have always been a driven person…. Actually, that’s not true. When I was young I was not very driven at all. In fact, I preferred watching TV and playing video games to most other things. Socializing was number one, but screens were number two.

I started to feel drive when my inadequacy story really began to take shape. There were plenty of people in my life that fed my “not enough” narrative—teachers, my father, friends, other family members, even my dear mama. I started to see where I was falling short throughout my life because people weren’t shy about pointing it out.

But this feels like a faulty system to me. We learn to focus on our mistakes as problems rather than as opportunities. We interpret those mistakes as inadequacies and that motivates us to improve.

I was stuck in that pattern for years. I felt great about being motivated to improve but the fuel was terrible. It burned fast. It was me grasping at a way to alleviate my painful inadequacy of the moment.

It all came to a head one day when I finally realized that my drive wasn’t coming from a good place.

This is the simplified version of how it happened:

I was lying next to my wife, Tara, and said, “You love me!”

“Of course I do!” She replied.

“I don’t have to do all the things I do to ensure that you love me,” I said and asked at the same time.

“No, you don’t,” she replied reassuringly. She continued, “That doesn’t mean you’ll stop doing them, does it?

“No. It just means that finally I can do it because I want to rather than having to in order to maintain your love.” I stated with a relief I hadn’t felt before.

Thirty years of pressure gone.

If I want a fire that lasts a long time, burns brightly, and keeps everybody warm, then my motivation needs to come from a good place rather than the haunting inadequacy.

Now I believe I’m driven and that my drive comes from a great place, one of service to humanity. With that belief, the fuel is plentiful and buns strong and slow.

Where does your drive come from?

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