1. Do that thing in order to get or maintain something that they want.
2. How you think they’re supposed to be in the world
In other words, we do what we do (and don’t do what we don’t do) either because we want to, because we think it is a pre-requisite towards getting something else that we want (i.e. because we “have” to), or because we think it will make us into the kind of person we want to be (i.e. because we “should”).
The question ‘why?’ gets a bad name in some professional and personal circles because when it’s asked about anything that happened in the past, the answer is invariably a long story that could easily be edited down to the phrase “because it seemed like a good idea at the time”.
But when we ask the question in the present about what we are planning for the future, we quickly get an insight into our motivation.
If we hear a lot of ‘need to’, ‘have to’ and ‘musts’, we may have fallen into the trap of thinking there’s something we have to do to survive.
If there are lots of justifications and rationalizations, chances are we’re doing something because we think it will help us to reinforce our self-image, or be the kind of person we think we ’should’ be. But when the answer is some variation of ‘because I want to’, chances are that we are following our inner wisdom.