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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

Why do you do what *you* do?

It is always so fun and interesting to work with so many different students, and to learn about their motivations for learning English or Chinese.

Some are driven by work demands.

Some just want to express themselves better.

Some want a challenge.

And some are curious adventurers.

Some want more control over important conversations.

Some just seek a change.

Some, (like me) wanted adventure, opportunity and freedom.

But underneath all these reasons for learning anything, not just languages, there are things that drive us all, and sometimes these are the bigger motivations.

These ‘drivers’, they make each of us completely unique.

Do you know what your drivers are?

Here is a simple thing you can do to start to know.

Below is a set of words. You just need to order them based on which ones are most important to you.

Put the most important one at the top, and the least important at the bottom... or not even on the list if it doesn't matter to you.

Or, you can simply choose your top 3-5, and rank those ones from most to least important.

Here are the words:





















Simply putting these words in order of what matters most to you is the beginning of scratching the surface of your values - your drivers.

And it can be fun - sometimes even profound - to have your family do it too.

From this simple ordering activity, you can get an idea of what drives you and them, and why you’re all doing and saying the things you do.

For example, if adventure is higher than comfort for you, you might find you naturally want to do things like camping or sky diving.

....meanwhile, your friend who has comfort or safety as a top value might think you are totally crazy.

Understanding your drivers and values will help you figure out:

  • Why you react the way you react

  • Why you protect what you protect

  • Why you spend money the way you spend money

...And also, why you do the many things you do each day, in the precise way you choose to do it

If you’re a student and you’re reading this, ordering the words in this list will also give you hints about skills or subjects that might interest you to study and career paths that spark your curiosity.

When you connect the dots between these values and your choices, some things start to make sense.

Perhaps that is because lots of people seem to agree about a couple of things:

That if you know who you are, and you know your ‘why’, you’re already half-way to success.


Note: some words may be similar in meaning. It isn't a final list.

Other words that are there may not even make your list.

If there is an important one to you that isn't there, add it.

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