Monday, November 26
Everyone has that friend who knows what success tastes like. That’s because they have made sure to pour themselves a giant bowl of it each morning. They are the ones who heard most children start kindergarten at age five or six, so they began when they were four. Did you start using a few words at age two? They were giving speeches at age one. Long before you considered walking on your own two feet, they were lacing up their baby booties for a morning stroll around the house (a house their parents thought they still had months to baby-proof).
They are driven. And here’s what they want you to know.
They want to be pushed, so they can feel good about pushing back.
They understand not everything is a competition. But they are not really interested in those things. It’s not that they have to be the best at everything, but…nope, actually, they do. They enjoy the competitive juices that begin to flow whenever there is an opportunity to prove themselves.
The pushing back and forth is not about starting a fight. It’s really about finding out what they can do. And when they find out there is something they cannot do, they want to learn how to do it.
Don’t be offended when they have an opportunity to do something better than you do it. It’s not that they don’t want you to do well. They just assume you’ll be trying your hardest to beat them. So they are going to bring their ‘A’ game and they want to see how it stacks up to yours. This is their athletic competition.
“You don’t just find and get a great job. You find and win a great job against a pool of very competitive candidates who may want that job as much, if not more, than you do. Finding and winning a great job is a competitive sport that requires as much career athleticism and perseverance as making it to the Olympics. You must be in the finest career shape possible in order to win.” ~Debbie Millman 1
Finishing a project is about having the right tools.
If there is a to-do list, it means there are tasks to be checked off. If they are going to start something, then they are going to finish that same thing. For the person who is driven, the only thing standing in their way is having the right tools. When it comes to succeeding in college, they are convinced the right tools will help them do anything.
If you’re building a house, give them a hammer. Writing a speech? Give them a topic and some wi-fi to do their research. Success in college means strong academics and qualified professors. They know why they are here and what they are doing. Internships in their field are musts for attaining a rewarding career.
Relationships are formed in the midst of hard work.
Driven people can be misconstrued as not caring about relationships. This isn’t true at all. But like everyone else, they connect with like-minded people. This means they are going to grow close with those people who are running in the same direction as they are. It’s not always about a healthy competition. They agree with the African proverb;
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
But if you’re going to go with them, you need to be driven as well, because driven students have goals for themselves. Those goals have benchmarks. Those benchmarks have deadlines. And they will meet those deadlines, but it’s not at the expense of relationships. The truth is, they know they can reach higher and farther when they have a community around them. This will be a group of people they can support to meet their goals, even as they receive support to reach their own goals.
Results are not given. They’re earned.
Hard work is not something to fear. In fact, it has lots of hidden benefits. But if the time and effort are put in, then driven students want to see the results. After all, this is what they have been taught in every area of their lives. Even the Apostle Paul wrote that “you will always harvest what you plant.” 2
This also means that driven people will be looking for evidence. They know their high test scores have opened doors for them. Now they are looking for others who can help them achieve their next steps. Make no mistake, they don’t believe they have arrived. They would readily quote best-selling author Esther Dyson.
“Always take jobs for which you are not qualified; that way you will inevitably learn something.”
They are what drives them.
Ultimately, you will not have to spend your time figuring out what motivates the driven. They are what drives them. Their motivation comes from within. While others are relaxing, their wheels are still spinning.
This might be the only group telling the truth when they say they were born ready. They can handle the fast pace. In fact, they prefer it.
Grace College knows this about students who are driven. That’s because we are driven as well. Share your goals with us and we will show you how we can help you achieve them. We are about accepting students where they are and helping them grow into their dreams. Schedule a visit with us today and discover how we can equip you. You are driven. We have the keys.