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What emotion drives you?

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

One thing I have noticed and watched for over the years is:  what emotion drives someone's actions.  Whether we realize it or not, most of our actions are driven by a particular emotion.  I know as a kid, I was undersized and also a late bloomer.  I was always much smaller in size than other kids my age, so I always played sports with an extra 'edge'.  My edge was driven partly by anger for being picked on and also because I always felt like I had to prove myself.  I was also driven by the fear of being made fun of or not being worthy enough and letting others down.  It wasn't a necessarily healthy emotion that drove me, but it helped me achieve 'more' in the sports arena than maybe I would have otherwise.

In college when I was building a business, I was motivated to achieve by similar emotions.  Still feeling like I needed to prove myself or deem myself worthy to my mentors or people I looked up to.  Again, not healthy all around, but it did help me achieve 'more' in my profession.

I have had people close to me in my life that have let the emotion of anger dictate a lot of their actions.  I don't judge them for it, and I have learned to have compassion for their limitations.  However, I have also learned from that experience that anger is not a sustainable emotion that is good for mind, body, or soul.

In my journey through the Enneagram over the years, I have learned that a healthy version of my personality type is at its best when it is tied to a mission beyond myself - a mission to help others.  As the vision of Grit has manifested itself over the past 13 years from my wife and I's initial conversation to where it is today, it has been incredibly fulfilling in that the emotion of joy has been leading my drive most recently.  It is joyful to get up every single day and work towards a larger vision to help others in the way that you believe is unique to you.  

I certainly have days where my motivation is contaminated with emotions of fear, anger, worry, etc., but by having systems in place through routine, I find myself able to identify and withstand the impact of when those emotions start to bubble up on me.  I find it helpful to ask myself, 'what emotion is driving me right now?'  If I know that it is unhealthy, then I am able to course-correct into healthy thinking which leads to healthy feeling and healthy acting.

In closing, as you progress throughout this week, I challenge you to stop yourself at certain points in the day and ask yourself, 'what emotion is driving me right now?'  It will allow you to recognize and alter your thinking and acting in a way that will help you be driven by more joy.  

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