What REALLY Motivates an ENFP To Achieve Their Goals?

by Dan Johnston

What REALLY Motivates an ENFP To Achieve Their Goals?

“The motivation for most, if not all ENFPs, is around people. We love to help other people, create experiences or stories for them, and contribute to them… or making a change in their lives.”


In this post I’m going to talk about what motivates an ENFP or another way to look at it is – how to set goals as an ENFP?

How to determine the things you want to have happen in a way that will actually be motivating for you and, therefore, you’ll be more likely to actually achieve?


I am NOT claiming to be an expert at achieving goals or anything like that. There are a lot of pieces of paper scribbled around my apartment from over the years that have not been achieved, but I want to share what has worked for me as well as what hasn’t.

How I’m Setting Goals as an ENFP

One of the things that has not worked for me is setting goals based on numbers.

You know: I want to earn X dollars, like ten thousand dollars per year or – ah, per year, that would be pretty easy – ten thousand dollars per month as a goal. I remember that was my goal when I was 23 or 24. Sort of picking a number – this is what I want to earn.

The other way of setting them is around these big impact numbers people do, like: I want to impact 1 million people or I want 1 billion people to watch my videos. For me, I’ve never found that is really that motivating or that it actually works out.

Now what I have found is really likely to succeed for me in terms of setting goals are things about experiences or big changes.

Specifically, anything that involves people and an impact in that way tends to work a lot better for me.

So if I look back at some goals I set in my early 20s – and I’m in my 30s now – the ones that I had set that were based on just earning X amount of money or buying this car or this sort of thing, which I thought was what I wanted, but really wasn’t, but… you know, that was the influence that I had at that stage in my life, when I look at those – I rarely would actually achieve those because they’d look good on paper, but it wasn’t what I really wanted.

While if I look at the things that are experience based like: Go live in this city or go visit this friend in this country, or become a Big Brother, or these sorts of things, those almost always happened because of a couple of reasons.

One is – In some ways they are easier to make happen, at least for me.

I know there are a lot of people who make a lot of money and could never bring themselves to move to a new city or go travel or whatever, but for me, I always found them easier because you can make one big decision, so buy a plane ticket, sell all your furniture, that sort of thing, and then make that big change.

But I think more importantly the motivation for me, and I think for most – if not all ENFPs, is around people.

We love to help other people, create experiences or stories for them, or contribute to other people in a way of, for example, visiting them somewhere or creating this great event that they get to experience, or making a change in their lives.

This is a very common thing I hear from other ENFPs. Like my coaching clients, sometimes they’re earning a lot of money, but their motivation is never the money.

It’s about the impact.

It’s about connecting with people.

It’s about creating something.

So this is the other element for ENFPs – we generally like to create things and that means that following a script, following those ads online for these business in a box like: Follow the 12 step blueprint and blah blah blah – that is not going to work very well for an ENFP because we like to create something new and original.

It doesn’t have to be some work of art, but we’d rather have a challenge and something that we actually are working on and making something that’s new than just following a script or a routine where we do the same thing every day and every day.

The Key to ENFP Motivation

So stepping back, if you’re looking at the two things to base your goals off of, I would look at people and your connection with them in the actual moment.

Let’s say you’re locked away in a laboratory and you’re saying: I want to impact 10,000 people. And you’re doing work, you give your work to someone and they share it with 10,000 people – that’s not going to be as motivating as if you were working directly with ten people or twenty people where you actually have that human interaction element.

That’s going to be, I think, the most important part of it, where you actually have that direct connection with other people. It doesn’t mean you can’t also influence 10,000 people or a hundred thousand people or whatever. Your work can touch many people, but having that interactive element with people directly is going to be really important.

The second part is – Can you be creating something or doing something where there at the very least is a challenge for you?

If it’s really easy work, if it’s repetitive, if there’s not a lot of risk of failing, it’s going to be really hard to motivate yourself, at least that’s been my experience.

I found that something that in theory should be really easy, take a couple hours, if it’s too easy I almost can’t do it.

It might take me ten hours to do because I’ll procrastinate it because there’s no challenge there, there’s nothing I’m creating.

While something that should be extremely difficult will actually be easy for me because it’s challenging, it energizes me, I get excited about it and that makes the whole thing a lot more fun – and then that experience is actually easy and I get a lot more work done.

So if you’re looking at your goals, I would say look at these two elements:

  • Is it related to people? Are you going to get some kind of feedback from what you’re doing?
  • Is it challenging enough? Are you actually doing something that’s going to excite you and energize you?

I think if you apply these two things to setting goals, you’ll find that it becomes a lot easier to achieve your goals and the process will be a lot more fun too.

Try it out and let me know in the comments how it worked for you!

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