February 26, 2019 4 min read

When you think of the words ‘motivation’ and ‘drive’–what comes to mind? Often times, people hear the two words and associate them as being one and the same. This, however, would be inaccurate. Although the words seem similar, their definitions are what sets them apart. If you have motivation without drive, you might have the desire to do something, but not have what it takes to get it accomplished. If you have drive without motivation, then you’re determined to accomplish a goal, but without any pleasure or passion. So, what’s more important–motivation or drive? Let’s look into this a bit further.

Dictionary Definitions

Before we examine the application of motivation and drive into our daily lives, work, and fitness routines, let’s first establish the definition of these two words.

According to theCambridge Dictionary, the definition of motivation is: “the willingness to do something, or something that causes willingness.” Drive, on the other hand, is defined as: “a planned effort to achieve something.” So, although the words are both goal-oriented, their meanings have significant difference. One is thought–the other is action.

Motivation and Drive in Real Life

When we set an objective in life, whether it’s buying a house, getting a promotion, or reaching a fitness goal, it all starts out with motivation. Sometimes the motivation, or willingness to do something, comes as a personal desire, and other times, you may want to do it for the good of someone else. It’s the starting point for wanting to accomplish that goal. Drive, which can also be viewed as action and commitment, is what is going to get you to that end goal. Drive is what will keep you going even when your motivation ebbs and flows.

Drive, essentially, is what will keep moving you forward when there’s a dip in motivation. Commitment and drive inherently mean that, despite challenges and setbacks, you won’t veer off the path to success. If you have a commitment to a sports team, for example, your drive to support them and the see them win is high, even if your performance is low.

Drive without motivation, however, can leave people feeling burnt out and unfulfilled. If you have the drive to finish a goal, whether that’s in your career or in fitness, but not motivated to do it, you can end up feeling angry, disappointed, or even indifferent to the end result. So, how can you find the balance and which is more important–motivation or drive?

Motivation Is Fleeting

Drive is the key factor in accomplishing whatever motivates you. Motivation is fleeting.

Most of us get motivated to do things all the time, but do we actually do it? Lots of times–no. Our brains give us a dopamine high and release serotonin when we watch or read speeches, videos, and motivating posts. We become motivated to re-landscape the backyard after watching a TV show or increase our weight lifting goal by ‘x’ amount because we saw a documentary. But a few minutes after watching or reading these ‘motivating’ things, we go back to our normal lives never giving much effort to what we were so excited about for that moment.

The one and only way to break away from a habit of fleeting motivation is to build up the drive to do it. Not allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by the thought of doing it and actually putting this motivation into an action.

If you grew up with a parent or guardian that instilled the importance of drive at an early age, then this probably comes naturally to you. However, many people have to teach themselves how to be driven. In today’s world, awards and trophies are given simply for ‘trying’ instead of achieving. This, unfortunately, doesn’t reward hard work, consistency, and persistence. So, teaching yourself to become driven takes time and a lot of discipline.

Take fitness, for example. You deserve a round of applause forstarting a workout program, but will you continue? You can be motivated to go to the gym every now and again but do you have the drive to go consistently, even when you don’t want to?

Drive Overpowers Discomfort and Mistakes

Motivation puts people on a path to achieve an objective but, with growth and achievement, comes discomfort, pain, and disappointment. All of those things are what end up deterring people from continuing on this path. Then, both motivation and drive to push forward are lost.

To be driven is to realise that pain, discomfort, and setbacks are all a part of the process and you continue to move forward anyway. People who have drive know that goals are not always easy to meet, but they still work toward them at any cost. No matter what. Thinking this way allows your drive tobecome your motivation.

Once you have drive, it can always overpower motivation. Most motivation needs constant refuelling and reiterating, but drive runs on its own self-supplying energy. Having daily, repetitive consistency in doing something that moves you closer to your goal is what will help create a solid drive.

Whether it’s a career, fitness, or family-oriented goal, drive is crucial and motivation should never be underestimated. You have the motivation inside of you, but look even deeper to find, execute, and harness your drive.


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