Drive and Motivation: What Compels Us to Move and Why

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Do you know what makes you do the things you do? Why you take certain actions in certain situations? What do you do to get from here to there? Read on and find out.



♦     What Two Things Drive Us?     ♦


(Photo credit via Pixabay)


1. Needs and Wants

Simply put, the main reason we humans do anything is because of (a) our needs and then (b) wants. That's the two top reasons why we do what we do, its where everything else starts which is why I combined them into one. 

All that we physically need and/or want requires money, unless we are some kind of farmer or fisherman where all the food is just there to harvest. We always strive for money but making it alone does not motivate the lot of us, in fact, it makes us feel like bad, greedy people if we only want monetary compensation and nothing else. Why do you think there are a lot of AWOL or absences and lates from the workforce all over the world?

personal_development(Photo credit via Pixabay)


Let's look at it this way: inorganic and organic things are different from each other, much like inanimate and animate things are opposites. Science taught us that anything not moving will only move if something else moves it or causes it to move. This may only pertain to the physical body (or matter/mass) but as human beings, it doesn't happen that way. People are alive and so we can move ourselves and decide on what to do unlike inorganic matter.

To live, we need certain things to survive. The basic answer then to the question on what makes us move is the need to be alive. Once we are able to live and eat every day we want to ensure that we and our family will stay alive and live comfortably.

just_do_it(Photo credit via Pixabay)


Note that we also need to be happy while we sustain ourselves. We have to know our goals and dreams or purpose on earth. To be alive means taking action all day every day, including the two (or three) main things stated here in this article. To live well and fully, we have to take care of our body and soul.

As for external factors, same as with non-moving objects, these will make you take action forcefully depending on what happened/happens and the intensity of your need or want to take action. Unlike inorganic or non-living things, we can choose which path to take.


2. Environment, surroundings or external factors

And so the second (or third) factor on why we do what we do is because (c) we are social beings. We humans cannot exist living on our own. It is the only external thing we need to factor in. This factor also compels us to move in any direction we decide to. Which path we choose to take is of course another matter for another discussion.

motivation_that_we_need(Photo credit via Pixabay)


As social creatures we need to deal with peer pressure, social norms and culture or even cultural differences every day. Also, because we care about people and inanimate things other than ourselves, we take action to make others and us happy. Why? Other people and things are needed in order for us to be happy and survive or live meaningful or fulfilled lives every day. 

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Here's another take on it. You can watch Tony Robbins on why we do what we do.

(Video credit: TED via YouTube)



♦ Why We Need to Discover Our Drive in Life ♦

drive_and_motivation(Photo credit via Pixabay)


Why do you think we need to know about these things? It is because we should be curious in everything other than just how to make money to live better lives. Sometimes we need to take time off to go on a road of self-discovery as this can also help us realize many things on our own: who we are, why we do things and how we can get to where we're going especially when we've been sort of stuck for years however much we try.

I wrote this article to help us know what we want or need in life in case we have forgotten it. It is important to discover what makes us who we are and why we do the things we do. Why? This will help each of us know ourselves more - how each of us conducts ourselves or react to other people - which will definitely guide us to where we believe we should be. If we are striving for other people's formula for success then we will definitely be lost indeed.

self_help_advice(Photo credit via Pixabay)


If you read this when you are depressed or stuck in a rut of indecision or negativity, it will hopefully make you go back and help you think on what to do to move forward.

Personally, you have to find out again, specifically, what are your current needs and/or wants in order to move forward. Taking action should be a priority because it is the only way to change our lives. Look into your present situation and other external factors involved to finally start doing something again. 

As we all know, there are about seven basic needs we need in order to survive (clothing, food, medicine, shelter, etc), but aside from those things, what are our own personal needs? Is it a private vehicle so we can easily go to and from work after dropping off the children? Take a second job to earn more and add funds to help pay off the bills? Do you need to live closer to where you work or study? What are the things you dream about having or owning? Is it that new shoes worn by a celebrity? A new iPad or laptop? Make a list of everything. what_do_you_do_with_your_life

(Photo credit via Pixabay)


Doing the above is somewhat the same as knowing what motivates, inspires and drives us. Let me give you my own understanding of some key words:

  • Motivations are the end result of knowing what can influence us in getting our needs and/or wants so we can move forward or take action. What do you need or want? Is it career first? Or riches,  freedom, love etc.?

  • Inspiration is the influence that makes us positively move forward, the things that makes us create things because we got excited or happy to make it, the people we like and/or things we love to do or want to promote because it can benefit ourselves and help others, etc.

  • Drive is what sustains our actions - in a non-physical sense, think of it as stamina. It is what makes us keep taking action to reach a goal for as long as we can until we finish that goal or reach that dream. It is that non-stoppable force that makes you keep doing it even if you need to rest you will not rest, "unless you have to" kind of thing. It is different from obsession, because it doesn't have a negative ulterior motive since it is a positive aspect. 

how_to_take_action(Photo credit via Pixabay)


Inspiration comes from our drive. Motivation is the product of our needs and wants. When we find our drive, we'll find an infinite supply of inspiration and motivation to reach that goal/dream and get to the finish line. You just have to know what you really want to do and decide on it.

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Staying number one is a different story I already discussed in my road to being #1 blog but how I became number 1 here on Bitlanders is the perfect example for this blog. Read on.

  • 1. Drive: I decided to be #1 on Bitlanders because I wanted to experience being #1; that was what drove me to blog a lot for weeks like I was obsessed. I didn't care if I slept late or ate only when I felt hungry while I created my blog or whatever as long as I was able to do two blogs a day at most or edit two blogs in a day etc.
  • 2. Motivation: My motivation was I wanted to reach the #1 spot even just once. I should spend my time on something productive right? So blog I did. Time is gold, I'm not getting any younger too.
  • 3. Inspiration: I never needed to stop and smell the roses. I got out my old and/or unpublished blogs and rewrote some of them for originality. I didn't run out of ideas, I sought them out, that was how I got my inspiration.


I knew what needed to be done in order to be #1 and so I did everything to be #1 and I became #1 on Bitlanders for a week. I was motivated and driven to succeed and be #1 even just once and so there was no question about what I will do or why I will do it, I just did it nonstop until I made it. Boom! Goal met or dream achieved. Now what?

For me, once the goal has been reached, the drive will then disappear and thus the feeling of emptiness will return. You will go back to saying, "Why am I alive? What is my purpose? Why am I still doing this?" You will feel like any work you do at this point is  routine and you will start to hate it. Sounds familiar?

In case this happens again and again it might mean we only have and/or fulfill our short term goals and dreams. Perhaps it is time to find the drive for a long term goal and/or dream. What do you want to dedicate your life to doing until you die and how will you be able to do it?

Meeting that goal made me wonder why I wasn't supposedly still successful in life or rich by other people's standards. For me I'm happy to be where I am now but there is always that next goal and next dream that I am looking to achieve. 

Being philantrophic can give us a long-term goal but it's not going to be easy. And yeah that's another topic for another day.

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Going back to the topic, on this self-discovery journey  of course do not forget to also note and/or list down what keeps you from moving or taking action - externally and/or internally. In order to continue moving you have to know what keeps you stuck (or what some people call "those that drains you"). You need to find out and examine your flaws and the things you prefer not to be done to you and why. You need to realize how you react to external factors (society in general). Discover and realize it all so you’ll know how to get rid of them (or do something about any of it) in order to move forward.

self_discovery(Photo credit via Pixabay)


There are plenty of articles and/or books out there that you can read through to know what you should or have to do in life to get unstuck and how you can discover who you are. Count this as one of them. You can also ask help from other people, like a dear friend or a family member, even a doctor, psychiatrist or life coach if you have the money.

Once you get the answers and find out what you need to know then you will know how to get to where you should and want to be.

Bottom line: Whatever drives you is what shall motivate you. Find out what you want/need to do and do it.

A person can be motivated, we can be encouraged, but if we don't have the drive to do it then we will not be successful at what we were motivated and encouraged to do, especially if we don't really have a strong desire to do it.

(Video credit: Word Porn via YouTube)


We all want to achieve some goal or dream. Achievement makes us happy and satisfied, which then makes us go on to our next goal. That's how we people are. We want to always be better than our former selves or even other people. Find out what those short and long-term goals are to know what your next steps will be and keep moving forward towards a better world.

(Photo credit via Pixabay)


The things that will be on your list today will change in time. As we grow older we all change so it's better to do this self check periodically to assess how you're doing in life. You can do this again after a year, maybe 5 years or more, it depends how often you'd want to do the check.


Remember: We can only change ourselves, not other people.

Keep in mind that each of us do things quite differently. What works for me might not work for you, your family or friends. This is just one of those life guides, if it does not resonate with you, you are free to find whatever works for you to move forward towards love, peace and harmony. We can do this!



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Written for Bitlanders by ArtGirl. All rights reserved
© Art x Stephanie Rue


About the author


Freelance Artist | Writer | Online Seller | |
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