Success Factor - Business mentor and life coach based in Christchurch, New Zealand
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What do you answer when asked?

what do you answer when asked?

One of the most common questions in a job interview is ‘What motivates you?’ Whilst some of us may have our ‘go to’ answer for this to ‘please’ the prospective employer, what we aren’t addressing is answering the question for real – for US!

Wikipedia says – “Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain behaviour. It gives the reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation can also be defined as one’s direction to behaviour, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behaviour and vice versa”.

Now if you are like me, I read this and think – how can I translate this into something I can usefully integrate into my daily working life.

Some of us are lucky enough to be in a job we love, or perhaps we run a business providing a service we are passionate about. In these instances, one could argue being self-motivated is easy! But often we often find ourselves feeling de-motivated affecting our goals, visions and aspirations.

I like this quote below which for me makes more sense giving me something upon which I can work with.

Ability to do what needs to be done, without influence from other people or situations. People with self-motivation can find a reason and strength to complete a task, even when challenging, without giving up or needing another to encourage them”. Business Directory



PAST – When working with my clients on motivation techniques, I ask them to think about their achievements and successes they’ve had in their lives, either personally or professionally. I believe it’s a state of mind in that often we fall into the trap of focusing on what went wrong in our lives rather than the positive. We often yearn for others to recognise us for what we’ve done well, giving us the proverbial ‘pat on the back’, so why don’t we do this for ourselves?

PRESENT – Once you start focusing on what you did well (past), then start looking at your strengths (present), focusing on how you can build on these going forward. Think about what others see as our strengths. Ask your friends, families, work colleagues as they often see things we can’t in ourselves.

FUTURE – An area I focus on in working with my clients is having goals (future), looking forward, not back, focusing on the vision they dreamt of and making that achievable.

Like all of you I too work on being self-motivated occasionally, and find using the PPF 3 Steps helpful to regain my composure to focus positively on the job in hand.


Try taking the PPF 3 steps:

  1. PAST – think about what you’ve achieved so far
  2. PRESENT – Identity your current strengths and abilities
  3. FUTURE – Think about what your goal is and where you want to be

When you practice these three steps regularly you will more easily identify what motivates you, and once you do you can apply this on all areas of your life.


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