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Thursday / May 30.
HomemilastwordThe Last Word: What Drives You?

The Last Word: What Drives You?

We’re all driven by something. That thing, that motivating force that causes us to have a spring in our step when we get up in the morning, or an Urgh!

We may be driven by something internal: painful memories, past hurts, our belief systems, or the values instilled in us as children. It could be external, such as being successful, the threat of corporate takeover, or an important deadline. Your driving force could be a factor that is within your control, such as the desire to grow your business, or completely outside it: the fear of a natural disaster such as a flood or the threat of nuclear meltdown.

Too often, the forces that drive us, in life as in business, are negative, such as fear; guilt; shame; resentment; anger; materialism; the need for approval or even revenge.

Many people today are wandering through life without purpose. They’re living from payday to payday, allowing their internal monologue and external circumstances to dictate the direction of their lives. People driven by guilt tend to sabotage their own success. Fear-driven people often miss out on great opportunities, because they’re afraid to change the status quo.

Knowing your purpose motivates and energises your life. It is not overwork, but usually meaningless work that wears us down and saps our strength…

Those driven by materialism find possessions bring only temporary happiness, and that net worth does not equate to self worth.

Anger and resentment as driving forces produce unhealthy, unhelpful responses to life. We all know people who either ‘clam up’ and internalise their anger; or ‘blow up’ and explode, almost without provocation. The past is the past. Nothing will change it. Resentment and bitterness hurt those who hold onto them the most.

Helping to identify the factors that drive us can help us to redefine our goals and our purpose in life.

Motivational author and speaker Rick Warren sums it up well when he says that these negative driving forces “all lead to the same dead end: unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an unfulfilled life … Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty and pointless”.

Finding a purpose in life, or indeed business, will help simplify things. Asking ‘Does this help me fulfil my purpose?’, makes it easier to identify when to say, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to potential opportunities, investments or new directions.

Knowing your purpose motivates and energises your life. It is not overwork, but usually meaningless work that wears us down and saps our strength.

Finding purpose – on a professional as well as a personal level – helps us set goals and reach them. There will always be external factors or unforeseen circumstances that may knock you off course, but if we know where we’re going, it is a lot easier to get back on track.