If you could never talk about this, would you still do it?
My wife sometimes asks me why I don’t share with other people some of the things I do or did before. I tell her that my motivation and satisfaction in doing them are completely internal. I love the activity, the process, and what I get out of it, and I do not need external validation.
That’s why the question above is such a great filter for many options that vie for our time and attention. It helps me remove 95% of the options immediately.
There is a related question that is more trying to go over the fear of failure:
If you couldn’t fail, what would you try?
However, it becomes a more powerful question if you turn it around because it eliminates the “I’m going to sacrifice my wants and needs to help others” type of answers (which are often good answers, it’s just that they don’t help you uncover what you want).
If you knew something would fail, what would you work on?
In other words, do you enjoy an activity and process even more than its outcome?