Douglass Brackmann got a dual PhD in 2002. Then he “struck out to research the components of powerful thought and action, helping driven ‘hunters’ focus their gifts.”
He tells us that “nearly 10 percent of the population possesses a genetic difference that, with the right environmental conditions, manifests in a powerful, unstoppable drive.” The genetic difference is tied to what’s known as the allele genes DRD2-A1 and DRD4-7R. I’ve done some genetic testing and I know that I *don’t* have the DRD2-A1 allele (which influences dopamine functioning and, according to Brackmann’s approach leads to “Driven” characteristics).
The tests I’ve done didn’t measure whether or not I have the DRD4-7R allele but, well, as you might have noticed, I’m kinda driven. (Hah.) Brackmann tells us that our environmental upbringing can also influence our tendencies (of course). For me, hanging out in the womb of an anxious mother (love you, Mom!) and being raised in a family with an alcoholic father would have definitely helped create the conditions to kickstart some Drive. (#OMMS!)
Driven people who may inspire you include all the classic heroes across a range of domains—from Albert Einstein, Galileo, Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci and Walt Disney to Alexander Graham Bell, John F. Kennedy, Magic Johnson, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.
For now, I’m excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas from the book that can help ALL of us with a Drive to Optimize and actualize in service to the world by creating the right conditions in our lives to harness our latent potential and give the world all we’ve got. So, let’s jump in!