Motivation Exercise: What Word Describes You the Most?

Motivation Exercise: What Word Describes You the Most?


In this exercise, delegates are forced to choose one word that described them best. The process they go through to find this one word helps them to better understand their own likes and dislikes as they want to be seen by outsiders. The exercise is ideal for courses on motivation, goal setting, self-esteem and personal impact where knowing who one wants to be is critical.


Choose 10 words that describe you the most and then choose the ultimate word from them.

What You Need

  • Papers
  • Blank badges


  • Explain to delegates that everyone has certain likes and dislikes that define their character. Sometimes being forced to describe this helps people to better understand where they are and where they want to go. This exercise helps delegates to formulate their present or future image based on simple words.
  • Ask the delegates to think of 10 words or phrases that describe them the best and write this down. These can be words that describe their character, talent, personality or even their emotional state. The words can describe how they are or how they want to be.
  • For your reference some examples are provided below. However, you don’t need to elaborate too much on this as not to anchor delegates on their use. You want them to come up with their own original words. Examples are:
    • Character
      • Determined
      • Prosperous
      • Over Achiever
      • Go getter
      • Honest
      • Problem solver
      • Competitor
    • Emotions
      • Super-happy
      • Enthusiastic
    • Skills
      • Windsurfer
      • Artist
      • Explorer
      • Pilot
      • Writer
  • Allocate 10 minutes for this part.
  • After the allocated time, ask the delegates to choose one word from the set that describes them the best.
  • Allocate 2 minutes for this part.
  • Ask everyone to present their ideal word to other.
  • Distribute the blank badges and ask them to write their ideal word on their badges. They should wear the badges for the rest of the course to emphasise the word both to themselves and to others. This will also make the word more memorable for them.
  • Optionally, ask the delegates to share the other 9 words they have chosen with other participants too. This helps the group to get to know each other better and can act as an icebreaker.


Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: 10 min for 10 words + 2 win for one word = 12 minutes

Group Feedback: 5 minutes


Were you surprised with your chosen ultimate word? How about the other 9 words that you chose to describe yourself? Did you struggle to come up with words or in contrast did you have difficulty leaving words out? What did you think of other people’s words? Were you inspired by theirs? If you had a chance to go through this exercise again, would other people’s choices influence you to pick something else? What does this suggest about you?




By avinash @ Friday, November 29, 2013 10:55 PM

what interpretation or conclusion should be given after the exercise?

Ehsan Honary

By Ehsan Honary @ Friday, December 13, 2013 10:33 PM

Avinash, simply go through the discussions shown above as this is a self-exploratory exercise. You want delegates to make their own subjective conclusions about their choices and how these choices compare to other people's choices. There is no right or wrong answer here so there is no grand conclusion to make. Just use the exercise as an instrument to help them discover something about themselves.

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