Royston Guest is a leading authority on growing businesses and unlocking people potential

More often than not, you can only be equipped to help others and to be the person you want to be for the people in your life if you have a strong understanding of yourself. You have to do the inner work first.

And that inside job is about understanding what makes you tick, and more importantly understanding the five interlocking human drivers. There’ll be aspects of your life where you can achieve winning results by allowing a particular driver to come to the fore, but there’ll be others which, allowing a driver to dominate your thinking and actions, could derail your efforts.

Do you know what makes you tick?

Driver #1 Certainty

The need for certainty can lead you to make decisions that are well thought through and have predictable outcomes. But it can also lead to procrastination, analysis paralysis and attempts to control things and people too tightly. Take a moment to think about this: in what areas of your life do you feel you have a really foundational need for certainty; is it a stable home or relationship? A secure job? A particular amount of money in the bank? Don’t let your need for certainty translate into insecurity.

Driver #2 Adventure

Picture this scenario: you know precisely what you are going to be doing every minute, every hour, every day, month and year from this day forth for the rest of your life. How does that make you feel? Bored? Comfortable?

As human beings we have the need for adventure, mystery, the unknown and surprise. That is how we know we are alive. However, adventure can change from being a positive enabler to something potentially unsettling … because adventure is, by definition, uncertain. So what happens when the pendulum swings from adventure to uncertainty? Adventure may seem fun and exciting, but when we frame it as uncertainty, it becomes the opposite of Driver 1: Certainty. For many people, the very idea of uncertainty is enough to freak them out, slamming the brakes on their need and desire for adventure. At this point they remain between the rock and the hard place.

Driver #3 Significance

We all long for significance. We all want to matter, to be thought of as important, useful and valuable. We can be significant to our colleagues and bosses, to our friends who appreciate our support and care, and to our families who love us unconditionally and rely upon us as a critical part of their lives.

You may feel a high degree of significance when others praise you for your capabilities and achievements. Or you may feel significant when you know you’ve achieved something great regardless of the external validation you may or may not receive. The same need is met, just through different sources.

A feeling of significance can drive us to achieve amazing things: to be loving parents and partners, valuable friends, team leaders, to write books, build companies and run countries. But it can also drive negative behaviour, where we achieve significance by putting others down or being overly critical. Our need to feel important can lead us to become blinded to the needs of others as we attain significance whatever the cost.

Driver #4 Belonging

They say no person is an island and, in today’s world, being aware of this is perhaps more important than ever. We’re more connected than we have ever been, and yet human connections – real, genuine human connections – are becoming harder than ever to make. In our need to meet the human driver of belonging, we don’t seek to lead but to be part of a pack, to be a welcome member of something much larger than ourselves

Driver #5 Growth

Few things feel worse than a sense that you’re being left behind. And few things feel better than a sense that you’re improving, advancing, getting better at something and increasing your value to your family, your work, your community and even to the world. Growth is a key driver for us all. And there are very few limitations when it comes to learning and acquiring more skills or knowledge.

Nothing on this earth is standing still. It’s either growing or it’s dying, whether it’s a tree or a human being. If you’re not growing, you will be left behind! The opposite of growing is being in a rut, and there is nothing more soul-destroying than that.

Royston Guest is a leading authority on growing businesses and unlocking people potential. Entrepreneur and author of #1 best-seller Built to Grow and new book, RISE: Start living the life you meant to lead,published by John Murray Learning.

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