What drives you? It is an important question. In my opinion, drive is the most important element of an exceptional life.

Yet so often, I see success teachers telling people to get a vision or a dream for their future. In truth, I have taught that concept many times myself! But a few years ago, I began to think that “What is your dream?” might be the wrong question. I now want to know, “What drives you?” I call that your drive pedal.

As my friend Harvey Mackay said, “I don’t know of any entrepreneurs who have achieved any level of success without persistence and determination.” Finding something that drives us is the prerequisite for great achievements…there can be no success without the drive to achieve it. Period.

There is no such thing as accidental, easy, lucky, or overnight success. Success is one of the most you’ve-got-to-want-it, didn’t-see-that-coming, gotta-know-why pursuits in our lives. Before you take the on ramp to your road to success, tell yourself these four things:

I will have to make my own opportunities, and there will be times I don’t see any.

It will be hard…probably harder than I think.

I will have to make my own luck and endure some bad luck.

It will take time, and I will have to be very patient.

In other words—and this is non-negotiable—it will take drive. Now, maybe you are a little depressed knowing how much work lies ahead for you. So go ahead and tell yourself one more thing:

It will be worth it!

At this point, I have identified how success does not happen…it does not happen easily. Now let’s look at drive because as I said at the beginning, it is the one quality common to all achievers. In short, some might say that having a dream is the key to making your dreams come true…I would not.

A dream ≠ drive.

I know many great people who have dreamed artfully and focused on their dreams passionately, yet their dreams remain unfulfilled. Why is that? Because dreams birthed from a few hours of creative thinking and typed into the notes of your cell phone will not be:

Courageous enough to attempt the impossible

Ferocious enough to knock down barriers in your path

Determined enough to endure the hardest of hardships along the way

Resilient enough to hang on like grim death until the last millimeter of your nail breaks off!

That takes drive! That requires something primal within you, deeply rooted and unrelenting. It cannot be written on a legal pad…it’s written in your soul. In fact, it must be a little angry, maybe even a little crazy.

Drive is born from years of processing experiences, some positive and many negative, that create very strong feelings about yourself and your future. Often, those experiences and the resulting feelings lead to a dream. But I am convinced that finding your drive is the most important first step, without which no other step matters.

Now, before the “dreamers” break out the pitchforks for me, let me offer my definition of drive:

Drive is a passion in your gut, forged in the fires of your past and present, that inspires a clear vision of your future, which you decide to relentlessly pursue right now.

There is an element of dream in drive…but drive is bigger, deeper, and in my opinion, more powerful.

Leadership trainer Israelmore Ayivor said it best: “Passion or drive is what moves the vehicle of a fulfilled life.” The truth is, we do not have a dream problem; we have a drive problem. I know many leaders with a dream who are wondering what they did wrong (or what is wrong with them) that their dreams have not come true.

Do not be discouraged…you simply have run into this reality: you cannot count on a dream to fulfill a dream. And I believe those who point to their dream as a reason for their success do not realize it was actually their drive that got them there.

Now it’s time to look within yourself and formulate what I call your drive pedal: that spectrum of experiences, relationships, and deep longings that creates an unstoppable passion to pursue your dream. Look in three areas: Where do you hurt? Who do love? What do you want out of life?

In every person, the drive pedal is composed of three things—three P’s—our:




All our motivation—our drive—comes from these three areas in our lives. The challenge is that most people have not adequately explored these three internal sources of drive, much less used them as fuel for great personal achievement. Look at all three of those areas and feel the emotion there. Allow them to inspire drive within you. Lean into the emotion you feel. Use it! Drive will begin to well up in you. That is your edge.

“Passion or drive is what moves the vehicle of a fulfilled life.”
—Israelmore Ayivor



Drive is written by R. D. Saunders