From the first moment I 'thought' I had my career path figured out (that's an entire other story), there have been a few particular motivations that have always been in my mind. They've been around to remind myself to work hard and aim to be my personal definition of successful.
From way back in 2013 when I started my lecturing position at the University of Manchester, all the way through to now being in an unexpected yet dream situation, my motivators have essentially remained the same.
1. To look back and be proud of whatever path I chose to take.
2. To build a comfortable life for my future family and friends.
3. To be able to leave a positive impact through the things I do.
The above are most definitely not easy as we all know, especially when the path you're on can take drastic, out of the blue turns - but having those 3 things as focused evergreen goals, motivates the 'right' choices in my life.
So although my path may have changed over time, my motivations have hardly ever wavered and it seems they're all one and the same - personal goals.
I know a lot of the time it's necessary to look at the external motivators in our lives. They represent a basis for how hard we aim to work and I'm most definitely no stranger to working for my wage. From retail, to internships, to lecturing - they were all steps I took to pay my rent, to keep the fridge stocked and to be able to save up for those extra wants outside of my basic needs. Living comfortably has always been high on my agenda but I know the translation of that term is different for every person, couple, family and situation.
The older I've gotten the more my motivators have aged with me and that's most reflected in living comfortably. My personal ability to do just that while getting on the property ladder is something I'm incredibly proud of at this age, but it's something I also struggle with. Although it means I'm able to share that milestone with those most important to me, I constantly find myself apologising for so much when it comes to being financially stable. My personal motivators are primarily intrinsic, in the way that they represent my values and now that I'm married - our personal values. The opportunity to pay wages, to treat those closest to me and to give a portion of my earnings every month to allow others the tools they need to work hard, is something I will never take for granted and will continually cherish. The outcome and pathways may have changed over the years, far beyond what I dreamed they could be, but my core motivations have remained the same.
On a more personal note and most likely stemming from a combination of both pride and insecurity, I'm also motivated by positive associations. Especially so when it comes to career decisions. There will always be a part of me that has savings goals for the future and dreams of investing when the time and opportunity is right, but my career decisions are primarily based on my long term impact and others views of that impact. I am well aware that my legacy is not one that will earn me a noble peace prize nor will it save lives but I hope that the impact I do leave will be one that fills my parents with pride. As you know my Mum and Dad simply mean the world to me and if I can show them that I know how to choose right from wrong, learn from my mistakes and all the while stay true to my values - then my hard work will be worth it.
When I had the lightbulb to write a post today that looked into my own motivators for hard work, I was actually surprised to see that all the things that drive me to work harder and strive for more, are all so similar in nature. Perhaps that's the impact of my parents and their family values, perhaps that's the impact of my own career path and achievements or maybe it's just the 30 year old version of me and my long term plan. I'd absolutely love to know what motivates you at this moment in your life and if you think those motivators will change at all as you grow? Or if you feel that your core values will always stay the same too?
Pictures captured at the Viktor & Rolf show during Paris Couture Week.