Before retired when I was still trying to find a permanent and palatable job here in Austin, nearly every ad or recruitment site mentioned some variation of "needs to be a self-starter." And every time I came across that phrase I knew I was doomed.
I will follow directions that I am given. I will work hard to complete a "to do" list quickly and efficiently. I will accomplish all aspects of whatever job I am assigned. I am a fast worker. I can get things done. I can be one of the best employees in the company. I can even be a good manager as long as I have a clear understanding of what is expected, what needs to be done, and the timeframe within which it needs to be accomplished. I respond extremely well to praise or compliments. I will do everything in my power to meet someone else's expectations of me. (Perhaps this is part of why I always wish more people would read and comment on my "Musings".)
What I can't do, however, is be a self-starter. I am no good at coming up with ideas or plans for something new or innovative, and I positively suck at being motivated on my own! I am the very personification of the second part of Newton's First Law of Motion, (simply stated as):
"An object in motion shall remain in motion
(until encountering an external Force);
and an object at rest shall remain at rest."
In other words, once I start to do nothing, I continue doing nothing! I am so far from a self-starter it's laughable. If something is expected of me by someone else, 99% of the time I will do my best to accomplish it quickly and well.
At any given time, there are a million things that need my attention to varying degrees. Some are one time actions (e.g., planting bulbs in the Spring), others are occasional actions (e.g., polishing silver), and still others are those dreadful, repeated-to-infinity actions (e.g., dusting or laundry) and lastly are those things that I SHOULD do (e.g., write!)
If there are, however, no expectations, no boss, no deadlines, no one relying on my effort to get a job done, I can pretty much guarantee that I will not do anything. When I sits, I stays sat!!
I believe that this is not so much a lack in my character or good fortune as it is a genetic problem! I just don't have a very strong motivation gene!! My DNA must be missing the amino acids that govern such things. My individual genome has to be a few chromosomes short of a normal person's get up and go!
So, when you encounter a period of time when I appear to have given up writing or disappeared into cyberspace, remember it's not my fault! I am genetically impaired! Even Shakespeare said so! Sort of....
"The fault, Dear Brutus, lies not in our stars,
but in ourselves...."
[Act I Scene II "Julius Caesar".]
Either that, or I'm just plain bone-lazy....
* * * * *
On a related side-note, I never realized that Newton's First Law of Motion had been set to music! Remember this 1950s song??
When an irresistible force, such as you,
Meets an old immovable object like me,
You can bet as sure as you live,
Something's gotta give, something's gotta give,
Something's gotta give!
-- Johnny Mercer