It’s getting to that time where I’m coming to the end of my time at university and will need to be filling out job applications. The type where you write personal statements about how wonderful you are – with all the buzzwords of course. You work well in a team, but also really good at working alone. You are personable. You can use Microsoft Office (they never ask if you can use it without uttering curse words, which of course, if you are a prospective employer reading this you should know I never do. Ahem. OK, thats a lie.)
But there’s one thing I’ve realised I am not. And that is self-motivated.
Let me explain that it is not that I’m a generally lazy person. “Busy” is generally a word that is used in the same sentence as “Laurie”. I’m usually the first leader to get to the hall to set up and get organised for meetings, and often the last to leave. I’m a diligent worker and have been known to clock out and stay at work for longer because I don’t want to leave a task I’ve started unfinished.
However, take the picture above. This is the beginning of a project that started in November. One of my Ranger Guide groups wanted to learn to knit. My friend kindly donated her time and energy (despite being super busy herself) to teach the girls how to knit scarves. I agreed that I would do my best to learn alongside them, which amused my friend because she (and other knitters) have watched me try to do this over the years with hilarious results. Results that inspired our mutual friend to respond at the sight of my attempt of knitting a teeny hat with the immortal phrase “Wow…you’ve created a whole new way of knitting“. This my blog readers, is the kindest and most encouraging way to say to someone “What have you done? This is not knitting, it’s a big old mess and we have no idea how to fix it.” It still makes me smile because only our friend to come up with such a positive spin on my woollen tangle of knots on a needle. The scarf I started above has yet to be finished. Many because I was knitting it for myself. Had I been knitting it for someone else, it would totally be done by now.
And I realised, the same goes for most things in my life.
I’m not motivated for myself, I’m generally motivated for others.
I hate letting people down. The main reason I wanted a second job last Autumn was not so much about being able to go back to university to pay my tuition fees, but so I could afford to buy my friends’ kids Christmas presents. I love picking out things for them (usually books, but given the recent job change, it was bears this year!). I will rarely get up early for myself. However if someone needs me to be somewhere I will. I will go without dinner to not be late for a Guide meeting. I will be doing a job search for myself and end up getting caught up with jobs I come across that I think friends will be great at, and encouraging them to apply. I will sit making a scrapbook for our Guide unit while the empty scrapbooks intended to record my trips around Europe and Australia gather dust for another day. I will study my bible if I’m leading a study group. I will learn harmonies when it’s for an event or church service, but hardly ever just for fun. I will pray for others all the day but generally it takes me feeling nauseous to pray for myself (because emetophobia does trump that lack of self-motivation to pray). And I usually got far more pleasure out of seeing others accomplish something than anything I’ve achieved myself.
I’d never be a gold medallist because I’d rather be the coach of the gold medallist.
And that’s the problem. I have all these things I’d love to do, but lack the motivation for myself to do them! I think I need some help with that.
But I’m not sure the pleasure of supporting other people and cheering them on will ever be topped by the pleasure of achieving something for myself.
So one thing I won’t be writing on any job application is “I’m self-motivated’.
Because it would make me dishonest.
And above all things, I like to be honest. 🙂