“There is a single reason why 99 out of 100 average businessmen never become leaders. That is their unwillingness to pay the price of responsibility. By the price of responsibility I mean hard, driving, continual work” (Owen D. Young).
YEARS AGO, THE WORD “DRIVE” WAS MORE OFTEN USED IN A POSITIVE SENSE. If it was said that a young man, for example, had drive, the point would have been that he was enterprising and energetic in the betterment of his situation. Nowadays, however, the word often suggests a person is ambitious in a negative sense, and when we refer to somebody as being “driven” we are not usually paying them a compliment. But think for a moment about what it is that distinguishes honorable drive from the dishonorable kind.
Goals. A person’s drive might be good or bad depending on what it is they are trying to accomplish. Obviously, we don’t want to see a person expend great energy in the pursuit of an immoral goal, but even in practical matters, we don’t praise a person’s drive if he or she is devoting significant passion to an insignificant purpose. In terms of our life’s work, majoring in minors is never an admirable thing to do.
Methods. If the “what” of drive is important, so is the “how.” A person’s goal might be the noblest thing in the world, but we wouldn’t praise his drive if he went after it by lying, cheating, and running over other people. Ends don’t justify means, and we see drive as commendable only when honorable goals are ethically pursued.
Motives. Good goals and moral methods must also be employed for right reasons. Indeed, one of the most disappointing things in life is to find out that somebody whose efforts we admired was, when the truth came out, driven by selfish or prideful motives. Ultimately, the “why” of our work matters even more than the “what” and the “how.”
But let’s put all of this together. Wouldn’t you like to have a friend or a family member who had “drive” in the highest sense? That person would (1) have great purposes, (2) use right means, and (3) possess pure motives, the purest of which is love. Well, our friends and family would like to know that we ourselves have that kind of drive. So give those around you a gift. Get up tomorrow with more drive.
“Love will ask much more of us than the law could ever require. True love can never say, ‘I have done enough. I have now fulfilled all my obligations.’ Love is restless, drives us on” (John Powell).