Being ‘driven’ without a goal
I’m the kind of person who finds themselves in casual conversation with strangers at any opportunity. Trains, planes, buses, shop queues, the gym… I’m a chatty person. Often conversations with strangers shift quickly from observations on the weather to ‘what do you want to do with your life?’ – funny how we discuss life’s big topics with people we’ve only just met, isn’t it? Listening to people give the short version of their life story honestly fascinates me.
Much as I enjoy listening, I’ve become quite accustomed to giving a little overview of my life too. I’ll include various snippets about me, from my choice not to go to university, blogging (travel blogging especially is an interesting one to talk about), my degree choice, my STEM stuff, fitness… all sorts, depending on what comes up in conversation. Lots of question answering is involved – I can talk for England so that’s fine by me!
A phrase I’ve heard on many occasions – both recently and when I was much younger – is ‘you must be really driven!’. More recently related to the fact that I’ve chosen to do a degree at home by myself, and years ago usually related to the knitwear patterns I designed, made, wrote up, and sold online in my spare time. Or my 5:30am workout routine before school when I was 15.
To be honest I struggle to respond to comments about being driven, because I’m not sure whether it’s really true. I’d associate ‘driven’ with having an end goal in mind – providing the motivation to do whatever it takes to reach this goal. My interpretation is that ‘drive’ is the determination to achieve a specific thing.
What happens when you don’t know what that certain thing is though? Are you still a ‘driven’ person if you aren’t working towards a fixed goal? See my confusion?
This supposedly ‘driven’ girl isn’t working towards any one thing in particular. My ‘work’ life right now involves a combination of a physics degree, a blog, and a bunch of photoshoots (I say ‘work’ life because my life obviously involves far more than that). Am I striving towards a goal with this bizarre combination? I can’t say I am. Obviously there are ideas kicking about in my mind of what I’d love to do in an ideal world, but how one goes about achieving this dream career I’ve concocted I have no idea.
With all the talk of blogs turning into businesses, it’s almost expected that you should have a serious game plan for your space on the internet. Whether the end goal be working as a full time fashion blogger, funding your travels around the world with brand collabs, or turning your blog into a full on enterprise, a goal of some sort is expected. That’s another frequently asked question: ‘what’s the plan with this blog then?’. Surprise surprise, another question I have no definite answer for. Is it wrong to admit that full time blogging isn’t necessarily my goal? (For a number of reasons, but that could be another post entirely). I have whiteboards and spreadsheets full of lists and contacts and do treat my blog as a personal business in many respects, just minus the business plan leading to an end goal.
I guess I could say my goal (in blogging and life) is to open as many doors as possible rather than plough further along the same route. Maybe that’ll make me a Jack of all trades and master of none, but I’ll roll with it! Opening doors requires hedging your bets on which opportunities to accept and likely making mistakes along the way, but I’ll never be the ‘driven’ person who knows what they’re striving for. Just a hard worker who likes to keep her fingers in as many pies as possible and tries (and fails) to avoid procrastination along the way.
shoes: c/o EGO | cardigan: handmade | joggers: Primark
In an attempt to loosely link a ramble about life to an outfit, I’m going to add that mastering the art of ‘comfy but put together’ dressing makes SUCH a difference to how motivated and productive I feel. On the days I spend at home or running little errands it’d be so easy to slip into a habit of wearing leggings and old tshirts all the time, but I make an effort to dress presentably even when I don’t plan to leave the house. Nice joggers (not the ones you sleep in), handmade cropped tops and casual-but-cute trainers are a go-to combo lately. Because yep, wearing shoes somehow switches your brain into work mode, so shoes around the house I will wear. It’s the little things.
Lily Kate x