What we consider rewarding is directly linked to what we value. Consequently our values are like our inner objectives and are very powerful in driving our behaviour. If we fail to follow our values, we create an imbalance in our lives and this can lead to disappointment, fear, and anger. (BTW - people only tend to get angry when something is important to them.) What stops us from following our values? Values have related needs and fears. Needs and fears are opposite sides of the same coin. When needs are adequately met, fear is reduced. When not, fear increases, and if this happens over a longer period of time, it has a negative impact on the way we relate to our environment, our overall happiness and somewhere down the line our performance. Some of us (or possibly all of us for some of the time?) allow fear to control our decisions and behaviour - but this is truly counter-productive. By focussing on your primary needs (as established through your values) you maximise the chances of breaking a negative, re-enforcing feedback loop and come closer to fulfilment. Now this is pretty abstract, so here is my attempt to be practical about this: I personally have a need for achievement, autonomy, power, rewards, and stimulation. If my autonomy is undermined, I will develop frustration and fear - the fear that I might never again be able to be autonomous. This in return will inform my decision to be "defensive", to ignore root causes, to concentrate on secondary fulfilment, instead of focussing all my energy on achieving a degree of autonomy which meets my needs.