October 5

Clean and Dirty Fuels

People sometimes offer well-meaning advice like, “Remember the people who didn’t believe in you, then use it as fuel to prove them wrong!” Yes, positioning doubters as the enemy can give you a boost of quick moti- vation to help you succeed. However, that motivation is very temporary. Once you’ve proven them wrong, what will drive your next effort? Or will you need to keep living in the past, perpetually stewing on all those people who didn’t think you could do it?

There are clean fuels, and there are dirty fuels. Anger and resent- ment are dirty fuels because they leave a residue on you that can affect your optimism and creative drive. If you are motivated to prove others wrong, you are not focused on possibility; you are looking for the way to show others that you are right. You have tunnel vision. There is residue blocking your field of view.

However, when you are driven by a desire to succeed for the sake of others, like making their lives better through your work or achieving an outcome that improves the standing of others along with you, you are driven by clean fuel. There is no residue, only clear sight.

Is there any part of your work right now that’s being driven by dirty fuel?

Anger and resentment are dirty fuels, and they leave residue that obstructs the creative process. Strive to be driven by clean fuels.


What drives your desire to succeed in your work? Why?

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