What’s Driving You? Get to know the source of your motivations!

Whats Driving YouIt took me a while to get to the bottom of this question.  I have always been a driven individual, but I was not aware of what was driving me.

For a long while, I felt like a marathon runner who did not know where I was heading other than the fact that I kept on running.

I was raised with a strong work ethic and brain-washed into believing that I needed to work hard, sacrifice in the present in order to have a better life in the future.  Once this got into my psyche, its side-effects also start showing up in my life.  As most things go, one has to consider the scope of generalizations and its impact on young minds.

Long story short, fear became a key driver of my choice-making.  I didn’t even realize it until much later, 20 years later.  I was consumed by the fear of poverty and was completely oblivious to it.  It had its grip on most of my choices for the longest time.  Then came a situation, when I wanted to volunteer to help some local organizations, and the signals that I received, both direct and indirect, suggested that I needed to be someone significant to be taken seriously.  In fact, one of my donation checks was refused as the person said, “Krishna, you cannot afford to do this.”  This stung my ego.

Until then, my need to work was geared to making a living and staying out of poverty.  Now, it turned into something else.  I needed to prove something, be somebody in order to be considered as a valued volunteer and philanthropist.  I distinctly remember saying to myself during the mid-90s, “If that’s what they are looking for, I can show them and become somebody.”

As I had mentioned in my last post, most of my goals of the past brought with them a sense of urgency, anxiety and angst.  Only later did I discover that the source of my motivations stemmed from either Fear, Ego or Greed.

Goals driven by this energy typically do not bring lasting joy and fulfillment, while they might bring pleasure and a sense of achievement for a brief period.  Instead, they usually bring anxiety and worry. My takeaway for you is to simply pause for a brief second and ask three short questions.

Am I being driven by my Fears?
Am I being driven by my Greed?
Am I being driven by my Ego?

Once you are clear about the source of your motivations, go ahead and do whatever you choose.  While you may not want to change your position, making a deliberated choice knowing what’s driving you will make you more aware of the possible consequences and offer few surprises.  There exists a space beyond Fear, Greed and Ego, a space with clarity and purpose, that you can discover by simple pausing and asking yourself the three questions above.  I promise that it will improve the quality of your life.

Peace and be well,


Up Next: Happy New Year and best wishes to follow your Dharma in 2013