Unlocking your driving force is life-changing.
It’s a force that becomes a second wind, or a runner’s high, or an additional store of energy you can draw down on. Every single one of us has this inside of us. For most of us, it sits idle for years, waiting to explode out of you.
My driving force was unlocked in 2013. A tall giant named Tony Robbins unlocked it after I devoured his books, tapes and teachings in a desperate attempt to change my life and heal from an undiagnosed mental illness. The title of this story was something Tony said which got me thinking back then.
It doesn’t matter who unlocks your driving force. All that matters is you unlock it, finally — as soon as possible. Because when you do, your entire life changes. You’ll never be the same again.
What is a driving force?
It’s the little voice inside your head that tells you not to give up so easily. It’s the freakish ability to avoid sleeping in because you have bigger things to do. It’s the protector of your goals. It’s the crusher of excuses. It’s the assertiveness to ask for something a second time when you know you should.
It’s the ability to be unreasonable enough to make things happen, that perhaps shouldn’t happen. It’s the ability to take all your disadvantages, shortcomings, critics and society’s biases against you and where you’re from, and use them to your advantage with a smile on your face.
A driving force controls how you think and what you do, unconsciously.
Passion secretly hides in every single one of us
Another way of saying “your driving force” is passion. Yes, it’s cliche because the best concepts you haven’t implemented often are.
Passion is effortless.
Passion is automation for your decisions. Passion is a reason to do something. Passion is what you can use to make your vision, dream, or desire a reality. You can have a goal, but without passion you won’t care enough to make it happen. Why?
There will be setbacks, hidden problems, critics and lots of bumps along the way. Each of these realities will piss you off and make you say “fuck it, I’m out.” Passion is a reason to try again or keep going. You can blame everything on passion and then move forward. Without passion, your brain is right — this situation is screwed and the world is against you and time is running out.
Blame your life on passion to keep going.
Barriers to unlocking your driving force
Obviously, there are things getting in the way of you unlocking your driving force. Let’s identify a few.
Fear of critics blocks it.
Do me a favor. Imagine this.
Wake up. Write something from the heart on social media. Take a risk. Unlock some level of vulnerability. Hit publish. Come back the next day. Read the comments on your social media post.
What you’ll see is at least one critic who thinks you’re an idiot. They won’t be afraid to throw virtual mud at you or make you feel stupid. They will link to research that makes your point of view seem stupid (research from a google search that proves someone wrong is easy to find).
If you’re really unlucky, they’ll invite their mates along. They’ll metaphorically say “look how stupid this newb is” without saying anything bad. Their friends will agree because there’s nothing on TV that night.
If you’re even more unlucky, those same critics will publish a beautifully crafted piece of content all about you, without naming you, but making it obvious they’re talking about you. They are the satire kings and queens of the internet and you’re their little pawn.
You’ll feel terrible afterwards. The feeling will last a week, maybe more.
Next time you go to work on your goal you’ll be reminded of this moment. Those critics will remind you of how weak you can be with a few comments.
Time stops it
Without any time, you’ll be too distracted to unlock your driving force. There will always be another entry on your calendar. Busy will be your excuse and you won’t even realize it.
Without time, the deep thinking required to unlock what your driving force is and work out where it comes from will remain out of reach.
Friends and family stop it
The power of your driving force is so great that other people won’t want you to find it. Why? Well, they haven’t found theirs, so how dare you have yours.
They’ll load you up with tasks. They’ll want you to live in mediocrity and spend your days in a constant state of social media outrage fuelled by politics, elections, and content that says “life is unfair” without actually saying it.
The ones you love the most can be the biggest blockers of your driving force.
You think your life is long
You think you have time. As I learned in 2015 during a near-miss with cancer, you don’t. Your life isn’t that long.
The time is now for anything you want to do. Delaying what gives you meaning is a guaranteed regret you’ll have on your deathbed. Death hurts enough, without adding regrets to your final day on this planet.
You stop it
The biggest problem, as always, is you. You stop yourself from finding and using your driving force. You do this through the lies you tell yourself.
The easiest person to cheat is yourself.
Say something in your head and it becomes a fact, instantly. You can come up with endless excuses about why you can’t have what you want.
Here’s How to Discover Your Driving Force
- Read books about people who have discovered theirs. Look for patterns and write them down so you don’t forget them.
- Ask people who know you well what you’re obsessed with.
- Work on yourself through reflection, meditation, writing your thoughts down, and gaining feedback.
- What has given you tingles down your spine? What produces flow states? What feels effortless to talk about?
- How can you help people? The ways you can help people hold many of the hidden secrets to purpose, fulfillment, joy and meaning.
- What would you protest for? If someone tried to stop me writing I’d sit outside parliament like Greta Thunberg did and protest. What makes you feel like doing the same?
- Let death motivate you.
- Do this exercise: Put yourself in radically different situations. In 2013, I overcame my fear of flying to attend an event that seemed crazy. I met people who were truly bizarre. I had to hug strangers. I had to write down what was going on in my head. When I returned home I started reaching out to people who inspired me. Many of them never responded. One guy did. He was into self improvement. He offered to show me how he found his driving force, although he didn’t call it that. I saw how much he was lit up by his life. I dreamt of having that same glow. I dreamt of caring about something other than myself. It didn’t happen right away. It took many ridiculous situations to unleash the chains that shackled my potential.
- You can live a lit up life when you expose yourself to new situations.
Your Life Will Never Be the Same Again
I can’t promise you a Ferrari. But I can tell you that your life will never be the same when you find your driving force.
Writing, public speaking, and using social media is how I found mine. I’ll die for it. The same opportunity exists for you.
A vision, dream, or desire isn’t enough.
You need a driving force to help you work away at it and overcome the inevitable setbacks. A goal without a driving force lacks passion and is vulnerable to abandonment or self-destruction.
You have a powerful driving force inside of you — experiment to find out what unlocks it for you.