Far Beyond Driven

What does it mean to be “driven”? We’ve all heard the sayings that are meant to stoke the fires of the motivation that we’re all supposed to have inside of us. A simple Google search for the phrase “Shoot for the stars” yields the original Les Brown quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” But it also produces The Situation’s take on it—”I shoot for the stars. If I get to the moon, I’m OK with that”—and Kanye’s—”Shoot for the stars, so if you fall you land on a cloud.” But do any of these words really do anything to inspire? Can that drive to succeed be transmitted? I honestly do not believe that it can.

I believe that being driven is an intrinsic trait. You’re either born with it or you aren’t. There’s ample evidence in support of my belief, as I encounter so many people who seem completely befuddled by those of us blessed with the drive. I see it in the crazy look of confusion from a roommate as I leave with my gym gear to pursue the dreams that are so crystal clear in my head. I hear him saying, “That crazy MFer is going to the gym again to go pick weights up and put them down,” in the sorry little voice meant to imitate the intellect of the stereotypical meat head. This sentiment, though, is coming from someone whose biggest accomplishment of the day was unlocking Level Who-Cares on the latest video game, which he achieved through such dedication that he failed to bathe himself that day. He couldn’t even be bothered to tuck the stray testicle back into his boxers that is trying so desperately to escape in a futile effort to fulfill his ultimate purpose. YES, I’m talking about teabagging. Exactly. So, really, who is the crazy one?

Anyway, if the drive to succeed is intrinsic, then what is the point of this post, if not to motivate the unmotivated? I’m glad you asked! With great desire, there comes momentum . . . and that’s not always a good thing. Momentum needs to be focused with laser precision or it ends up fueling unproductive behaviors. If you have the drive, don’t squander it. Use your energy efficiently for maximum productivity. Here are my suggestions for keeping all of your drive on the road:

RECORD EVERYTHING AND REVIEW IT.

What are you doing exactly and what are the results specifically? I cannot overemphasize the importance of asking these questions and answering them honestly for yourself. All the drive in the world is not going to do any good if you are spinning your wheels going nowhere. Record your specific, realistic goals. Next, record your exact actions—not just sets, reps, and weights, but everything. Then, review both your goals and your actions. When you continuously keep your plan in review, you shorten the distance between Point A (where you are now) and Point B (where you want to be). This advice applies to every aspect of life, not just training. Recording and reviewing is how all goals are accomplished, regardless of size or scope. The more diligent you are in recording and reviewing, and then revising proactively, the faster and smoother your journey will be.

BE A SUPERHERO.

Be very cautious about sharing your true identity. How many successful people have the story where they told their teacher what they wanted to be when they grew up, only to have the teacher tell them it couldn’t be done? Whether you’re born with the drive or not, having your dreams dashed is a difficult experience to overcome. I can recall a few occasions where I professed my goals to people, seeking guidance and support, only to have them shit all over them, fold them up, and hand them back to me. Some of them set me back on my achievements quite a bit further than I would like to admit, until I realized something. People who destroy other people’s aspirations have usually failed miserably at their own. So, after enough people had tried to filet my dreams, I started taking solace in pretending to be a superhero, blending in with people in the light of plain sight and relentlessly pursuing my goals in the darkness of anonymity. I hatched a master plan to thwart these villains who told me, “Well, that will never happen,” or “You’re too [insert some bullshit reason] to make your dreams come true.” The truth is that 99% of successful people will be the most supportive and encouraging allies you can find. It is only losers that will say things to drag you down. Winners know all too well that all the support, encouragement, and reassurance in the world will most likely still fail to light a fire under your ass if it is not already burning. And, if it is, then all they are doing is singing the same song you already hear in your head. Do not seek the support of failures. Do not even let them in on the mission. It is confidential, TOP SECRET, only for the eyes of those who have the same drive as you. Be cautious who you share your dreams with because the only one who can tell you that you will not be successful is you.

BE BRAZEN AND BOLD.

Seek out those who have already achieved what you want. In the worst case scenario, they blow you off—no big deal. But, in the best case scenario, you make an impression on someone who could become a major game-changer in your life. Since technology has made the world smaller, everyone is approachable to some degree. Just remember to keep your armor on because, sometimes, you’ll find that the image you have of someone may not fit who he actually is. If the person gives you nothing you can use to build yourself up, move on to someone who will. And keep this experience in mind when, years down the road, some novice is seeking your advice. That will be your opportunity to become a memory that makes the world an easier place to live and not a dream-killing pile of poo.

DON’T BE A KNOW-IT-ALL.

A great martial arts instructor once told me that, when you first learn to defend yourself, you need to test and prove your skills by fighting often. Once you become proficient at self-defense, few—if any—will be able to defeat you in a fight. But, when you master yourself, no one will ever be able to get you to fight again. That’s some good shit right there, Jedi wisdom. The same philosophy is as true for the art of conversation as it is for the martial arts. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who is a little too preoccupied with testing your knowledge and proving his own? We’re probably all guilty of it sometimes, like when you find out that the U.S. and Russia are only 2.5 miles apart at their closest point and then the next time you’re chatting at the bar, you spill the fact like a martini all over your conversation victim. It happens. However, the truly intelligent know how little they know, and so they don’t waste their time having conversations contrived to demonstrate their superiority. Just because you’re driven doesn’t give you the right to cram your knowledge down anyone else’s throat. The stupidest person in the room is always the one who knows everything.

DEVOUR INFORMATION

It’s everywhere. In fact, information is constantly predigested for your rapid access and consumption. I LOVE IT!!!! I am that asshole who will Google some random bullshit you try to adhere to just so I can stick it in your face, rather than one of those people who hates on something that they have no idea about. Be smart enough to admit it when you’re not sure, so that you can continue your education. Be humble enough to say, “Well, that is fascinating!” when you learn something new. And stay open and curious enough to read every point and counterpoint available on every subject that tickles your fancy. Never accept anything as static because we only evolve when we challenge. Embarking upon an intellectual journey does not compromise your identity or pawn the strength of your position. Logic is a beautiful weapon that can destroy evil and ignorance with its simple application. Recognize that your perspective is never more than that—your perspective.

Leave any comment, question, or suggestion here on the blog or email me at jbrandonhall78@gmail.com if you want to continue this discussion or pursue my online coaching. I would love to hear from you.

“Now I know, and knowing is half the battle.”—GI Joe

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