What’s Your Fuel?

What’s Your Fuel?

Keep your sights set on your deepest desires
Jérémy ChevallierRick Veronese
Feb 13, 2020 4:06 PM
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Family. Friends. Security. Freedom. These are the types of things that drive us, that fuel us to do better work, or more of it. What are yours?

Finding your fuel

Make a list of 5 things you’d be miserable without. For me:

  • My wife & (future) kids
  • My close friends (the ones who show up)
  • Pleasant, reliable living conditions (our home and neighborhood)
  • Access to sports (rock climbing and soccer especially)
  • Creative expression (making music, making digital art, building passion projects)

More come to mind, but I’ll stick to these five for now. Feel free to keep writing if you want!

Why refueling is important

We have to be clear about what motivates us to go the extra mile, to do the extra hour of work one night. Otherwise, we risk forgetting why we’re working so hard and running into that feeling of losing our north star. Feeling low drive to achieve.

In a talk about

, Dan Pink uncovers a surprising truth about what motivates us:

We do things because we like doing them. We do things for their own reward. We do things because we get better at them… because they’re part of a larger purpose… because they make a contribution to the world.

You should refuel often

There are two types of refueling in this metaphor. The first type is reminding yourself of what drives you, and the second type is experiencing those things. Both are equally important.

Reminding yourself

You can’t always play soccer, rock climb, spend time with friends, etc. Not every minute of the day. That would be amazing, but maybe you’d get sick of those things. Can’t enjoy sunshine without some rain.

So, reminding ourselves of what’s important is a great way to stay motivated throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the times when we need to remember.

Experiencing it

Of course, if we could never experience our motivators, we’d lose that motivation. We have to have hope that we will soon spend time with family, enjoy creative expression, etc. And we have to actually experience those things.

It goes without saying that we should spend time doing what we love, spend time with people we care about, and ideally both together. Life is short—don’t let too much time slip by between family days, hobbies, passion projects, etc.

Make your fuel impossible to forget

contributed an excellent hack for reminding ourselves about our fuel often:

Write it down and put it in front of your computer.

Put those things around your work space. Create a piece of wall art, or a little framed print that stands on your desk, that reminds you of those things.

I put photos of my favorite people all over my house. My wife has a picture of her dream house, next door to her sister, hanging above her desk. And we choose to remind ourselves every day of what we’re working so hard to achieve.