changes in your life.

Understand the true meaning, and you can live with intention; go beyond society's norms and take ownership of who you are and what gives your life purpose.

Once you have a good understanding of your values, start making choices based on those values.

Values are the foundation for making decisions that are in line with our own beliefs and desires.

Once you become clear on what your values are, it can be easier to make decisions that will help you create a life that reflects who you are and what you want. As well as creating peace of mind, living a life based on your values can help keep us motivated and feeling inspired. Taking the time to truly get to know the values that really matter to you is essential if you want to be able to make life choices in line with those values.

It is also important to remember that reexamining what motivates you from time to time is important, as we all tend to change over time and our values may adjust too.

Make sure your values still reflect what's important to you

Our values can dictate a great deal of our daily lives, but they are not necessarily set in stone.

We should periodically reflect on them and determine if they still align with what we believe is important to us. Even if the core of our values remains the same, they may be further shaped by our changing goals, perspectives, and experiences. This reexamination allows us to make sure that our values remain robust and recognisable as we go through different stages of life. It is also an opportunity for personal growth—as we come to understand ourselves better, we can choose whether or not to modify our core beliefs.

With this process of thinking about ourselves, we can make sure that our values will continue to help us in important ways in the future.

It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what it is that motivates us to do what we do.

Whether you're feeling lost creatively or just need a reminder of what's important to you, taking a step back to look at your motivation can be incredibly helpful. Reexamining what drives you regularly will help keep your work meaningful and ensure that your life choices reflect your values.

What things inspire and interest you? What makes you curious? Evaluating these questions honestly will help clarify what matters most to you—and that knowledge is power when it comes to living a purposeful life.