Why You’re Not Rich

I’m sure you’ve heard something like this before: Rich people are driven people. Usually, that is followed up with: People are born with a strong drive; it’s not something that can be developed.

But are people just born with a powerful drive while others are born without one? That’s today’s million-dollar question.

A lot of people think the answer to that question is “yes.” Those same people would tell you, “You can’t cultivate a powerful drive. You either have it or you don’t.”

So, if you answered “no” to that question go collect your million dollars because you, my friend, are right. Every one of us is born with the characteristic of drive. Some people just have their drive characteristic more fully developed than others. So, those with a low drive just need to learn how to develop and increase their drive.

Before we go into this further, let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing and abide by what that French philosopher dude Voltaire said: “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.”

With the Big Voltairski’s admonishment in mind, the term ‘drive’ is defined as: energy, intensity, persistence; determination to achieve one’s purpose. Furthermore, if we look at the derivation of drive we find that it comes from a word that meant ‘urge to go forward.’ Thus, we see that drive is an inborn urge to go forward apparently to achieve some goal.

So, that all being said, it begs the question: how can a person develop and improve their drive? That’s our second million-dollar question in the same post.

Let’s look at some factors one-by-one.

Some people say if you have a desirable goal—a goal you really want to achieve—it will spur your drive toward it. Is that enough? Maybe not. Maybe you need to increase your reallys, as in, you really, really, really, really want the goal. Will that be enough to up your drive? Maybe. Maybe not. Many people have really, really, really wanted to be famous, but they toiled in obscurity all their lives.

Well, maybe they just needed to add a few more reallys.

But probably not. More than likely, just wanting something bad enough isn’t the answer. So, besides understanding drive, what else can we add to our formula to develop drive?

How about planning out a strategy and organizing that strategy to help you achieve your goal? That sounds pretty good. A lot of people believe that if you organize anything well enough, you’ll be successful.

The problem with organization is that it takes years of schooling to become proficient at it. On top of that there are different schools of thought on organization, so which one do you pick? Right about now you’re probably thinking, isn’t there something simple I can do to improve my drive?

BOOM! That’s the third million-dollar question.

In fact, there is something simple that can be used to develop your drive. It is something that is tied to one of the most powerful forces on the planet. The thing that it’s tied to has started and ended wars. It has spawned religions and philosophies alike. That thing is: BELIEF.

When belief is tied to your purpose, it provides what you are doing with a super-powerful force. It also gives an admirable reason for others to follow and support what you are doing. Strangely enough, when it comes to purpose, it must have something to do with being bigger than ourselves and our own desires.

So, it is doubtful that if your purpose is making boatloads of money that it will increase your drive by much or inspire others to follow or support you.

On the other hand, all through history men and women of purpose and belief—Jefferson, Gandhi, MLK, Mother Teresa—have inspired others to persevere with them and have eventually triumphed, some even after death. Why? Because their powerful purpose backed by belief, not being a physical or tangible thing, couldn’t be destroyed or extinguished. It lived on in the hearts and minds of everyone it touched.

In conclusion, on making your drive powerful, there is a quote that is often attributed to Calvin Coolidge, but which was first published in 1881 by the Reverend Theodore Thornton Munger and was about purpose, not persistence. Edited for brevity, here it is:

“A purpose is the eternal condition of success. Nothing will take its place. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men of talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is a proverb; . . . Education will not; the country is full of unsuccessful educated men; . . . There is no road to success but through a clear, strong purpose.”

All great companies (Google, Apple, Amazon, etc.) have powerful purposes that express making a difference in people’s lives for the better.

So, the best way to become rich is to come up with a clear, strong purpose that will drive you to make a difference for the better. That way you’re sure to enrich not only yourself but the lives of others as well.

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