As high achievers, we are all results-oriented people. We are driven to our cores. We continuously push through tasks, meet deadlines, take on more and more responsibilities, work harder, and even bounce back from adversities faster than others. We always have our foot on the accelerator pedal without even caring to take a pit stop for refueling.
But why do we do what we do? The society and culture we grow up in establish certain rules and yardsticks that we often accept without questioning them. Some of these rules are consciously accepted while others subconsciously take seed within us. Growing up as a kid, I knew of only 4 professions that I could choose from that society really looked up to. They included Engineering, Doctor, Teacher, and Banker. 99% of the people I knew were in one of these professions, and they were all high achievers and successful. And I became an engineer. My wife believes that hard and slog work is the only way how entrepreneurs get their success. Why does she have this belief? Because she has seen her father do that all his life.
While some people are just natural go-getters, for others, their drive sometimes stems from a past hurt or pain, or even trying to fulfill someone’s dreams. For example, a child who was told by her teachers that she’ll “never do anything good in life,” may make her sole life purpose to prove them wrong. Or, someone who has been through a relationship trauma may “divert” his mind into working day and night, and make that notion of “success” his best form of revenge. Or maybe, you are just trying to live out your father’s dream.
High achievement without knowing the real reason often makes us prone to depression, marital or parenting issues, and other health-related challenges. We may be successful in our outside world, but inside, we are broke and lonely.
So, what is your real reason behind your drive? And why does it matter to you? What are you willing to sacrifice to get there? What are you not willing to sacrifice to get there?
Answering these questions will free you from the masks that you’ve been wearing and the shackles that have prevented you from being really effective.