What if I didn’t own a car?

25 07 2009
1994 1.6cl Excellent condition, 99,200 miles

1994 1.6cl Excellent condition, 99,200 miles

If you didn’t own a car would you feel like a social outcast? Somewhat different from the rest of society?

I am preparing my car for sale, contemplating what it will feel like to be without one for the first time in 15 years. I am, on one hand, looking forward to it and on the other scared.

I suppose I am scared because the car to me is a method of obtaining a slice of personal freedom, or holding some control over my course in life. Not having one might mean I feel cooped up, or have to resort to the sheep like mode of transport that is public.

As with many things in my life, what I believe to be true is actually completely the opposite (thank goodness!) so in reality it will probably mean I will feel free-er than ever and might even improve my fitness levels (bike and walk being the new modes of transport).

Anyway, I secretly enjoy being different to most people. So if you see a cyclist speeding past you in a queue. Only to find him arrive at work at exactly the same time as you (whilst you have been sitting in the normal Monday traffic jam), be assured he is smiling as he locks it to the stand, safe in the knowledge he is not one of the crowd.


6 07 2009
Motivation and hard work

Motivation and hard work

I have been thinking about how to motivate myself. How to spur myself on to do something when there is no-one else to do it for me, or no-one to apologise to when it isn’t done.

This has permeated my life and reduced my potential.

So I decided to consider what it was that made me do things, that helped me to achieve goals and to see what it would take to replicate them in a way I could feel comfortable with.

I was recently given the honor of being a best man. Which meant that I needed to organise a stag party and give a speech at the wedding.

Now these were two very specific dates I *had* to do things by.

I am a person who doesn’t necessarily like, but is highly motivated by deadlines. It’s a perverse ‘like’ to feel myself forced to do something by a particular time.

I was able to produce, by the deadline, an enjoyed by all stag do and one of the best best man speeches many in the room had ever heard.

After analysing the whole process I noticed four features enabled me to complete this goal:

One-  Deadline
If I hadn’t had that deadline, laid down by others, I know I wouldnt have had it done by that time, if at all.

Interestingly, whilst I felt forced by the timescale into doing these things, i enjoyed putting it all together.

So I need a concrete end date…a finish line if you will. One which does not move, will enable me to get things done, and by that I mean finished.

Two- Shame
I completed the task becuase I did not want to let other people down. Well actually I have come to realise that at heart I am somewhat selfish. So I realised it was more to do with, not letting myself down in the eyes of others, specifically friends (hmm, or I suppose clients too…interesting thought).

In the past I have comitted to going on a course, got half way through and run off, not completing it. But with this, I couldn’t run away from my friends even if i had wanted to.

Three- Reminders
When I have set myself mini goals and not achieved them, I had been motivated right at the beginning, in fact, perhaps for at least the first week. Then *boom*, lose focus, do something else instead and there goes the goal.

And I was doing this with the stag do, i have to admit. It took my friend the groom, to call me up occasionally to ask how it was going, that kick started me again into the work. It was amost like I had forgotten what i was doing, lost my way a little.

Reminders  will work to keep myself on track, now to figure out what kind.

Four- Inspiration
I know that when i am inspired I will focus and enjoy doing the thing I don’t want to do, so trick number four is to find what inspires me and look at it once a week. Which means, scheduling a slot to look, listen or talk about something. This however brings about its own problems, because that is a mini goal in itself I need to keep….for myself!

All of this is no one-off. Writing this page I remembered writing a school play which I was bulled into doing. I stressed out for days on end about it but it ended up being the most humerous play of the entire school show!! (and it will remain one of my most proud moments.)