I'm going through a period of my life in which I am closely examining why I am the way I am, and why I do the things I do. Difficult questions to answer... perhaps impossible.
I have found some interesting tools to help me think about my motivations, and one of the best is Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Though I certainly do not subscribe to the model as gospel, it is definitely a useful lens for focusing my thoughts.
I believe that many of my flaws stem from two sources: misidentifying one need as another; and failing to recognize when one need is sufficiently satisfied and that I should devote more attention to another.