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Core Motivation

Core Motivation is a central concept of the Academic Life Coaching program. In this session, we look at your child’s motivation in the areas of their lives they’re trying their hardest to improve. Due to its sheer size and importance, there is a Core Motivation book available that deals specifically with this concept.

In essence, Core Motivation helps us understand our fundamental personality types in order to help describe what motivates us, what makes us tick, and how we can become leaders in our own right.

How You Can Best Support Your Child

Go ahead and take the core motivation test yourself. Try to determine which of the nine types resonates best with your personality. If you are at all conflicted, contact your coach. They’ll have tools to help you determine which one fits.

The effectiveness of acquiring this knowledge base is incredible. This tool helps to clear up miscommunications and establishes a way you can communicate more effectively with your child. It also helps your child understand what your core motivation is so they can more effectively communicate with you. It’s a great tool to foster the discussion of catering to your personality type, and realizing the simplest methods of understanding and processing information. It’s not that one way is better than another, it’s that each way is different and it’s helpful to acknowledge and even embrace those differences. This tool is an easy way for people to have a deeper understanding of personality types and what it takes to engage in a healthy relationship.

From the Academic Life Coaching Workbook

Finding what really motivates you is a tremendous tool in helping you overcome challenges and do the work that most needs to be done. It’s also a tool to develop your self-awareness and gain a better understanding of how to take advantage of your personality’s strengths and manage its weaknesses.

As with any personality system, especially one that considers what really motivates you there is the concern that a system can’t possibly be descriptive and give an accurate picture of the richness of your personality or the uniqueness of who you are as an individual. The concern is valid, and the Core Motivation tool is designed merely to give you a clearer insight into factors that could possibly influence patterns in the way that you think and habits in how you get yourself motivated. The tool also points to the natural strengths of your core motivation as well as usual blind spots that limit and hinder your success.

The tool will also offer suggestions on the natural strengths of your core motivation when communicating and when leading. It will also suggest exercises that will encourage you to develop stronger communication skills and become a more effective leader.

Here are the guidelines:

  • To find your core motivation, simply read the nine paragraphs below. The paragraphs describe each of the nine different kinds of motivation.
  • Everyone has a little of each core motivation and in different parts of our lives, we can rely on different motivations. A few paragraphs will seem to fit.
  • However, when we get down to what really motivates us, one core style will stand out.
  • To find your style, read the nine following paragraphs below and choose the top one or two that best describe you.
  • Your coach will help guide you to determine which of the nine styles fits best.
  • After you determine your style, your coach will help you learn more details about your core motivation and integrate what you have learned into the Academic Life Coaching program.


Type One: The Perfectionist

I strive for things to be perfect and in place. If I’m passionate about something, I work really hard and spend a lot of time on it. I want other things around me to be perfect, but I am the most hard on myself. I am very critical of the things I do and I am very disappointed in myself when I make a mistake. I often have a lot of priorities on my plate, but I just want to improve my life and the lives of others. Oftentimes people follow my lead and I am comfortable in that leadership capacity. Whatever I have to do, it has to be done right and I will do what it takes to get there. Others might say I am intense or too serious at times, but I just like to be focused and I would rather relax when the work is done.

Type Two: The Helper

What really drives me is my ability to help others. I love doing things for somebody, especially if I know they will appreciate it. I feel like I know how best to help people because it’s usually easy for me to determine their wants and needs. It might seem like I try too hard or am controlling at times, but it’s just because I want to help in the best way. I get satisfaction out of putting others before myself, though sometimes that takes its toll when I don’t focus on my own needs. I like when others recognize that I am there for them and I usually have a difficult time saying ‘no.’ I also place a huge emphasis on relationships. I give a lot of myself in hopes that others will recognize what I have given, and in turn will respect me for that. At the end of the day, I hope that the people I help will be there for me when necessary.

Type Three: The Doer

I want to be the best I can be at what I do. Goals are important to me and I work hard at achieving them. I feel very successful when I meet my goals, and I want others to respect me for it. My mind works rather quickly and sometimes I can get irritable if something or someone seems to be working too slowly. Though I am personally competitive, I can also do well on a team and am well liked. I want to make a good impression on people and I care about how others view me. When I have a really passionate goal, I know just what to do to achieve it and stay motivated. I prefer to do only the things I am good at.

Type Four: The Artist

I like to express my emotions and I want others to understand me for who I am. I consider myself genuine and unique. I’m constantly seeking more in terms of my life and I try to evaluate and consider what is missing. I don’t like to be misunderstood and sometimes people might mistake me for being dramatic or caring too much, but really I just want to express exactly how I feel. I like to get to know others on a deeper level and form real connections. I’m passionate about feelings and I want to accurately reveal myself to others.

Type Five: The Thinker

I love being an expert. Before I delve into something, I want to know as much as I can. I don’t like to be wrong or corrected, which is why if I don’t know something, I would rather not say it. I am happy to argue my points for what I believe is right, but if the facts don’t support my idea, I will reconsider my idea. I often thrive on alone time and I like to think about my past experiences. I am pretty independent and I don’t want to have to rely or depend on someone else. I crave information and knowledge and I am not shy in a group setting, where I can speak up and say what I know and express what I want. Overall, I am a simple person and my life is rather straightforward.

Type Six: The Friend

I like to be prepared for the worst. Often I envision worst-case scenarios so that I know just what to do in case they actually happen. I have a creative imagination and a somewhat odd sense of humor. I can be unsure of people in authority, especially if I don’t trust them. Once I trust someone and have explored an idea, I will be very loyal. When it comes to new ideas, the first thing that usually comes to mind is what could go wrong. I would rather think it through before accepting it for face value. I am not much of a follower, especially when it comes to ideas, because I can easily pick out why I disagree with it.

Type Seven: The Optimist

I enjoy life at a fast pace. I like to create many options for myself and future plans and keep many options open. I shy away from negative emotions and I hate feeling bored or trapped in my life. If I am upset over something, I don’t want to dwell on it. Sometimes I will get really excited over something rather quickly but then eventually I will get bored with it and forget about it or drop it. Oftentimes I will start things that don’t quite get finished. At the same time, I am very optimistic and I believe life is a ride that is meant to be enjoyed. When I have several options that I can choose from, I have a hard time deciding because I want them all.

Type Eight: The Defender

I like to be in control as much as possible. I am very blunt and honest because I want things to be clear. It frustrates me when I feel like someone is conniving or unfair. At times I might seem controlling but I just want to take charge and keep things going smoothly. I try to hide my weaknesses because I feel vulnerable when someone else knows what they are. That being said, I think we should still recognize our weaknesses and do something about them. I would rather get something done on my own than be told what to do, which is why I sometimes have a hard time following orders from authority. I won’t always respect a person of authority upfront, but when I do, I am much more willing to follow directions from them.

Type Nine: The Peacemaker

I like things to be peaceful and happy. I tend to avoid conflict and confrontation. Sometimes I can’t even recognize exactly what I want so I just go with the flow, especially in group settings. When I do know what I want, I might still agree with someone even if it goes against it. I might get angry at myself, but I don’t like getting angry at other people, or when people are angry at each other. I have a kind heart and I know it can be taken advantage of. When I really need to I know how to stand up for myself. I am good at seeing multiple sides to a situation, both pros and cons.

Below are topics to reflect on when considering core motivations. You can fill this out alone or with a coach.

My Primary Core Motivation:

Challenges most apt to you:

How you know you’re doing well:

Exercises for Personal Growth:


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