Drive - Undergrad Success


Drive. We’ve all heard it. You either have it… or you don’t.

Right? Let’s dive in.

What is drive?

It’s a synonym to motivation and ambition in most contexts.

Drive is the feeling of compulsion to succeed and excel at a certain task or in a particular field. It’s an energy that propels us from within, the energy required to put the hard work, sweat and tears into accomplishing something worthwhile.

It’s closely related to ambition, the mother of intention. Ambition is often what drives our unexpressed hopes and desires so that they feel they are still within touching distance. Yet, ambition can be frustratingly fuzzy and ill-defined. How many of us search for a future we can’t quite put our finger on?

Why is drive important?

Drive is the rocket fuel that creates momentum in your life. Let’s examine its importance with a few questions:

• How much do you accomplish when you aren’t motivated?

• Have you ever created something that’s worth anything when you weren’t driven to do so?

• Will you ever accomplish what you really want out of life without

your rocket fuel?

We don’t think so either.

Drive is more likely when…

Writer and blogger, Dan Pink, has shown (through research) that people show more willingness to “get out of bed in the morning” when they have:

✓ Autonomy

✓ Mastery

✓ Purpose

Autonomy refers to the space you have to work on your ideas. Have you created space in your life to develop skills in a particular area?

Mastery is the time you’ve allowed yourself to become an expert. You’ll even do it after you’ve worked a really long day. Your purpose is your mission in life.

How do you develop drive?

1) Set goals—Reap rewards – This is very common practice. Set goals. Reap rewards. Keep them realistic and small. Keep the rewards balanced as well. It really is that easy.

2) Create your dreams – Following anything isn’t stellar advice. Following is passive. Creation is active. Be active. Use #1 on this list to start creating your dreams and taking action in your life.

3) Build self-esteem – Acknowledge your positive qualities. Start a self-gratitude journal. What are you most proud of? Brag to yourself about yourself. Get positive feedback from your closest friends and family. Keep this feedback handy. When you’re feeling a little down, come back to your journal and feedback.

4) Be quiet – Spend some time thinking. Seriously, be quiet for 30 minutes with a journal. It’s amazing what can happen if you let thoughts come into your consciousness.

5) Change the status quo – Don’t follow the herd. Take the road less travelled. Many people may try to change your mind. That’s okay. That’s their reality of what they think you should do. Is their reality your reality? No, it’s not. Remember: be authentic. If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. That’s the status quo.

Quick thoughts on drive in your job search:

Don’t be quick to underestimate the power of drive. Your employers LOVE it. That’s not an exaggeration. It’s the essential ingredient to task delivery and job progression. Be explicit in what helps you foster drive in the workplace. Your boss and colleagues will appreciate the communication.

If ambition is the mother of intention, then the child of intention is action. The Determined take action and they can go a long way toward realising their ambitions. Better to have tried than not at all, so they say. It shapes who you are and what you will become. It eliminates what is impossible and what is not right for you.

Reach up and make things happen through taking action (autonomy).

Value your strengths and become an expert in them (mastery).

Stay true to your values. Act creatively around something you believe in. Accept responsibility for these actions and be accountable for them (purpose).