I absolutely love the story of Abraham Lincoln. It’s one that is filled with many failures, but despite the loss of 8 elections, 2 business failures and a nervous breakdown, Abraham Lincoln went on to be one of America’s greatest presidents. From his life we can learn that in spite of the obstacles he faced, his inner drive was far greater. This is someone all of us could and should learn from – the importance of having an inner drive.
What drives you? How many of us have ever taken time to think about our inner drive?
Take a moment to reflect on the following:
- What gets you out of bed every morning?
- What keeps you on your toes?
- What keeps you pushing forward when you feel like walking away, breaking limitations often set by circumstances or those around us?
You probably realised that most of us don’t ever take the time to evaluate our inner drive. It’s something we often take for granted, thinking that if we have it, we’re “good to go”. But isn’t it one of the things that matter most? That’s what we get told over and over anyway. The truth is that our inner drive keeps us moving forward in life; the lack thereof will certainly be evident if we find ourselves in the same spot, we did this time last year. So, I ask you again – what drives you?
While having “drive” is often seen as something good, something we should all have, it needs to be noted that it comes from a place powered by our motives. If you want to understand why you are driven to achieve a certain goal, the best place to start would be to look at your motives – the why behind the reason (this opens a whole new can of worms!). If we were honest with ourselves, we would find that our “drive” often requires some serious rethinking, especially when moving towards the goals we have set for ourselves (in our hearts and minds).
A look within – hearts governed by our motives.
Looking within isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially if you end up facing some hard truths about yourself. BUT – think about all the hurts and disappointments (not to mention potential time wasted) we could avoid in our lives if we understood our motives. Our approach towards certain goals would be so different if we knew the condition of our hearts, our true motives and what drove us. Yet, instead of reflecting on our true motives, we overlook it, hoping to fool ourselves in to believing that the drive is only there to ensure that we are moving forward. Why do we do this? Perhaps it’s the fear of discovering the truth about yourself, finding out that maybe, just maybe, I’m not that good of a person after all. Or maybe that the drive within is causing me to head in the wrong direction. Isn’t it better to double back instead of heading into a direction that will end up taking you to the wrong place?
Can one really move forward knowing that the motive behind it is completely off? Wouldn’t this be futile and harmful to ourselves and those around us? Of course, it’s easier looking at the motives of others, ourselves, not so much…
If we would learn be honest with ourselves, we wouldn’t have to go back to the start and start over again. We certainly wouldn’t have a line of people we were stringing alone on a path that leads to nowhere; having to duck and dive any we might have led astray through our actions. We would spare ourselves embarrassments and heartache by simply taking charge of our motives.
Set for success or for distress?
It’s been said that being 1 degree off course doesn’t make that much of a difference. However, 5 to 20 meters down the line, that 1 degree leads you away from your intended goal. The further you move along, the further away you move from the original goal, with a whole load of frustration and anger added to the mix. Funny how something so small has the potential to either have a great impact or cause great destruction in our future, not to mention the lives of those we encounter.
Maybe you haven’t given much thought about your inner drive or the motives with which you pursue your goals and dreams. The truth is that there is never a better time to start than right now. If you know your motives have been “off”, then begin by changing your motives (and inner drive), be man or woman enough to step down from where you need to step down and step up to where you need to step up. Start looking at the why you are doing what you are doing.
Our inner drive is important in moving forward, but it’s vital that we know what our motives are – the drive within. I am sure Abraham Lincoln must have checked and rechecked his motives constantly along the way. What drives you?