We are all driven by something, even though it can be hard to pinpoint in some people.
We should all be the drivers of our destiny. To my mind, being driven is nowhere near as much fun as doing the driving. Nine times out of ten I’d prefer to be in the driving seat, controlling my vehicle. That’s partly why the notion of driverless cars alarms me: they’re not driver-less, it’s just that we’ve handed over the driving to someone or something else. It might make for an exciting or nerve-wracking ride, or it might end up being a smoother ride: but it won’t be MY ride.
Emerging from the field of Transactional Analysis is the notion of Motivational Drivers. There are generally agreed to five of them: Be Strong, Be Perfect, Try Hard, Hurry Up and Please People. There’s some debate about whether a sixth one, Be Careful, should also be included.
Once we recognise that these drivers are playing a powerful role in the background, and become mindful of the impact they have, we can start taking over the controls. Without this understanding, we risk being passengers who are led in various dead end directions.
Knowing our Drivers gives us a chance to apply the brakes when they start working against us. Tuning in to those voices in our head that tell us we’re only OK if we behave in a certain way, at least allows us to challenge some of the constraints we’ve been placing upon ourselves. Awareness means we can change gear and change direction.
“How did I end up here?” isn’t just a question asked by faulty SatNav owners. Our Motivational Drivers have influenced and transported us to places we didn’t really want to go to because we gave them the keys. Sometimes we’re lucky and end up in a great place by accident. I suppose we all like lucky dips until we get the sticky lollipop that been lying at the bottom of the tub for the whole summer. But when it comes to making decisions, setting direction and goals, determining pace, and choosing what’s necessary: we surely don’t want to be trusting this to Drivers that may not be working in our best interests.
The moral of the story is “Don’t be in too much of a hurry to give up your driving seat”