This is a post about something I’d never thought of until my master brought it up with me yesterday. Remember yesterday? It was Josh Groban Day on my blog. Hence, it was also the day I had to account for my actions. “What on earth drove you to do that?!” asked my master.
There’s really only one explanation. I told him that my motivation for blogging isn’t a matter of being driven to do anything. Rather, it’s a matter of being called. Therefore, I’m interested in the life-long pursuit of sharing information in this public education forum, and I’m fine with the occassional detour.
If I were driven, however, I’d be upset about wasting an entire blog post on Josh Groban. After all, there’s only so much time in a dog’s short life, and I should not be wasting a single second! A driven dog would be highly concerned about the sidetrip, the loss of productivity, the threat of further distraction.
A dog whose motivation is deeper– so deep that it’s a part of the process of their life– is a dog who is called. A called dog comes to its master and enjoys the run, while a driven dog runs to its master out of fear of reprisal, for fear of doing the wrong thing. A driven dog can easily go mad trying to live up to expectations of perfection and productivity.
A called dog knows its master is in charge and doesn’t mind taking a nap on the porch or blogging about Josh Groban. A called dog is sometimes labeled as “lazy” by the driven dogs, but–stop and think about it–compared to being driven half-to-death, who isn’t “lazy”? A called dog can rest easy because a called dog isn’t afraid. A called dog has a different system for assessing outcomes.
And that’s the big difference between being driven and being called: outcomes. The diagnosis of what kind of dog you are is easily seen in the outcomes that you value.
A driven dog measures prosperity in terms of things that are tangible and fleeting. A called dog has a wide variety of outcomes to measure “success” because a called dog is concerned with the multi-variate process of becoming a good dog while doing good work– and “work” can include a lot of pitstops.
Failures and mistakes would be disastrous for a driven dog. Being behind schedule would be catastrophic. Being taken off task unwillingly would be intolerable for driven dog. But a called dog knows there’s something to be learned in the process of each of these experiences. A called dog is more concerned with the relationships between phenomena and how these phenomena have an effect on the entire pack.
In short, a called dog is called by its master to a purpose. A driven dog is driven by itself or by fear of others. Both dogs arrive at the end. Both may have wonderful intentions. The difference is not a difference in intent or morality.
The difference is that one enjoyed the trip and learned a lot along the way and has a bouquet of stories about life-changing events that brought them into closer relationship with the other members of their pack. The other arrives with a lot of product, most of which is plastic and spray-painted with gold.
Which kind of dog are you? The obvious questions begged by pointing out the difference in the perception of being called as compared to the perception of being driven are… “What have I been called to do? What have I been driven to do?” Also, you can add “By whom?” to the end of each of those.
(And escape the human drama of morality on this one… Don’t add “Is this good or bad?” but, rather, if you feel like you must judge yourself for something, then only ask “Is this effective and efficient?” If we want to talk about good and bad, then we’ll have to do that some other day…)