Skip to main content

Drive - What is it? Do you have it? Can you get it if you don't?


I spoke to someone recently who is very driven. I really envy people with drive.

Some people think I'm driven. Sometimes I think I am, too, but then I kind of know I'm not. Or maybe it's just that I have a relaxed kind of drive.

Compulsion should probably not be confused with drive, even though I suspect they often feel the same way. I think compulsion doesn't necessarily have a finishing point in mind, but rather it is a drive to start something - sometimes over and over again...

In writing I've heard that success is 10% talent or inspiration (it changes depending on who you're talking to), 85% handwork/perspiration and 5% good luck/who you know... I tend to believe this is true. You can be very talented or inspired but without determination and hard work, you're liable to stall before you ever manage to get published.

Like me, you might get lucky, or know people, and get a break and get something published without too much hard work, but still, that will only take you so far, even if you are talented.

Talent and inspiration still need hard work - so the writer doesn't stagnate.

Hard work is pretty much unavoidable. You have to write, you have write a lot. You have to work at honing your skills. Words where others can access them (even if you don't show them all to someone), they count. Writing in your head... That doesn't count.

This is where drive comes in and is very useful.

People with drive don't just rely on the compulsion to write. They write even when they don't feel like it - because they have drive. They may feel the compulsion to start writing, but it is drive that keeps them at their desk once the compulsion - the need for the writing fix - has subsided. And believe, it subsides.

I suspect that rather than drive, I have compulsion.

So, is drive a personality trait? Is it something a person is born with? Certainly, the people I've seen with drive seem to have always had it, no matter what they turn their hand to.

Last night I watched 'The Social Network'. A lot of the people in this 'based on a real events' movie had drive. Most of the characters were completely unlikeable, but their drive was admirable. I long for that kind of focus. The single-minded pursuit of a goal.

Sometimes drive seems to be the reaction to hurt - a lot of people with drive seem to have something to prove - usually to other people but often just to themselves. People with drive seem to want acknowledgement, whatever field they are engaged in.

However, I think it would be unfair to suggest that drive is somehow a fault of ego. I don't want to believe that.

So, how do you get drive? Can you acquire it, or do you have to be born with it? Or perhaps (if I am wrong), do you have to have a burning desire for acknowledgement, the deep seeded need to prove yourself to yourself or someone else as a result of hurt?


Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...

At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Do you have low self-esteem?

I don't.

I used to think I did, but having met several people who really do have low self-esteem, I've now come to realise I actually have low confidence (and note I don't say low self-confidence, but more on that later), and that is a different breed of animal all together.

I was having a chat with a friend the other day about people who constantly put themselves down. If you are a participant in social media you might be aware of this kind of person. Everyone is smarter than them, prettier than them, more motivated, better organised, or has greater talent than them. It goes further, some of these people are not at all opposed to running themselves down to others with comments like, 'I'm so fat' (and not in a proud, fat acceptance way, but in a negative, self-loathing kind of way), or 'I'm stupid' or 'I'm ugly'.

Some people are just fishing for compliments, of course, but the ones who persist; the ones who simply cannot take a complimen…