1. You find it hard, if not impossible, to complete tasks that don’t interest you. While this sounds like a virtue, it’s a liability in terms of feeling like you always lack the motivation to do the boring (but important stuff) in life.
2. You were always the kid who was just a little bit different than the rest – you’re more inclined to do things for how they feel, not how they make you look. In everything from the clothes you choose to the people you hang out with, you’re influenced more by how you genuinely feel than what you assume other people will think about it.
3. You’re hard on yourself, and are always on a warpath to fix your flaws. You feel a duty to be the best version of yourself possible. Because you know your ability to enjoy your life is dependent on how capable you are of doing so, you’re hyper-sensitive to all of your failings and misgivings. Basically, you don’t want to disappoint yourself.
4. You’re reflective – you think a lot about who you are and who you want to become. You spent a lot of time evaluating yourself and reflecting on how things happened and why. You think about your life as much as you spend your time actually living it.
5. You don’t hold other people responsible for your feelings. You don’t blame and victimize yourself as a means of thwarting your own emotional responsibility. You don’t need other people to make you happy (even if you do enjoy having them around).
6. You see obstacles as opportunities. Intrinsically motivated people see discomfort as a sign that they are on the precipice of something new, not that they are victims of a suffering for which they must unfairly endure.
7. You value “bad” feelings, too. All emotions are part of the same signaling system – they direct and guide us toward what we want, and what we don’t. We disrupt the process when we avoid some emotions and value others. Intrinsically motivated people listen to everything their response systems tell them, and evaluate accordingly.
8. You’re highly intuitive. People who are connected to their own internal navigation systems are that much more attuned to the habits, intentions and responses of other people. (Knowing yourself is the path to understanding others).
9. You romanticize everything. Whether you’re just always looking at the world with rose-colored glasses or you’re actually inclined to want romantic love and companionship, you’re very aware of what makes your head and heart swoon (and you seek it often).
10. You pursue what you love, even if not as your full-time job. Whether it’s only as a side-gig, or something you do as a hobby on the weekends, you know how absolutely imperative it is to follow the things that call you. You believe in a higher purpose.
11. You’re a natural psychologist. People who are driven by their own interests are naturally more self-aware, which makes them able to interpret other people’s issues that much more easily.
12. You understand that “loving yourself” is the first and final act of a life well lived. You are only as useful to others as you are capable of taking care of yourself – you understand that “loving yourself” isn’t just treating yourself to a hot bath now and again but respecting your feelings and listening to yourself and taking time to become the best person you can be. The people you love (and the world, really) are relying on it.
13. You value quality > quantity when it comes to friends and relatives. If you don’t feel genuinely connected to someone, it’s difficult for you to feign a relationship with them (see #1).
14. You’re on a never-ending quest to understand things more deeply. The more you understand yourself, the more you understand your life, the world, other people, etc. You want to know why things are the way they are, and what purpose they serve, and so on.
15. You believe that happiness is a choice. Even if you can’t always (or don’t always want) to choose it, your fundamental belief system surrounds the idea that you are ultimately in control of what you think and how you feel – if only you take responsibility for it.
16. You believe that life is about growth. You believe that everything in your life serves to teach you and make you a better person than you were before – and that, in itself, is the main motivating force in your life.