Re: Über Getriebenheit

1

I suspect a desire for drivenness may be largely prompted by unfortunate experiences with those who lack it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
2

My high school latin teacher for three out of four years would, when he wished to recriminate those not doing their work, or everyone when no one answered a question, or the like, would say "slackers, lollygaggers, furciferes" to his targets. And indeed, outright slacking, lollygagging, and yoke-bearing are things not to be celebrated. But one can avoid the one, without falling into the other.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
3

The word doesn't code positive to me in any sense. Having a passion for something, though, is surely a good thing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
4

I'm not sure I'm getting the distinction between belly-fire and drivenness.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
5

I meant to denote passion by "belly-fire", but you're right that it wasn't a wise choice.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
6

things not to be celebrated

The life of Riley?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:45 PM
horizontal rule
7

Obviously, being completely ruled by their passions is what makes the driven dull.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:47 PM
horizontal rule
8

Every man is, or hopes to be, an idler.


Posted by: Samuel Johnson | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:48 PM
horizontal rule
9

I don't know. I know someone whom I think of as driven—works very hard, very disciplined, and whatnot—but he doesn't appear, at least, to be all that passionate about his work. (Admittedly, I don't really know him well enough to make that judgment.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:51 PM
horizontal rule
10

It's hard to imagine the converse, though -- passion with no drive whatsoever.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:54 PM
horizontal rule
11

10: I can imagine that pretty easily, actually. It's not a pretty picture, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:58 PM
horizontal rule
12

Getriebenheit is no match for dolce far niente, no matter what the gold-diggers say in their desperate personal ads.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 10:59 PM
horizontal rule
13

10 -- The 101st Chairborn springs to mind. I've known some fantasy revolutionaries as well.

9 -- I think of driveness as involving passion sublimated into discipline. And one need not be driven by the substance of the work -- the passion for the outcome might suffice.

I've been thinking of a politician I've about whom I've been hearing stories lately. First time he's going to run for office, he stops in to talk to a reporter friend, and asks whether the friend thinks he has a better chance as a Democrat or a Republican.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 11:00 PM
horizontal rule
14

Sometimes one who is passionately devoted to work appreciates a like passion in another, because it means this other will not irritate one for too much time and energy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 11:05 PM
horizontal rule
15

Where do you stand regarding le plaisir de le faire le mal, Jesus?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 11:06 PM
horizontal rule
16

Is there a difference between drivenness and ambition?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 11:25 PM
horizontal rule
17

15: Too goal-oriented for my taste, generally, but, you know, I'll keep my options open.

I suspect that 14 gets it right.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 11:32 PM
horizontal rule
18

I wouldn't mind being driven. It would save me the trouble of doing a lot of driving.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 11:56 PM
horizontal rule
19

That was me.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 1-10 11:56 PM
horizontal rule
20

I have heard of more mercenary reasons for wanting drive in one's partner, like not wanting to have to work oneself, but, IME, they does not preclude a partnership; they only give rise to a lifetime of reminders that one wants the partner to be more driven.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 12:00 AM
horizontal rule
21

I have always presumed that a demonstration of extreme focus, concentration, and dedication is attractive in a potential mate because of the fantasy and challenge of shifting those qualities and abilities toward oneself and one's own goals or needs.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 2:39 AM
horizontal rule
22

Yeah, I think there's a difference between drivenness and ambition. Drive, to me, indicates involvement in the present process, but ambition is more about the future - what one is actually doing right now might just be a means to an end (like Charley's politician). I suppose drive without passion would look like soulless ambition too.

C's pretty driven - passionate about what he's doing - and it has its pros and cons. It is attractive, because enthusiasm and expertise just are, aren't they? But it does take a lot of energy, and I find that a bit frustrating sometimes - like when he wouldn't apply for a job (same sort of level, same sort of money, more obvious prestige, somewhat easier pace, probably with a chance to eat a good lunch every day) because he thought it would be boring, not challenging enough.

But he hardly ever works (more than answering a few emails) at weekends, and he takes most of his 6 weeks annual holiday each year, so he's not manic about it. And he would never do something like start his own business. That's another thing altogether. I know a few people who run their own businesses, which clearly takes a good amount of drive and passion, but aren't actually very successful at it. Not enough drive? Or they just picked the wrong business?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 3:26 AM
horizontal rule
23

I don't know, "Driven" strikes me as describing an extraordinary and not completely attractive state, someone who can allow himself/herself to become unbalanced and out of control.

Everybody works or plays, everybody cares about something(s)/someone. Someone who puts 16 hour days into becoming a doctor or lawyer painter rock star isn't necessarily driven but more likely simply putting in as much effort as is perceived to be required to achieve the goal. Some objectives are very hard.

Bah. Paragraph two misses the point. The goals themselves, in the non-pathological or honest, are what determines the effort and sacrifice required, and the goals are chosen because the effort and concentration, when goals, effort, and natural ability are well matched, are considered admirable.

We do not admire, at least as much, the very fortunately talented or quixotic, the 20 yr old with an easy best-seller or the fifty year old in a room of rejection slips.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 3:30 AM
horizontal rule
24

I've got to agree with Bob - "driven" connotes a lack of balance, an addiction, a lemming-like hurtling, will-thee, nil-thee, toward a singular goal. "Passionate" has more positive connotations for me - that "belly-fire" Ben mentions, a true delight in pursuit, rather than a compulsion. I'd rather have someone passionate about work [or play] than someone driven.

My kid sister is driven to acquire riches. She's on divorce number three, obsessed with the getting of wealth, alienated from her children and drowning in alcohol. But moneymoneymoney drives her. She's got the high-end Beemer, the 3500 sq. ft. house, the Prada shoes, the diamonds. Everything but the happy.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:10 AM
horizontal rule
25

"Driven" is a strangely passive word/concept. Pack animals are "driven" We "drive" ourselves. We submit to or control our drives. There is a disasssociation, sacrifice, pain involved, and I smell the ascetic ideal.

I am suspicious toward extraordinary effort, and usually assume there are at least two deadly sins
involved. Pride plus gluttony, greed, or lust, last three viewed expansively. An excessive desire for knowledge can be greed or gluttony.

I tend or try to enjoy others' good fortune rather than admire achievement.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:25 AM
horizontal rule
26

Last night, distracted, I read about the Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet. The circumstances that permitted Zeffirelli, Hussey at 15 with no acting experience, and Whiting at 17 to create the perfect film, with the help of experienced pros, gives me more pleasure than Jordan's rings.

To acknowledge and enjoy the blessings and blessed, those favored by fortune and circumstances, is to recognize the unfairness and injustice of life and nature, and is a fount of empathy.

I think I should watch Slumdog Millionaire


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:57 AM
horizontal rule
27

OP: n=1, but I don't find drive or ambition, if distinct from the more general passion, to be attractive.

What is the nature of the repeated exposure that makes you think drivenness is a frequent desideratum? Personal experience, arts & entertainment, etc.?


Posted by: currence | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 5:28 AM
horizontal rule
28

I want a drive-in girlfriend.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 5:55 AM
horizontal rule
29

Nah. For me, 'driven' shares connotations with 'obsessive' or 'haunted'. Not good. In a relationship, possibly scary. The positive equivalent certainly exists, but even then you think, "wow, passionate, committed, maybe a little unbalanced?"

If I wanted a relationship with a Christ figure, I'd become a monk. There's a reason why people risked their lives and livelihoods for the five day week.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 6:41 AM
horizontal rule
30

I'm so driven I'm in a limo!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 6:51 AM
horizontal rule
31

I'm so driven I'm a stupid movie with Stallone in it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:24 AM
horizontal rule
32

I am the passenger...and I ride and I ride...


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:28 AM
horizontal rule
33

I'm driven slow and mad, like some new language.


Posted by: Texas Radio and the Big Beat | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:44 AM
horizontal rule
34

I'm driven like an ox team! I'm driven like the snow! I'm driven like a go-cart! I'm driven like a nail!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
35

I'm driven to note that "driven" is one of those words that starts sounding really strange when you say it over and over to yourself.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
36

To address, I suppose, Ben's original question: people who say that they want somebody "driven" are generally people who are themselves "driven", and the phrase is thus code for "I want somebody who's not going to care if I ignore them for long stretches, because they'll be busy."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
37

35: Semantic satiation! (RFTS taught me this term. I did not know it before!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
38

Road safety poster: "Drive to drive? Unriven arrive."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
39

People who commit drive-bys are driven.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
40

people who say that they want somebody "driven" are generally people who are themselves "driven", and the phrase is thus code for "I want somebody who's not going to care if I ignore them for long stretches, because they'll be busy."

I would have thought it was generally people who see "driven" as the opposite of "lazy". as mentioned in comment 1.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
41

Ben, I think you might be asking the wrong crowd.

More seriously, maybe "driven" is an inchoate catch-all for passion and ambition and financial success and other stuff too. Like, someone who says they want someone who is driven isn't sure which of those they want, or would be equally satisfied with any of them, or is too embarrassed to come right out and say that they want a rich guy.

Personally, I'm not sure how driven I'd want my mate to be, in any possible sense. Two years ago, I probably would have taken it as intimidating and worrying. It goes without saying that I would be ignored in favor of her job or whatever the hobby is she's devoted to, and what if she starts to find me boring, or alternately what if she's driven to the relationship and gets clingy, or what if my low income becomes a sticking point? In other words, the same as what everyone else is saying upthread.

Thinking about it right now, though, I'd probably say the reverse: a driven mate would be harmless and maybe even good for me. This is partly just because my practical circumstances are different - higher salary, fewer reminders in daily life of clingy people - and also partly because of wisdom gained over the past year about how people work.

It's dumb to worry about whether someone finds me boring because boredom is harder to judge than it seems. I'd say I'm boring, but that's just because I'm used to myself; anyone who would say the same thing is a bad match for me. And if someone is in a relationship with me then they want to be, so it's stupid to be jealous of a hobby or job my girlfriend/wife/whatever enjoys just because it means she isn't available to me whenever I'd like her to be.

So, basically, "driven" is good. It can be taken too far, of course, but what can't?

26
gives me more pleasure than Jordan's rings.

I don't recognize the reference. Hal Jordan?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
42

Driven by the pure snow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
43

Snowed by pure drivel.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:09 AM
horizontal rule
44

41.1->multitudes


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
45

I just realised I changed 'drivenness' into 'drive' which sounds more positive and active.

Anyway, I think that most of the people here would be a lot nearer the 'driven' end of the spectrum than the 'lazy' end. So you think that anyone less driven than you is lazy, anyone more driven than you is a crazy soulless obsessive, and you're all just right. (I have a truly objective view of this, as a genuinely lazy person.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:11 AM
horizontal rule
46

Anyway, I think that most of the people here would be a lot nearer the 'driven' end of the spectrum than the 'lazy' end.

Not it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
47

Not it.

Ditto! Ditto!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
48

Not it.
Ditto! Ditto!

No backsies!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:19 AM
horizontal rule
49

Yeah, me neither.

I have some passions, but I'm not focused enough. Partly, because I really get anxious about producing written work.

Someone said I was driven once (not in a bad way), but I've taken a several year hiatus. I do have some ambitions and want to work to gain some of that discipline again while having enjoyable activities and eating right.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:20 AM
horizontal rule
50

oudemia, you've got a good academic job. I didn't finish law school, and Sifu didn't graduate from college until he was in his 30's. I think we've got you and rfts beat.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:22 AM
horizontal rule
51

I'm not exactly driven, but I'm very very loyal to what I say I'll do. I'm allowed to change my mind on a project, but I have to stop and acknowledge that that is what I'm going to do.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
52

50: I've spent the better part of my 20s playing in unsuccessful rock bands and aspiring mostly to be a shiftless layabout. In fact, I was almost too lazy to write this comment. I beat you all!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
53

I didn't finish law school, and Sifu didn't graduate from college until he was in his 30's. I think we've got you and rfts beat.

I didn't finish law school either!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
54

I'm less driven than all of you, because it's taken me this long to get around to saying so.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
55

52: okay, maybe we tie.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 8:31 AM
horizontal rule
56

That's why I said most, numbskulls. If I was making a lazy list, I know who'd be on it.

53 - I didn't even *go* to law school!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
57

I did finish law school. But I gave up law. Now I'm passionate about pastry, not driven to drink because of the clattering clients. Law, I liked. Clients, not so much.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
58

I haven't finished university yet because I'm too lazy to take phys ed! Alternatively: I could have graduated, but I got high.

After reading 41, I think I might find a moderate drivenness attractive, not for itself, directly, or intrinsically as a quality, but indirectly because it might tend to work against clingyness and might signal independence, itself directly attractive.


Posted by: currence | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:15 PM
horizontal rule
59

Wait, Sifu's in his thirties? Wow. You lurk and lurk, but it's never enough, huh? You always miss something.


Posted by: U. Awl | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:19 PM
horizontal rule
60

59: Due to a mishap with a time machine he was trying to build, Sifu ages at a faster clip than the rest of us. You probably missed that incident, too. Oh, the laughs we had!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:24 PM
horizontal rule
61

this just sounds like slightly less cleverly disguised desire for hi status. and i was too lazy to drop out of law school. occasionally taking a test was way easier than getting a job.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
62

60: Oh, do, do tell me how it went!
Oh, ever so pretty please!


Posted by: U. Awl | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
63

62. Remember the city of Santiago in California, largest city in the state? Teacher Tweety wired some of the bacon strips in parallel. The rest is (no longer) history.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:43 PM
horizontal rule
64

Okay first I didn't build it, I just found it. Second of all there's no "trying" to it. The thing worked awesome. Third of all, it ran on bacon and whiskey, not just bacon. Just bacon wouldn't do anything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
65

41 last:Only Michael is famous for his rings, and being driven, Unless there is something in Gatsby I'm forgetting.

Watched the Figgis Miss Julie this afternoon, then read the play.

Reading about the (3rd? 1246) Languedoc Inquisition tonight. I need a social theory of fatal fashion. I just came online to look up the Lauragais.

Music:Z Z Hill Emmylou Harris, Twilight Singers

Wallpaper:J S Sargent "Hercules and the Hydra" 1923

I don't understand why after having retired rich to wondrously watercolor Italy, Sargent would return to do those bland murals. Off to Wiki


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 4:56 PM
horizontal rule
66

I didn't drop out. I was just short credits when I graduated. I wouldn't say that the problem was laziness so much as chaotic family stuff, my own emotional issues and not enough support. Plus, you know not telling people when I was having trouble.

So, I'm not lazy, but I don't fall into the driven class either.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 2-10 7:40 PM
horizontal rule
67

I just drove about 1400 miles in two days. About 750 today.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 3-10 11:35 PM
horizontal rule
68

It would be fun to have a really successful partner -- you could hitch a ride on their money and fame. Plus when you asked them "how was your day?" their answer would always be interesting.

I'm lazy and anxious -- there have been a couple of times in my life when I could have really gone far if I was driven.

Also, my car got towed. Fuck.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01- 4-10 5:25 PM
horizontal rule