Living Driven VS Drawn — Points to Ponder

Let’s explore this notion of being drawn vs being driven a bit more. In a previous post, I shared how I have spent the better part of my life in a very driven mode of living and that my shift to a more drawn mode of life coincided with the beginning of my spiritual journey.

I wonder if that is often the catalyst for such a shift?…

…or does it more often coincide with growing older and wiser?

There is a wisdom that comes from reaching goals and conquering proverbial mountains and celebrating each one, but eventually feeling the drive, determination and urgency with which we went after them may not be as attractive for our future desires?

I still have many questions when it comes to this comparison. For instance, is one more desirable than the other? Are there situations where one is more appropriate and needed than the other? Are certain personalities more prone to one or the other? What about certain seasons of life? Are there many late 20, early 30 year olds living a drawn life or they mostly in their 50s and 60s? Does it have anything to do with gender?

These are all questions I am still pondering. I can only share my current beliefs based on my experiences to this point.

When I envision what it means to be driven, I see someone who has a compulsion or urgency in going after a goal or acquiring some thing or some title. I feel a sense of seeking an end result and all attention and energy is funneled to reaching the prize. I sense a preoccupation with achievement or success. A conquering of the mountain if you will.

When I envision what it means to be drawn, I think of being pulled toward or into something — as if it were something that is meant for you, having been made aware of its existence/its belonging to you and now you accept it and draw it toward you to fruition. A coming home of sorts.

I have a friend with whom this whole notion brings up angst. When the topic comes up, he typically misunderstands what I’m trying to say. He feels I am saying that living a driven life is ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ and a drawn life is ‘right’ or ‘good’. Or that those who are driven toward success are ‘bad people’.

First of all, I don’t care for any of these terms as descriptors or labels because I feel they exclude and are all too often used to shame. Secondly, I can’t say that either is a better or worse choice. I simply aim to contemplate the effects of each on the body, mind and soul.

I am not talking about the object or goal that is being sought. It’s not about the end game here. It’s not about the mountain you are conquering or the goal you want to shred, or the title you want to be known by. It’s not about what is being sought, it is about how it is being sought.

Even when you are driven to ‘do good’ there is a pace that is kept that creates an on-edgeness, an increased tension and stress in the body. When there is chronic stress — even at a low-level — it means there is increased cortisol present. Increased cortisol means the body is at a hyperarousal state and is the cause of a host of dis-ease.

So, what do you think about living a drawn vs driven life? Are there benefits to each? Does one feel ‘better’ to you and your body?

For me, in this stage of life, I am enjoying my shift toward living a life that is a little less driven.

Take gentle care,

Originally published at on August 5, 2017.