What REALLY Drives You To Succeed?

what drives youTake a moment to imagine the single biggest thing that motivates you to succeed. If you want to be your own boss, start a company, work from home – what is the biggest driver of those desires?

  • Is it money? Status? Fame?
  • Do you want more time with your family?
  • What about security?
  • Do you love doing something so much that being able to do it for a living drives you?
  • Do you want to find a way to make passive income so you can pursue other work that may have less potential to generate income?
  • Do you need the autonomy of working for yourself?

Chances are you have a fairly good idea of what’s driving you. Now here’s where it gets tricky…

Is there something beneath that desire that is really driving you?

Going deeper, delving underneath those surface desires, will help to get to the real thing that drives you. Like the first visible bones at an archaeological dig, our apparent desires usually are an indication of something deeper, the core reason we want to succeed.

Taking the time to get down to what’s really driving you, can help you to better outline and reach your goals. Because no matter what it is you think you want, the real you always knows what it’s after.

Wouldn’t you like to know it too?


  1. Hey Tony,

    I think there are always two sides – inspiration and desperation. My “inspiration” side is freedom, freedom to work when I want and go on a holiday when I don’t want to (that’s what I want to achieve, anyway)… My “desperation”? Heh. Food and Shelter.

  2. Kian Ann – That’s a great point. I think a lot of folks come at it from both sides – motivated by both pleasure and pain.

  3. I would have to say that it is the need to be needed. I have a deep-seeded desire to be needed, and thus gain attention. I actually shy away from public attention, but I crave personal, intentional, and honest appreciation for what I do.

    Something inside of me tells me that I need to be successful at what I’m wanting attention for, or what I am doing is not worth anything and I’m not needed, therefore I would be worthless.

    I know this not to be a true statement of the way things are because everyone is worth something, but that is what I’m working through now and explains my motivations and my reactions toward people who are doing unsuccessful work.

  4. Jesse – I hear ya’. The desire to be appreciated for doing for others can be a big driving force on our success. Sounds like you understand yourself pretty well, and that you have a good grasp on that underlying driver. That’s a very cool thing.

  5. For me it’s reputation, feeling of making a significant difference in others’ lives…. but your post also reminds me of Marcus Buckingham’s assertion about the one thing you need to know about personal success: “Figure out what you don’t like doing, and stop doing it.” So it’s not just about what drives you — it’s also about what gets in your way!

  6. I think my motivation is seeing others who hate their jobs, and it makes me want to avoid that. So I guess happiness is my answer- loving what I do so that it makes me happy.

  7. Rob – That’s an excellent point. Looking at it from the other angle is a good way to get to the heart of it.

    Hannah – I know what you mean. So many people hate what they do, yet continue to do it anyway. The motivation of NOT being like that is a real driver for a lot of folks.

  8. I think what motivates me is primarily freedom. I want to control what I do with my time most of all. But I also realize I need to pursue something I have a real interest in. If the subject or material is boring, I quickly lose interest and never become any good at it.

  9. John – I know about that. Freedom is my biggest driver too, and has been for most of my life. Being able to live my life on my own terms is a primary focus for me.

  10. A bigger question is how do we define success…

    For me though I never do well with mad chaos. I need to be completely busy and occupied or I get bored and moody. My wife can always tell when things are slow for me, she wants me to slow down, but when I do its usually bad.

    I love to travel, but I am horrible at vacationing!

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