This could be just as easily stated as "primary goal". What's the character trying to do? Some examples from my own characters:
Damon Kildare: Solve the challenge
Madden: Become Kildare's familiar
Zenobia Gardsmark: Learn to do magic
Sir Gardsmark: Protect his daughter
Archon Skotonys: Serve Tyr Notios
Alice Bocor: Make new friends! Out of dead ones if necessary!
Isadora Weaver: Find her brother
Make a new character by starting with a controlling idea: love everyone
* After a brush with death, investment banker Jack Roarke is reborn with manic love for all God's people. He devotes himself to finding ways to express this love; even with perfect conviction, it's still not an easy thing to do.
Generate a story idea by using characters with conflicting controlling ideas:
* Callie has boundless energy and doesn't want to do anything but Play All Day, while Ash just wants to rest and sleep. Can Ash find a game Callie will play without her? What happens when Callie pushes Ash past the breaking point?
What is my controlling idea:
* Get my balance.
Primary Orientation: what a character most identifies himself as.
Damon Kildare: Warlock
Zenobia Gardsmark: Student
Sir Gardsmark: defender of the people
Archon Skotonys: archon
Alice Bocor: little girl
Isadora Weaver: tinkerer
Primary orientation predicts behavior. What does a fairy do?
* Rumple Blossom kept a running mental tally as she flitted to the next flower. One thousand two hundred forty-three .... She poured out a few drops of dew from a cup made of a beetle's carapace, and sprinkled on a little fairy dust from a fox-glove pouch. The petals unfolded at the touch of the fairy dust, glistening in the light of dawn. One thousand two hundred forty-four -- and that's the whole yard! Done at last. She tied up the pouch with cornsilk, and flew to an abandoned bird's nest to catch a well-earned nap.
What is your primary orientation:
* Writer. I had a really long answer here, but "writer" covers it better than anything else. Not an author, not a fiction writer, not an RPer or a storyteller. Someone who writes. That's all.
Generate a story idea from the conflict between controlling idea and primary orientation:
* A gang leader converts to Christianity. He turns himself in to the police, but struggles with how to treat his former gang members, and how to make amends to his victims.