What gets you off the couch in the morning? What moves you to go to school or to work each day? More than just going though the motions, what drives you to get over the hill or over that hump. To that place that you call success. To happiness. What is that thing in your life pushing you to get you where you want to go?

In different times in my life, I have been motivated by different things. Some positive. Some not. Some really helped me along the way. Even in success, some ultimately didn’t help me.

We have all seen people who become successful, yet they are miserable. And we are bewildered by their misery. Why, in success, would we be miserable? How could we possibly feel unfulfilled?

That misery is the result of being driven by wrong things. These people were pushed by something negative. Like money or power or fame or revenge or spite. They are left unfulfilled because the thing that was driving them is no longer there. They got it. It’s over. Dead. And their life’s work was all for something that no longer exists in their world. And the thing that replaces the desire for these things is this fear of losing them. That is the gaping whole. That is the emptiness now in their lives.

Do not let yourself walk this road. Find great things in life to motivate you. Find positive things. Find truly inspiring things. Be pushed by the right things, then keep growing and living in and within them.

By this I mean, be pushed by passion, not fear. And then when you achieve success, bask in that passion. Grow that passion. Spread to others, your passion.

Or be motivated with love, not hate. Then bask and grow and spread that love. Be driven by health not sickness. Greatness and not money. By personal pride not ego. Use the building of strength as your motivation, as opposed to trying to accumulate power. Be driven by respect, not fame. Be pushed by the present and the future, not your past. By life not death. Be pushed by finding life in your inevitable death. Be driven by happiness not anger. In eternal gratitude, not dark, gross envy. Make sure you are pushed by winning not not-losing. Be inspired by friends and family not enemies. Get motivated by achieving your untapped potential. And continue to stretch that potential until the very end of your days. Be pushed by integrity over anything else.

You can even want material goods. That’s human. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it is fine to be driven by material things. Just appreciate them when you get them. Enjoy those moments with whatever you buy. You can have good times with money and things. That is a fact. It’s the people that keep acquiring and don’t enjoy, who are the ones really missing the point.

In our low times we grasp at anything to get out of the hole. To get whole again. Fear, ego, hate, money, fame, envy, and enemies…whatever will motivate us to lift ourselves higher. But succeeding after being motivated by the wrong things leaves you feeling empty. Maybe successful, but empty.

Whether you are up or down, look for the great in the world. Look for the great in your world. Let that great quality, or great trait, or great-ness drive you to wherever you want to go.

Success and happiness should be intertwined. You just need the right push.