As I have been writing the second chapter of my upcoming eBook, Empathy: Love and Life Beyond Self, I have been exploring the aspects of becoming a person of empathy. There are three core foundations by which all behavior is driven. These core foundations can result in positive or negative behaviors which ultimately result in positive or negative outcomes. Fulfillment is also derived from these three core foundations. The most prevalent core foundation in your life will determine your behaviors, which in turn will determine your outcomes. These three core foundations are your motivators, your drivers, and your passions.
Motivators are external influences that cause you to make specific decisions to either move towards something or away from it. You will tend to do those things which generate pleasurable experiences, and resist those things that do not. Keep in mind that pleasurable experiences are subjective to the individual. What brings one person pleasure can often come at a cost to another.
There are two governing rules concerning your motivators. Rule #1: When the pleasure received from an experience exceeds the price paid to achieve the experience, you will most likely continue to pursue the experience. Rule #2: When the price paid from an experience exceeds the pleasure derived from the experience, you are most likely to stop pursuing the experience. This is the cost / ROI (return on investment) factor. What I have observed is that this force can fluctuate depending on your specific situation. Because of this fluctuation, motivators tend to be subjective. If an external influence does not cost you enough, you are less likely to pay much attention to changing that influence.
Let’s contrast motivators (which are external) with drivers (which are internal). Unlike the external influences of motivators, drivers are internal influences that cause you to make specific decisions to pursue those things for which you have a passion. I will get to passion in a minute, but for now understand that drivers and passion are linked. Drivers are your values, principles, and beliefs. A principled person has high internal influencers and low external influencers. A person with strong moral values and deep personal beliefs will have high internal influencers and low external influencers. Therefore, a person with strong drivers can resist external influencers that cause bad decision making.
Drivers will cause you to exceed expectations, overcome difficult obstacles, and consider hardship as part of the achievement process. Where motivators are external in nature and are equated to the cost / ROI model, drivers are internal in nature and are subject to the character / reputation markers. Character and reputation markers are traits tied directly to your value and belief systems and the principles by which you live your life. Strong character and reputation traits are to be a person who is loving, joyful and living at peace with others. They are to be longsuffering, kindly affectionate, full of goodness, faithful and gentle. Over all else, character and reputation traits allow a person to be self-controlled.
Those who are motivated to achieve, but lack the drivers to achieve positive outcomes live reactionary lives. When their motivations change, so does their ability to remain focused on achieving their original targets (goals). Those who are driven live proactive lives and will stay focused on achieving the original targets (goals) and will not be swayed by the changing environment. Motivated people achieve to reduce the amount of personal price to be paid for failure. Driven people achieve even when the price to be paid increases with their effort. Motivation and drive are linked insomuch as a person who has drive can be motivated by external factors to push harder, go faster, and achieve more positive outcomes.
Although your drivers can cause you to achieve your goals, tapping your passion can have even more significant results. Passion is the fire in your bones that cannot be quenched by opposition, hardship, headwinds or other forces that would usually snuff-out your motivators. Passion is the fire that needs no fuel. It burns a continual flame that is not quenched by the external forces that would seek to extinguish it. Passion is an insatiable longing to eternally affect the lives of others in a positive way because when you are doing what you are passionate about it will inevitably impact the lives of those around you.
You might be motivated to accomplish a task to reduce the price you would pay if you were not to accomplish that task. You might even be driven to take on a project because it is the right thing to do even when a small personal price might be paid. But it takes a passion that is focused on eternal consequences to do what is right despite the opposition, despite the difficulty, despite the personal price that will be paid. If you have a passion to help those who are struggling and you have a strong value and belief system with non-negotiable principles, you have the base elements for accomplishing great things.
Each one of these elements has competing interests. Passion can be thwarted by desire. Drivers can be disrupted by willfulness. Motivators can be diluted by changing circumstances. To combat these destroyers of eternal achievement, keep in mind these facts. Passion is exclusively focused on the eternal whereas desire is focused on the temporal. Drivers have a foundation of high moral values, a faith based belief system, and uncompromising principles. Willfulness has a foundation of self gratification and material possessions. Motivators come in three flavors, positive, negative, and neutral and can change based on how your environment changes.
A negative event can result in positive motivation. A job loss is an example of a negative event that can cause positive motivation. It can also have negative motivation. It is not necessarily the event that dictates the outcome as much as it can be your reaction to the event. Either way, you are motivated. A neutral motivator is one where you are not moved to action one way or the other. You basically become passive in your behaviors. Your reaction is one of nonchalant disengagement. The key with motivators is how the external events are interpreted and processed. If you perceive threats, you will move to preserve. If you perceive pleasure, you will move to participate. If you perceive neither threat not pleasure you will be moved to passivity.
Understanding these three aspects of life will help you achieve more, worry less, and see life for what it is. There is an ebb and flow to life that can cause purpose or drift and you cannot drift to the top of a mountain. You have to be purposeful, principled, and passionate in order to achieve your targets. If you are interested in becoming a person of purpose, principle, and passion, contact me to learn more about how a Strategic Planning Expert can help. Visit http://kenrupert.com for more information about life coaching and strategic planning. Pick up a copy of my latest eBook (Strategic Goals: The DNA of Personal Success) from Amazon’s Kindle Store. While you are there, don’t forget to get your copy of my first release Planned Excellence: How to Achieve Greatness through Strategic Planning.