THE MAN UP THERAPY TOOLKIT SERIES
PASSION & DRIVE
Let’s talk about critical components that affect one’s ability to be successful in implementing change - I’m referring to passion and drive.
Passion is an intense feeling toward something or a desire to do what one deems important. Think of it as a feeling of enthusiasm before an activity and a feeling of fulfillment upon completion of that activity; or a strong emotion toward someone. Of course, we’re talking about harmonious passion here, and not obsessive passion.
Passion compels people to push self-imposed limits and overcome obstacles, conquering things they didn’t perceive as possible. We all know someone like this, and it’s typically someone we think of as extraordinary. Naturally, we find these people inspiring. The truth is they don’t possess any superpowers above the rest of us, they are just normal people whose passion for change makes things possible.
Drive is more of a basic (but pressing) need demanding to be met that causes an individual to act to resolve it. Our primary drive is related to our physiological needs for survival (air, water, food, thirst, etc.). Our secondary drive is more tailored toward our past experiences and what we consider to be our personal requirements to live a happy and fulfilled life. This standard is what propels us to excel and overcome challenges to measure up to what we consider to be “ideal”.
Of course, there are other types of drives such as achievement, pain avoidance, exploration and affection, just to name a few.
Motivation and drive are very closely related. Motivation is an internal process that guides and nudges us with direction and intensity toward a goal, in order to fulfill a need. Both drive and motivation can often be experienced as an excitement or tension that energizes our behavior in order to fulfill some need.
A critical male psychological need is the need for achievement motivation. The ability to be successful is a learned behavior that’s obtained by achieving excellence. The process of motivation involves four steps:
1. A person has a need, 2. takes action, 3. receives a positive result, 4. but then can often have difficulty stopping his reach for achievement once it’s attained.
This is often referred to as the Motivational Cycle, and it’s easy to get stuck here.
The human body has a built-in threshold that maintains a balanced internal state called homeostasis. It’s natural for us to find ourselves maintaining the status quo (or homeostasis). That’s one of the reasons why we feel challenged when we try to implement change. We also manage what we consider to be an ideal level of activity and stimulation, psychologists call the “arousal approach”. When those levels are low, individuals seek more stimulation (like movement or exercise, for example). When levels are high, they may gravitate toward quiet or alone time.
It’s all too easy to find ourselves bored, in a rut, or bogged down in life by going through the motions and dealing with daily tasks that don’t fulfill us. Individuals who explore their inclination for change recognize they have a natural need for new experiences. Those who encounter positive change experience an internal process that activates, guides, and maintains constructive cognition and behaviors that support change. Passion and drive are an important factor in this process.
The goal is to live an intentional life that’s aligned with your thoughts, opinions, ideals and zest for life, instead of reacting to what is happening around you - which isn’t necessarily where YOUR passion lies. To meet this goal, it’s critical that you take the time to evaluate what sparks your passion.
What are you passionate about? What really makes you feel alive, instead of simply living? What provides you with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment? By identifying and adding more of it in your life, you’ll experience a greater sense of happiness, fulfillment, and self-confidence.
Anyone can become that person whose passion for change makes things possible. You can become an inspiration to others. What sparks your “superpower”?
If you feel you or someone you love could use some help in this area, call me at 512-470-6976 for a complimentary, 20-minute phone consultat.
Britannica (2018) What is Drive? Accessed:
Fetting, S. (2018) What is Passion? How to find it and live it! Accessed:
Kurup, V. (2013) Why is it so important to be passionate? Accessed:
Psych Study (2018) The Motivational Cycle. Accessed:
Taylor, J. (2012) Personal Growth: Motivation: The Drive to Change. Do you have the drive to change your life? Accessed:
The Psychology Notes (2018) Motivation in Psychology. Accessed: