I often contemplate what drives someone. Where does motivation come from in certain people? Drive is important. We don’t act to change our circumstances or create positive change in the world around us without drive.
Where does it come from? There is a lot to be said on the topic. Entire books have been written about it, but let’s look at one source of drive for so many.
I heard a CEO say that he likes the people who have a chip on their shoulder. The people who have something to prove. It was just one quality that he mentioned, but his point was that people who have a chip on their shoulder are often hungry to succeed to prove something.
It is true. Imagine how much progress has been made in the world by people driven to achieve something because of the chip they were carrying on their shoulder. It is a driving force for some of the most driven, successful people. To take something negative and use the energy to achieve something positive is a much better alternative than using it to do something destructive.
We all probably have some type of chip on our shoulder. We can use it for drive and motivation, but here are my questions.
Should we still deal with the chip?
Will a certain amount of success get rid of the chip or will we still be carrying it around even after succeeding?
Even if the chip creates positive drive, does it have potential to harm other areas of our life?
If we lose the chip would we lose the drive to succeed or would we find a healthier alternative?
Is our drive simply a band-aid to an injury that needs much more to be healed?
Those are my questions.
What drives you?
Balance is interesting. Most of us want to live a balanced life. Meaning we want to have it together in all the areas of life.
We have all seen the examples of the movie star with the great career, but the rest of their life is a total mess. It could be the athlete, the business person or the mom. The point is all of us have multiple areas of life that we want to excel in, but that isn’t always easy.
I think it helps to start with how we view balance. When you think of balance, what do you think of? For many, the idea of balance is perfectly in the middle. The idea that all areas are equally thriving at the same time. This is perfection. This would be balance.
If that is our view of balance, we will continuously fall short of it and live in frustration. I don’t believe that definition of balance is possible.
I prefer to view balance like riding a bike. While it may appear to be perfect especially as we pick up speed and momentum, the reality is we are constantly making adjustments from one side to the other. We are shifting back and forth to keep from falling off to one side. When we are moving slow these shifts are very obvious but they become more subtle the faster we go. There are endless examples, but this is a principle of balance. It is back and forth making constant adjustments and corrections to maintain what we call balance.
There are times in life that a certain area may require more attention to shift the momentum in that direction. A person gets a wake up call that it is time to make their health a bigger priority. Another realizes he better start paying more attention to his marriage. Another wakes up to discover he is out of a job and finding another becomes most important.
This is how life works. This is what balance really looks like. So what does being out of balance look like? It is when we are so focused on one area maybe because it is going so well that we don’t shift our focus back. This is very easy to see in others. It is not always so easy to see in ourselves. I think this why balance can be difficult.
How do you view balance? When was the last time you shifted your focus?
I have worked with and run sales organizations for my entire adult life. There is a question that always comes up. You can’t escape it. It doesn’t matter the industry. The question will always be asked…
“What does the average person do?” or “What does the average person make?”
I’ve heard it so often that it is difficult to patiently give a reply. Why are we so obsessed with average?
The average person is out of shape.
The average person is broke and in debt up to their eye balls.
The average marriage ends in divorce.
The average sales person struggles and eventually quits.
The average new business won’t even exist in 5 years.
Average is a terrible thing to aim for. If average is our plan, we shouldn’t even do it. I would say I’m an average chess player, but chess isn’t that important to me. It is something I do very rarely for fun. It is better than watching TV even if I’m just average. That’s OK. It doesn’t mean much to me.
For anything important, we should avoid average. The better questions are, “Who is succeeding? What are they doing?” Then let’s aim at that. Sure, we may fail. We may not be at their level YET. But we can aim at it. We can measure and improve a little each day. If we do that, we will rise above the average.
For many years if you asked me one of my favorite quotes, I might reply with “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
I would give that answer partly because I love movies and because I am a huge Star Wars fan. I also love the wisdom in the simple phrase. It addresses the mindset of fully committing to something and burning the bridges leaving no option for failure. Clearly, I still love the advice given by the greatest Jedi Master of them all, but maybe it isn’t right all the time?
What about the person who is sitting on the sidelines scared to get in the game? What about the person who is so concerned that their new product or business idea has to be perfect so they aren’t even taking action?
“Do it” implies that our attempt will succeed. If we don’t think we are “ready” yet, we may wait to do anything. Waiting, procrastinating, fear of failing is what keeps us from making progress. We are never ready. If we wait for the feeling of being ready, we may never act.
Who am I to challenge a Jedi Master? I’m just a normal guy. I can’t use the Force to send objects flying through the air. But I can try.
Maybe that is the right advice sometimes. Let’s just try. What if we don’t succeed? Well, let’s just try it. Let’s take the first step.
Let’s not be scare to try and fail. At least, we started. We should celebrate trying. It is a whole lot better than not trying. Once we are trying and taking action, Yoda’s advice makes sense when we want to master it. We have to fully commit and go beyond trying. But we don’t have to start there.
I have challenged a Jedi Master. I may have failed in my attempt, but at least I tried. I can feel good about that.
It seems almost all health experts have different opinions. There are certainly a lot of common themes that all the experts agree on like eat more organic green vegetables. No one really denies that is a good idea.
Some will boast of the health benefits of being a vegan while others will sound just as convincing on why we should live on a high protein meat diet.
Many promote the health benefits of vitamins and nutrition while others say it is wasted money and does nothing for your overall health.
This can cause us to just think, “What is the point? I could die tomorrow.” And therefore, we don’t worry about our health because we aren’t sure if it makes a difference anyway.
There really isn’t anything we can do to guarantee that we live longer. We can try, but we all know our time is limited and we don’t know how long we have.
So what if energy was our goal?
I don’t mean the fake and temporary energy that we get from a Starbucks or Monster energy drink. I mean real, consistent energy throughout the day. What if that was our goal?
Maybe we don’t know if the vitamin regime that we take will add any extra years to our life, but do we have better energy throughout the day when we take it?
Maybe exercising in the morning doesn’t extend my lifespan, but do I feel more alive the rest of the day if I do it?
What if we made energy the goal? I think it helps us cut through the confusion on what we should do. At least it does for me.
What gives you more energy?
Are you a driven, goal oriented person? Are you a dreamer with huge plans to change the world? Allow me to offer a little advice that may be helpful on your journey to massive success.
Talk is cheap. It is easy for us to talk a big game. It is easy to talk about all the things we intend to do.
One of the greatest enemies of success is procrastination! It is a deadly killer of success. We have to battle it if we want to reach our full potential.
It is only natural that we want the easiest path to success. It is normal to want the greatest gain with the least amount of effort, but it isn’t the way life works.
Making decisions can be exhausting. Most of us do not like making decisions. It is why when we are finally “off” for the day and it is time to go out to eat, we usually select the same places. It is just easier to not have to make a new decision.