Finding Your Real Inner Drive
Everything on earth has a purpose and so do you. Once we tap into it, we’ll get immense inner drive, fulfilment and joy.
Today’s world is changing more rapidly than ever before so it’s very important to find that thing in ourselves that is constant, doesn’t change and is always available. That’s our purpose and once we find it, it’ll give us certainty and a sense that life is happening for us and not to us.
Goals alone are not enough. It’s common to achieve them and think: is that all there is? The purpose of goals is not to achieve them, it’s what they make of us as people, who we become. And ultimately, there has to be a meaning to the person we become or we’ll never get the drive to get the edge.
We must answer the question “Why am I here?”.
And before deciding, let’s remember the three most important decisions that we’re constantly making:
1. What to focus on
We must find an empowering focus out of any situation
2. What something means
We determine what everything mean to us, which can be extremely empowering or disempowering.
Usually people live in fear because they can’t control what happens in life, and the thing is that we can’t, but we can control the meaning of every event.
3. What are we going to do
If something hasn’t happened yet, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to happen… unless we give up.
What is driving you today?
Is it our drive to prove someone wrong, is it our parent’s will, is it our fear of pain, is it our sense of competition, is it our desire for happiness?
We’re all driven by something, and usually we don’t choose that consciously, but what if we take control of it now?
What if we let our lives to be driven by something much more empowering such as a sense of purpose? A sense that there’s something out there for us to do, someone he have to become. And we don’t even have to know what it is, but we need to trust that every day more of it it’s going to come out.
Is it pain-driven?
As we already know, pain and pleasure are the main drivers of our lives. And although a sense of purpose or associating pleasure can override the pain, let’s take a look to how our brain tries to discover the source of pain and creates those associations in the first place.
It follows this three steps:
- What’s unique in this situation when I feel this pain?
- What was happening (what’s the event or what did I do) at the same time I felt the pain?
- What’s consistent about it?
Eg: A kid touches a burning stove.
- The unique thing is that I was the stove was warm
- I felt the pain when I touched it
- The first time isn’t consistent, but if he tries again and feels the pain one more time, it’ll be.
This simple mechanism can create false -or generalised- associations, if we choose bad answers for those questions.
Eg: Associating marriage to death. After getting married, a man started beating physically and emotionally his wife and eventually his kid. The mother who’s feeling extreme pain and fears for her life and her kid’s life, chooses these answers:
- The unique thing is living with a man and being married to him
- The event was trusting him
- The consistency is that every week with him has the same painful results
That woman ended the relationship but afterwards had trouble finding a new partner and the reason was because she’d associated pain to men and marriage in general instead of to that particular man and marriage. And that trusting was the source of it, so trusting was equal to death.
How to know our life’s purpose?
We decide what it is.
We discover it and decide “that’s it”. Probably later on we’ll refine it but right now this is what I’m here to do and as long as I’m doing it, I know I’m on track.
For most of us, the meaning for our lives is here today and it’s preparing us for a greater meaning in the future if we just use all of our life experience, the pain and the pleasure, to become more.
By living by our purpose, we’ll be delivering all along the way. Not only when we achieve something but every single day.
📚 Recommended reading
Why people don’t succeed or “win” at the game of life
There are 7 things that a lot of people do that prevent them from being successful in life:
1. They don’t know the purpose of the game
It’s almost impossible to win at any game if we don’t know what our purpose is.
If we don’t live by our purpose, we’ll be living by someone else’s.
2. They have rules for themselves and everyone else
We want people to be or behave a certain way and if they don’t we get angry, frustrated, sad, etc.
A lot of rules will come out when they’re broken and we say things like “If you loved me, you wouldn’t do X-Y-Z” or “I opened him the door and he didn’t even said thank you”.
3. Their rules are in conflict
Many times we have rules that are in direct opposition.
Two rules in opposition could be something like: “In order be happy I need friends” and “I can’t make friends if I’m not happy”. Or the contradiction could also happen in just one rule: “I need money in order to make money”.
4. Even when they play by the rules, they don’t always win
If we don’t give events an empowering meaning, we can’t create strong disempowering associations.
5. Sometimes they get rewarded for breaking the rules
We exchange short-term pleasure for our values and therefore we loose our purpose and the long-term pleasure that it comes from living it.
6. They have to work with other people who all have the wrong rules
We believe they’re wrong and try to change everyone else instead of trying to learn from them.
7. They think it’s a life-and-death game and they put so much fear and pressure on themselves that they never truly live
The game is life-and-death and that’s why we have to live full on, but every moment is not life-and-death, we can’t put that pressure onto us or we’ll never be able to live fully.
Seven strategies to succeed
Essentially, by doing the opposite of the things that make people fail, we get the 7 strategies to succeed:
1. Decide the purpose of the game (at least for right now)
Remember that all decision making is value clarification
2. Have fewer rules about how to be happy
Be compassionate and understand that everyone has their own reasons to do what they do or be what they are.
3. Make your rules consistent
Don’t change them as you go.
It’s like in finance. If you are financially free at a specific amount of money, don’t change it as you get close to it. Instead achieve it, celebrate it and then set a new goal (or rule in this case).
4. Celebrate, give yourself pleasure whenever you win
Even when no one else does. Winning or loosing is an inner game, so no matter the result, if you’ve done your best, it’s a win.
5. Commit to your highest values
Give yourself a short burst of pain if you violate your sense of purpose in life, this is the way to keep ourselves on track.
6. Be compassionate, know that everybody has different rules
In any relationship, try to understand the other person/people’s rules.
7. Don’t take life too seriously
And don’t take yourself too seriously.
Finding your purpose
Sometimes not getting our dream gives us our destiny. As in the film Field of Dreams where doctor Graham fails at his dream of being a baseball player and therefore discovers his purpose of becoming a doctor.
Life is about two things who we are and what we do. Discovering that sense of meaning will give us a path to who do we want to become and what do we want to do.