What Drives Me
Sometime late last year, I took a required course titled "Business, Government, and Society" taught by Hugh Judd. I wasn't entirely interested in the course beforehand as I thought it was just going to be some pseudo-philosophy class with a business focus. It also didn't help that I was going to have to overload my classes the following quarter to the point that I would have to pay extra tuition fees. During the first class, he asked us to talk to the person next to us and say why we're there. I said something along the lines of, "I want to know why I have to take this class." However, as things progressed, it later developed into one of the best courses I've ever taken.
While the course content was sparking my interest, one of his homework assignments which I don't think was a component of our grade, or at least a significant one, was the one that took up most of my time. In it, he asked as what our personal credo - what drives us and to do what we do - is. I've answered a lot of tough questions and problems up to that point, but I haven't been as stumped until then. While I didn't really spend hours sitting down and thinking about it, I did so every now and then such as while walking to class and work. I'm pretty sure that after working on it in my head for about two to three weeks I spent countless hours thinking about it.
I played off a number of things in my head and wondered what really drove me. Was it logic? Was it doing the "right" thing? Or was it power? I wasn't really comfortable stating any of those and a number of others as I couldn't go over them beyond a few sentences. So I finally sat down and asked myself why I do things. Why do I push myself to do crazy things like overload on classes and take on three jobs? Why do I insist that spending a lot of money on the last ticket, to see Paul McCartney at the Royal Albert Hall, which ended up causing me to spend just about a pound a day on food for the next two months, was worth it? It certainly wasn't for bragging rights since most people don't really understand the things I do or criticize why I do certain things. If anything, some of the things I do make me look bad to others.
That's when I realized that it was never really about others. The reason why I did everything was in front of me all along - to create great memories. I spend a good amount of my time each day just reflecting about what I've done, how far I've come, and just generally the great things that have happened in my life. I took a while for me to realize that this was what was driving me. I wanted to create more and more great things to look back on and more accomplishments to be proud of.
Afterwards, it was pretty easy to write up the entire essay. And in true fashion, I did it on my newly-acquired 1939 Remington Rand typewriter, the first time I've ever done an actual piece of homework on one. (I accidentally turned in something that I thought was homework but really wasn't, so it doesn't really count) While I don't really remember what grade I got on it or if there even was one, not that it really matters, it's probably going to be the only one that I'll be sure to remember for the rest of my life.