What Motivates You?

Most people don’t truly know. If they have a vague idea, they don’t have the concrete language to communicate and give expression to others. Most people think of motivation as something ephemeral—something that comes in bursts when the right incentives are put in place. But this is not how motivation really works.

In reality, you have a core motivational drive that has probably been operative from a young age. If you examine your life closely enough, you will be able to find actions that you engaged in that brought you a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Many of us have forgotten them. The MCODE exercise asks you to dig deep into your past and think seriously about those times when achieved something meaningful. You’ll be able to identify what specifically it was about each of these stories that gave you the most satisfaction, and we can begin to put our finger on the pattern of your motivation.

I first did this in 2010. It changed the way I think about team-building, project management, and how I organize my own life. It helped me reframe my work so that I was spending more time doing the kind of deeply engaging work that I am highly motivated to do.

You can’t fake motivation. You can only tap into it. This exercise will get you one step closer.

Before You Get Started

In order to prepare for the MCODE, I recommend that you take some time to prepare using this worksheet that I prepared to help you get the most out of it. Note: Doing this exercise without taking the paid assessment (if you don’t want to spend the money) is an extremely useful exercise in itself because it helps you identify your Fulfillment Stories. When you’re ready to take the assessment, visit motivationcode.com and use code “burgis10” at checkout for $10 off.  

“Luke and I have been helping people with this approach for over 10 years now. The joy that it brings even to recount the Fulfillment Stories is something we have never tired of seeing.”

You Will Gain

  • Access to exercises (the same ones that I take my students through) that will help you draw connections to your work and life 
  • The ability to craft a concise statement of personal motivation that will help you strategize about what you should say “Yes” and “No” to
  • A greater understanding of the specific role that you are motivated to play in teams
  • Language to describe your top 5 core motivational themes to yourself and others
  • Membership in a collaborative coaching network (other people who have read Wanting and gone through the MCODE) to share your experience and learn from others in different fields 

An Annotate Core Motivational Theme


My notes as a creator in an algorithmic world—learning when to ride and when to drive.

Luke Burgis

Luke Burgis

Luke Burgis

Please note that due to the number of emails that we receive, we cannot respond to every one.


My notes as a creator in an algorithmic world—learning when to ride and when to drive.