What drives a person to achieve a goal? Is it the need to attain some item of value, or is it an intrinsic need to please oneself? Psychology says it may be both. What drives one person to succeed may not drive the next person, or may only drive the next person to a certain length before they give up. What makes a person keep pushing beyond their limits to achieve a goal? What gives a person that drive?
I would like to harness and bottle that drive. I feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I wish to do, and I am an early bird, and a night owl; I read somewhere that these people are called hummingbirds – I like it. I love hummingbirds, always flying around at break neck speed; little wings moving so fast they can hardly be seen. Early birds are the productive birds getting the best worms (so they say), and night owls are the creative ones; hummingbirds must be creatively productive, with a side of procrastination.
Society gives high school students a hard time if they do not know exactly where they want to go in life. Are you going to college? What will your major be? What are your career plans after college? Etc. We’ve all heard these questions. I’m old enough to have raised a child, and am only now figuring out what I want to do, and where I want to go with my life. It took me many years to figure that out. I now know, I want to travel the world with Tim (and our kids, as long as they are minors and want to travel with us), and write about it. I want to study other cultures. I want to assist in humanitarian efforts. I want to write, and take photographs of the places we go, and the amazing people we meet.
So, what makes this goal different than the other goals that I have not attained in my life? The explanation for that is simple, and yet not simple at all.
I have grown, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and I know myself better now than I did when I was younger. Many people change their minds about what they want to do many times before they make a final decision; how can you decide what you want to do for the rest of your life, while you are still discovering who you are? You can’t. So go with the flow and don’t’ worry about it so much. Life experience has taught me that things generally work out. (Unless of course you have a drug problem or some other type of problem, in which case, please seek help from the nearest professional.)
McClelland (a psychologist), says, that the need to achieve can be driven by two factors: the desire to achieve success or the fear of failure. Both of those factors can be driven by either internal or external forces; so we can desire to achieve success because our internal drive pushes us toward that goal and will not allow anything less, or we can be so scared of failure, for personal reasons, that we cannot allow ourselves to fail; we have placed intrinsic value upon the goal either way. If we are driven by external factors then we have a need to achieve the goal for reasons that relate to family or career achievement, or maybe a promotion or raise. One could argue that intrinsic value is more beneficial, but one could argue that everyone works for external value, such as a paycheck, so I have to say, it just depends on the goal and the person.
I feel like I am driven by an intrinsic need to achieve this goal, and have this life that Tim and I want together. This goal is different because everything in my life is different. I know who and what I want. When I picture my life, that goal, is what I picture, and I picture achieving it with Tim, and only Tim. We talk about it all the time.
Many people from Buddha to Dale Carnegie have said that thoughts create the world. That what you think you achieve. Tim and I talk about and plan this life every day. While daydreams are nice, one needs a plan of action, and the drive to succeed. We have a goal, a plan, and a need to succeed.
What drives you to succeed?