(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


This is an easy distinction to understand, but more difficult to see how it affects your life. To be pulled toward something is clearly different than being pushed away from something. That’s easy. The difficulty is in noticing what’s going on with your internal motivators.

We are all motivated by “away-from” energies and by “toward” energies. For instance you are motivated to minimize pain (away-from) and maximize pleasure (toward).

When you are drawn towards something there is a “want-to” or a “get-to” involved. When you are driven you feel a “need-to” or a “have-to”.

The core of your motivations are simply that you are drawn towards things, ideas, activities that are related to your values, the essence of who you are. When you express your values you feel joy, fulfilled, uplifted. That feeling of joy is why you are drawn to repeat values-based activities.

Your other (and sometimes more powerful) motivations come from being driven away from things that are painful, such as your un-met needs. When you get a need met you feel relief. You can be driven to do great things, but the cost to you is greater than when you are drawn.


Coaching Point: Do know what your values are and therefore where you are drawn? And do you know what your needs are, where you are driven?


Copyright 1999 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.