Or, maybe the better question to ask is “what pulls you?”
There’s a quote I came across that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about over the past few days. It’s by Viktor Frankl, who happens to know a thing or two about motivations and aspirations:
“Man is pushed by drives. But he is pulled by values.”
When a situation presents itself, you are free to either accept or reject a value that is being offered.
Are you being ruled? Or are you ruling?
Being acted upon? Or acting.
Without the right values, success is brief. Happiness is fleeting. Progression is stifled.
Here’s the thing, the most successful people I’ve ever heard of or met, aren’t very well-known people. And that’s how they like it! Sure, there are plenty that get recognized, but the greats will never credit their achievements to their own devises. The need to be praised and heard may drive some people to climb the ladder, but not these people. They are pulled by something more important, meaningful, and bigger than themselves.
If man is only being pushed by his desires, then he is a slave to circumstance. There also needs to be a pull—in the right direction—something else that provides context and perspective. Only then can man be truly free.
Make it about the work you do and why you do it. Choose principles over accolades. Check your drives and evaluate your values.