Last week I was invited to talk to an audience at the Boatyard in Cullercoats.
I was given the luxury of deciding the topic so I picked “Drive” and being “driven”.
Here are the takeaways…
1. Urgh… what is it?
Being driven is a word we hear a lot, yet if you ask most people what they mean when they say somebody is driven they can’t quite articulate it, although almost everybody considers it ONLY a good thing. Drive could be defined as when you feel relentlessly compelled to perform an activity in order to achieve a set objective. When your drive is on you feel full of energy and purpose and your focus becomes more narrow to focus on what has become important to you.
2. When Drive is Good
If you are about to engage every resource you have available to you to the goal of “getting” something you better make sure it’s worth it! Drive is the right option when you have considered what achieving your goal will mean to you and how it will effect other areas of your life and key relationships. When achieving a goal benefits you and those close to you entirely and wholly; finding the energy to pursue those goals relentlessly will be easy.
3. When Drive goes Bad
So, having a meaningful goal that benefits every area of your life is when to turn drive on. The thing is Drive has its own rewards. It feels good to be on a mission and sometimes it can feel quite attractive to “seek out” goals to pursue. However, I have experienced what a waste of time and resource it can be to pursue goals for their own sake. Before you commit every part of your being toward a goal make sure it will deliver in all areas of your life.
4. The endless run
Imagine you got up from your chair now and sprinted as fast as you can. After about 10 seconds that sprint would reduce to a jog and eventually a walk until you eventually keel over. If you simply engage drive (being compelled to relentlessly chase goals) ALL the time your once sprint become a brisk walk at best. For drive to work when it’s needed we need to put it away one in a while.
5. Rest for high performance athletes know this
When I finished professional sport and entered business, one of the things I noticed (quickly) was that there is no off season. If the business person wants to recharge the batteries they need to set barriers for themselves and take time off, this is something that those most senior in business tend to forget. In the lead up to an event an athlete reduces their workload and focusses on quality rest. Is it unreasonable to assume that reducing workload and focussing on number one may benefit business people on the lead up to a period that demands high performance? If you just recoiled at that thought consider point 4.
6. Competitive people and addiction transfer
Two years ago a study by the University of Alberta aimed to discover whether exercise could benefit recovering addicts. Rather than seek out addicts involved in sport they decided it was a better idea to interview people in recovery about their involvement in sport. To their surprise they found that of the 60 people they interviewed, nearly all of them had been involved in competitive sport beyond high school level (a statistic drastically higher than the North American average) with the biggest group being those retired from elite sport and the majority of the elite sport group was team sport athletes. The researchers suggested this could be down to the athletes will to “win” in any scenario and winning when I comes to drinking or drugs is who could consume the quickest or the most. They suggested the same behaviours that made them a force to be reckoned with could be fuelling their addictions.
Drive, or mobilising every resource to relentlessly pursue a goal needs to be switched on selectively to avoid fatigue. Drive in itself carries its own motivation but when a goal benefits every area of your life drive is easier to access and maintain.
So choose what you apply drive to wisely and remember to put it away from time to time.
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