Ask anyone that knows me well my weaknesses, and if he or she is honest, the two things most likely to be named are as follows: 1) I am financially irresponsible/have a spending problem/fail miserably at living within my means, and/or 2) I fail to apply myself/have a crappy work ethic. These two traits rear their ugly heads in my life repeatedly, and I know that until I figure out how to tackle them, they will continue to do so.
These are certainly the two things that I dislike most about myself. Several times, I have recommitted to a budget, or some financial plan. I start listening to Dave Ramsey and I get all fired up about being debt free. But it doesn't last, and I fail. I revert back to my standard status quo-- keeping my head barely above water, when there is clearly enough money to make ends meet, but I continue pushing the ends further apart. Finding a solution to this problem is all on me... it will just take commitment and dedication and a real decision from me to make it happen. And I do believe I'm ready for that.
However, work ethic is a much more difficult problem to solve. How does one change her work ethic? I have asked this question before. Those people with a good work ethic don't know how to answer me, because for them it's just natural. The advice is usually, "well, you just do it." Oh. That's easy, right? Actually, I understand this, because I have trouble explaining something that I easily understand to someone that struggles with the idea. It just makes sense, why don't you get it? I know that's how people feel when they talk to me about working hard.
Or they love their jobs so much that it's easy. "Find what you love," they'll say. Dude, I love snacks and television. "What have you ever gotten excited about or worked hard at?" they ask. This is an interesting question, because truly, the hardest I've ever worked in my life was in law school. But even that is misleading, because, again... I didn't work that hard. Law school is not memorization and rules. It's ideas and ways of thinking, and I just got it. I just understood. But I loved it. I loved getting called on in class when I knew the answer and no one else did, because I'm just that big of a dork. I loved surprising my friends who didn't think I was all that smart because I'd played dumb for so long to make my idiot boyfriend feel less stupid. I liked irritating the Type As in my classes who studied constantly and didn't do as well as I did. That's what I liked. How do I turn that feeling into a career, I ask you?
Do I find something that I just get? Something I do well? Something that comes easily to me? Whatever it is, I haven't found it yet. But I'll keep looking.
So here's what I want to know... those of you out there with strong work ethic-- and you certainly know who you are-- any hints for me? Is it something you were born with? Something that you ever even think about? Is it borne of necessity, nurture, or nature? Can you give me some step by step instruction? Some secret motivating idea? Anything at all?