People are motivated by a variety of things and to various extents. However, I think we can lump almost everyone into three big baskets.
Some people, and perhaps most, are focused only on getting by. Their lives seem exceptionally challenging just as they are. They have no dreams of a better future. Their hope is only to pay the next bill and to get through the day on Friday. These are good people. They may be hard working. But, without a dream there is not much chance that their lives will substantially improve. They don’t believe there is a road leading to a better place so they aren’t looking for one.
The second group are those who have a dream of their personal success. This might include owning a home, making a certain amount of money, retiring early, gaining an executive position at work or any manner of goals. The one thing these folks have in common is that their goal is primarily about themselves. They are driven, willing to work and sacrifice to reach their goals but they don’t necessarily become good people in the process. Some very successful people (and you may know some) are not very nice. They can be petty, shallow, self-absorbed, egotistical and selfish.
The third group are those who know there is something more to life than success. They are seeking to unlock their uniqueness, to bring their full giftedness and capacity to the life they are living. They are more interested in being satisfied than with being wealthy. They are more focused on self-understanding than in being known by others. The folks on this road mature as people. They become wise and purposeful in their lives.
Now, ask yourself which basket best describes your life. Be honest with yourself. Then ask if there is some part of you that is dissatisfied with the way you are living your life and is wanting something better, something more profound. Greatness is available to everyone regardless of background, privilege, education or opportunity. It is available to you.