I intended to write something about being driven. In fact, I did write something about being driven. Then I deleted it. On purpose. It came out all wrong.

People are praised for being driven. MTV had (has?) a show called Driven. Books about how to become successful are ubiquitous. Drive is seen as an asset. A good character quality. The sign of a person who knows what they want and is willing to do anything to get it.

It’s a lie though.

I know people who are driven. I’ve been that way myself. Drive is not a strength. It’s a treatment. It’s our attempt to stop the bleeding. And it never works.

Picture this, somebody just slashed open my belly with a chainsaw. It’s bad. If I don’t do something it’s going to bleed until I die. I decided that I can treat this problem with my own abilities. I attempt to write my wound a beautiful song. That doesn’t work. I get a job making lots of money for the wound. Still bleeding. I have an affair for the wound. I dance really pretty for the wound. I get my face on the cover of Rolling Stone for the wound. Nothing ever works. The wound is not impressed.

This is a lot like what I see from people who are driven.

Having the desire to write excellent music and share it with the world is a perfectly innocent and beautiful goal. But sometimes that’s not the end of it. People who are driven have motive. They’re trying to prove something to somebody. And no matter how much money you make or how many albums you sell it will never heal the wound you’re trying to heal.

God has healed my wound. Now I just play music because I love music and it brings me exceedingly great joy, not because I hate myself and think that if enough people love me it will heal me. Deal with the wound. Deal with how you were offended. Deal with the source. No matter how many men tell you you’re pretty it will never fix what your mom said about you being ugly.

A passion for excellence is one thing but drive is another.