How to Learn Drive

Drive is your ability to set goals for yourself and pursue them.

Drive may not seem like a skill you can learn, but what we refer to as someone having drive is simply someone with a powerful internal motivation to pursue their goal. If you do not have a goal you are motivated to achieve, you cannot develop the drive to achieve it. Therefore, defining your goal is the first step.

As drive is a purely internal characteristic, the only goals that matter are the ones you create for yourself. Furthermore, a goal is best set by defining what you want along with what you don’t want as moving away from negative outcomes is more motivating than only aiming for positive results. The more emotionally you can express your positive and negative outcomes, the better. Finally, a goal is not truly your goal until you can say the goal out loud and believe what you say. 

To review, the process of setting a goal for yourself to act as the source of your drive is:

  • Being able to say out loud an emotional expression of what you want and believe what you say.
  • Being able to say out loud an emotional expression of what you do not want and believe what you say.

“Drive,” therefore, is taking actions that move you away from what you do not want towards what you do want with maximum intensity. The more worthwhile the goal to you, the more intensity you will use in pursuing your goal.

Consider the following ways the goal of completing a project can be expressed. First, without emotion or an expressed negative outcome:

  • Positive: I want to be finished with my project by the end of the month.

Next, without emotion but with a negative outcome.

  • Positive: I want to be finished with my project by the end of the month.
  • Negative: I do not want to be late.

Now, the same goal expressed as a positive and negative with a little emotion:

  • Positive: I want to be recognized by my peers when I finish my project on time.
  • Negative: I don’t want people to think less of me for being late.

Next, the same goal expressed with more emotion:

  • Positive: I want to get my project done on time so that people to look up to me as being the best contributor to my team so that I can get promoted and make more money.
  • Negative: I want to make sure that I am never late so that if there is ever a reason that my company is looking to fire someone, they never consider me because I am too valuable. 

Finally, the same goal expressed with maximum emotion:

  • Positive: I want to prove everyone wrong who said I would never amount to anything, or who said that my grades were not good enough, or that I could never be trusted to get anything done on time.
  • Negative: I do not want anyone to ever question my ability to get things done ever again, and do not want to give people who didn’t believe in me the satisfaction of being proven right. 

Assuming this can be said out loud and you believe it when it is said, this is a dramatically more powerful and motivating goal than, “I want to be finished with my project by the end of the month.”

With a powerful motivating goal that acts as a strong, attractive force towards what you want and a strong repulsive force away from what you don’t want, the motivation should come naturally. “Drive” is nothing more than acting on that motivation, and the stronger the motivation, the more drive you will be said to have.

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