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Some drivers in our lives are destructive or keep us from reaching our potential. By acknowledging them, we have the opportunity to focus on and change them.

PSYCHOLOGYTODAY

What Drives You?

What Drives You?

psychologytoday.com

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When you step back and look at the landscape of your life, what’s drives you? What shapes what you do, not in terms of priorities—the things you focus on—but the engine that pushes your life along?

Seeing our lives as being driven is not new to psychology. Freud mapped out his 5 stages of development, that not only propel a child's development but can shape the adult's. And Maslow became famous for his Hierarchy of ...

Here are some of the most common drivers, ranked from those with the most significant positive impact (passions) to those providing the most negative impact (addictions). The line separates what we might consider adverse mental health from the positive.

  • Passions / Purpose

Here we think of alcoholism, drugs, sex, workaholism. What makes them addictive is that they kidnap your brain. Rational thinking goes offline, your midbrain pleasure center...

Unfortunately, this is the driver for too many of us. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety is the number one mental health problem in the U.S. affecting 18 percent of the population. It can take many forms—panic attacks,

While these are not formally diagnosable conditions, each has a negative impact on your life. Folks who are emotionally driven tend to run their lives based on how they feel. If they “feel” like cleaning up the house, they do; if they don’t, they don’t. While there’s an apparent ...

Routines are useful. Without them, our anxiety goes up and we are essentially forced to invent each day from scratch. But if your days become too routinized, we’re running on autopilot; there’s too little spontaneity, few opportunities for joy. Life is safe but bland.

Setting goals and working towards them are good antidotes to routine’s downsides. You are proactive rather than reactive, creative rather than staid. But you can undermine your goals if you are emotionally driven. When the going gets tough and the goals are not your own, you lose...

Passion and purpose are at the top of our ladder because they arise from that core of who we are and want to be and carry none of the baggage of the others. When driven by passion and purpose, we are honest with ourselves and others. There is a natural integrity as our inner and outer liv...

So, when you step back and look at your life, what are your drivers? What keeps you from moving up that ladder? What do you need to do to reach greater fulfillment? How can you start today?

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