Why do you do what you do? What drives you in your work?
I've studied a lot about what drives people to do what they do. Why do they keep on keeping on, in spite of mistakes, in spite of obstacles, in spite of a never-ending list of tasks and responsibilities and only so many hours in a day? Why do you? Here's why I persist…
Some days I feel disjointed and scattered. I play tennis and work on my forehand. I blog and work on finding interesting posts to share with my people. I research, read, and write about the brain and psychology, and how to keep healthy in spite of the aging process.
I do the food shopping for fresh veggies and fruit at low prices. I'm not a good cook but I try to put together healthy lunches and dinner for the hubby and I. I keep loose tabs on the family finances, and try to be mindful of the economy as well as the ecology in our world.
I feed our two lovely Maine Coon cats, Hewey and Dewey, and try to keep them purring. I outsource a lot of the cleaning and gardening, but still, it has to be monitored.
I stay in touch with a few friends and organize our social events, and plan our vacation to the beach at Thanksgiving. I'm learning Spanish, and figuring out Mexican laws and rules…
I'm spending most of my working hours online, on the computer, either communicating or learning about things.
Some days I feel like the teacher, other days I feel like it's my first day at school and I got here late. With all the different interests and responsibilities in my life, it's easy to feel like a split personality.
I suggest that it all ties together for everybody. All of your work tasks, family roles, hobbies, education, and skills all tie together to make you who you are, unique and different, and yes, special. You have to find out what makes you special. And tie that into your business, what makes your business special and unique.
Tennis has taught me a lot about managing anger and reactivity and focus and concentration. Working with computers and Internet marketing has taught me how to see details and examine my assumptions about how things work.
Writing has helped me organize thoughts and get to the point. Even organizing a teleseminar and using the shopping cart for broadcasting has taught me to slow down and double check numbers and links.
On the days when I have doubts about myself, I acknowledge this as normal, annoying, but necessary. It allows me to slow down and ask myself these questions:
- Is what I'm doing worthwhile?
- Am I learning something?
- Will this allow me to have fun, now or at a later date?
- Am I possibly helping someone who might struggle with similar things?
These questions always help me evaluate and tie together for me what really matters. It explains why I persist.
One of my favorite books is Driven, How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices, by Lawrence and Nohria. It says all humans are driven by these four basic drives:
- The drive to acquire
- The drive to bond
- The drive to learn
- The drive to defend
It's an interesting book using research from evolution, sociology, biology, psychology. Which of these drives is stronger for you?
Related post: Unraveling the Mysteries of Why People Buy