What Drives You To Succeed?

by on Nov.04, 2010, under Motivation

Do you ever wonder what drives you to do what you do? What are the intentions behind your actions? Why is success so important to you? What rewards do you expect to earn? These questions led me to read the book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” written by Daniel H. Pink. Daniel writes, “If we want to strengthen our organizations, get beyond our decade of underachievement, and address the inchoate sense that something’s gone wrong in our businesses, our lives, and our world, we need to move from Type X to Type I. Type I behavior is fueled more by intrinsic desires than extrinsic ones. It concerns itself less with the external rewards to which an activity leads and more with the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself.”

I was fascinated by this book because it really spoke to me on a deeper level. I was in the fast paced world of being a corporate climber. I got to the rung of the ladder that I set as my goal. I made it to Vice President. After my climb came to an abrupt stop and my job ended, I started my own company. Suddenly, I was no longer driven by the salary, title, bonus, expenses and the benefits, I was driven by the work. I was driven by building something from scratch, doing the work that I love and seeing the rewards in the clients I help guide. It was a definite transition and one that I had to embrace daily. I discovered that my pride now came from a different place. I had to learn to let go of things that I began to see were connected with my ego. Instead, I had to connect with my spirit and the idea of simplicity. I was doing what I loved and I was succeeding in a whole new way.

Then, recently, I had an opportunity come my way that could have led to a very big job. This job was the dream job that I had previously always seen as my life’s direction. If I was successful at it, like I knew that I could be, it could be huge. However, if I were to accept this job, I would have to close my company, the new adventure I had only just embarked upon a few years ago. I’ve put my heart and soul into this company for three years and I’m anxious to see it continue to grow. It’s showed me the value of intrinsic rewards. I knew my decision had to be about more than just the external security and external rewards this other position could offer me. I had to really look inside myself and decipher what would offer me the most internal security. Even still, the decision was very difficult. Both were amazing opportunities. Ultimately, what I discovered was that, at this moment, I find my greatest internal security in staying with my company and watching it grow. Right now, it’s Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc. that makes me feel most intrinsically complete.

Daniel goes on to write, “For Type I’s, the main motivations the freedom, challenge, and purpose of the undertaking itself; any other gains are welcome, but mainly as a bonus.” I had found that I was moving into what Daniel describes as the “Type I.” I was inspired when I read, “Type I’s almost always outperform Type X’s in the long run. Intrinsically motivated people usually achieve more than the reward-seeking counterparts. The most successful people, the evidence shows, often aren’t directly pursuing conventional notions of success. They’re working hard and persisting through difficulties because their internal desire to control their lives, learn about the world, and accomplish something that endures.”

Since I know that millions are going through the type of change that I am going through, I figured that these words could inspire and empower you like they did for me. I find that by identifying what drives you internally and what you connect your rewards to, you can make the choices that will lead you to find success both personally and professionally in a whole new way.

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2 Comments for this entry

  • Julie

    As always, today was the perfect day for me to read this message. I, too, have embarked on a new journey that has taken me well away from the ‘well-worn path.’ It gives me great joy to be here yet I sometimes find myself facing ‘resistance.’ Today was one of those days. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Jennifer

    Julie,
    Thank you for your comment. It always makes me very happy when our words resonate. It is a dilemma. Our consciousness is shifting. This is a good thing! I wish you well with your decision.
    Warmly,
    Jen

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