The Charge: Forward Drives

Next in our continuing examination of The Charge, we come to the forward drives, or f-drives. The fundamental idea here is that you live a caged life when your baseline drives are not being met – control, competence, congruence, caring, and connection – and then you live a comfortable life until your forward drives are met.

This is a reasonably sensible thing to say. I like the division of the world into three camps; I tend to use five, myself, where the bottom of the scale is “poverty” and the top of the scale is “wealth.” But in between, I have three categories that map almost directly to Burchard’s:

Succeeding is when you have all the things you need, and many of the things you want.

Surviving is when you have enough  of the things you need, but everything you want requires a sacrifice.

Struggling is when you do not have enough of the things you need.

Wealth is basically having enough of the things you want, while poverty is when you don’t have any of one or more things you need.

Burchard’s drives map pretty well to need and want. The baseline drives, which we’ve already covered, are things you need – not from a material standpoint, but from a neurological and existential one. And there, I can get behind the notion of his baseline drive for “caring” – I don’t believe it’s a natural drive we all have to care for others, but I believe we need to care for others. I believe the failure to care for others leads to what I call a “poverty of the soul,” just as the failure to achieve control, competence, congruence, or connection will lead to other poverties which are detrimental to your health and well-being.

But where a lot of this falls over is in the delineation of what we need and what we want. Somewhere in between those is the notion of what we or others should have. I believe every human being on the planet should have access to cheap, reliable, high-speed internet without monitoring or censorship. I do not, however, confuse this with a basic human need.

Brendon’s five baseline drives are, in my opinion, basic human needs. And the five forward drives we’ll be covering over the rest of the week are similarly not basic human needs – they are things we want. To sit between them is to be surviving, but you need at least some of the forward drives to succeed. I’m tempted to say “three or more,” but that isn’t altogether accurate.

Finally, wealth is a matter of having all the drives satisfied, baseline and forward. And what I really like about The Charge is how Brendon recognises and accepts that people both want and need unique balances of these drives – that satisfaction is personal, and your balance may differ from his. Or mine.

(EDIT: forgot to hit “Update” when I was done. Sorry. Gah, three hours late)

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