8 drivers motivating your decisions

Habits are formed from a decision that we made some time ago, repeated many times, and then the brain programmed this decision and action as automatic behaviour.  While habits are easy to understand, the decision that underpin the habit might need a little more thought, particularly when we want to change a habit.

The Decision Drivers

I believe there are eight motivations or reasons for the decisions we make, which I call Decision Drivers.  Understanding the motivation or reason that is driving your decision is important, especially when we start looking at setting goals and the processes needed to achieve those goals.  It is about understanding what is important to you, and what the motivation behind the decision is.

Motivation is a complex topic, and I trust that these eight drivers of decisions can help you understand the reason behind your decisions.

So let’s have a look at the eight decision drivers:

  1. Connection
  2. Autonomy
  3. Security
  4. Meaning
  5. Progress
  6. Health
  7. Prestige
  8. Challenge.

Decision driver 1: Connection

Connection is about the relationships with other people, the connection you have with them.  Being part of the group is important, and the group support and guidance is what keeps you going.

Decision driver 2: Autonomy

When autonomy is the motivation, it’s about achieving it on your own, without the support of a group.  It is on the other end of the first driver, Connection.  You are your own benchmark.

Decision driver 3: Security

If you are more risk-averse, your decisions will reflect it.  Often, your motivation is driven by stability and security.  When you find saving for retirement easy, this is your driver.

Decision driver 4: Meaning

When your motivation is to make a difference in the world, to contribute to the greater good, and to make the world a better place, you are driven by Meaning.

Decision driver 5: Progress

When you are driven by Progress, you want to grow, learn and improve.  If you view yourself as a lifelong learner, then your driver is Progress.

Decision driver 6: Health

This is about the decisions you make because you want to be healthier, for whatever reason.  It may be to be able to play with your kids or you want to live a long and healthy life.

Decision driver 7: Prestige

When you are motivated by Prestige, you want to social status, your image or the title in front of your name.  It can also be about an award, or receiving the acknowledgement for the achievement or contribution you have made.

Dicision driver 8: Challenge

The chase and the win is what made you decide.  You love a challenge and big goals.    You think big and achieve big!


Let me share an example from my own life.  When I decided to enroll for the MBA programme, I wanted to do it because of the learning that I would gain.  I was motivated by Progress, as well as by Challenge.  I wanted to see if I can do something as hard as an MBA.


It is important to remember than the Decision Drivers are neither good nor bad.  It is about understanding what is important to you, and what the motivation behind the decision is.  You can also have more than one motivator behind a decision.

Some readers may say that Fun should be a decision driver.  If you think that fun is a motivating reason, ask yourself the next question: why is it fun?  Is it fun because I am doing it with other people?  Is it fun because I challenge myself everytime to see if I can do better every day?  Is it fun because I am learning something new and growing?  Fun is a great benefit, but it is not a driver.  Dive a little deeper and you will likely find the real driver behind the decision.


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