May 21 , 2024 /


( Revised and updated post from 324/18)

* Featured photo courtesy Stephan Valentn on Unsplash

Do you remember taking an I.Q. test and earning a label according to the results?  There is evidence I.Q, can change. The Flynn Effect found that people’s IQ scores rise over time. People’s IQs increased by about 3 points per decade. I doubt my score increased by 21 points  Here’s an illustration by Joshua Seong of the levels of intelligence by test scores:







Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner was published in 1993. Different kinds of smarts for different kinds of people.  Gardner defined 8 different kinds of intelligences: visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, musical-rhythmic, logical-mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and bodily-kinesthetic.  Yes, there is more than one kind of intelligence.

Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than I.Q.. published in 1995, argued that a high IQ is overrated. The key to a fulfilled and successful life is emotional intelligence—the ability to understand, assess, and control your emotions and the emotions of others.

Over many years, I watched people of all ages in a variety of learning environments, What I saw that contributed to the success of many and failure for others, was DESIRE, it’s presence or its absence. There are, of course, other factors at work. DESIRE is a strong emotion that can move you toward attaining or possessing something that (in reality or imagination) is within reach: for example, a DESIRE to succeed.

I created three dimensions of a Desire Quotient that you can see and apply.  This increases the likelihood of a successful outcome. Each dimension contributes to a work in progress according to what you need at a given time. The work can be of any kind. Think about a specific project, an article or a book you are writing, a piece of art or music, a building, a relationship, or your next adventure.

D.Q. In 3-D


In 2008, Tim Brown, in the “Harvard Business Review” said, “Design thinking can be described as a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible…”  Tim went on to say, “ On reflection this is a narrow description that focuses on design thinking’s role within business. “Design thinking converts need into demand”  which I borrowed from Peter Drucker, broadens things out a bit and still assumes an economic motivation.”

Tim’s 2009 book, Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation is described as” a book for creative leaders seeking to infuse Design thinking into every level of an organization‚ product‚ or service to drive new alternatives for business and society.” That is an important part of what is needed in order to move toward the desired change in any area of life and work.  Whatever you call your Design, what emerges is a good plan. It will be one that is comprehensive, clear and compelling.



In order to be driven one must have a commitment to purpose, focused on the task at hand and the end game. Here is where the rubber meets the road, where you gain traction and make progress through hard work, where the “heavy lifting” happens.  If it’s a building or an organization, there are systems that must be coordinated, integrated and kept on track,  on time, within budget. The Drive to accomplish each of these pieces and Drive the overall process requires effort, energy, resources, and time.  Drive is a noun and a verb!

Being driven means being consistent and staying within agreed upon parameters without necessarily being limited and restricted by them. If a change in direction is needed, there must be sufficient flexibility to make the adaptation. Drive is like a promise, making the declaration that something specific will (or will not) be done and holding to it.

You can see the difference between those who have exhibited goal-directed, task-oriented and results-focused behaviors and those who do not.




Determination is different from Drive.  It is like switching from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive or from a higher gear to a lower one to get better traction. In spite of obstacles, barriers, delays, frustrations, disappointments, or even failures, determination keep you going. Determination is a characteristic that helps overcome adversity in many forms. It is the fuel that feeds the fire, the energy that keeps you moving forward and the conscious intentions that are the bedrock that  many other actions are built upon. Determination is marked by stability in the face of shifting tides and winds, being willing to change a course of action but without compromising the goal.

When there is a significant challenge or a degree of difficulty with a particular piece of a project, it is determination that sees you through to the other side. In the words of Winston Churchill, October 29, 1941, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” This was a clear expression of his determined commitment that he communicated with compelling clarity and compassion.

Determination is more than a positive response to a negative situation. It is the strength of the fiber in the character of every person and will not only be the test of pressing on when the going gets tough but will also be that which helps keep others on task, on target and on time. Determination holds you accountable and is thus a key ingredient in your “Desire Quotient.”

Questions:   What are your desires?   Beyond wishes and hopes what do you want to accomplish  through your short and long term plans? What are your specific goals and what are your plans to achieve them? How would you measure and assess your levels of design, drive and determination?   How will your Desire Quotient move you in that direction?




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