Friday, September 19, 2014

Conscientiousness

When I was young, people used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my invariable response was 'retired.'
This has been accurate, above all else, I've always tried to find jobs that give me the most free time, and second to this, a job that I enjoy.
Currently, I work 4 days a week, which pays the bills, plus some extra on the side. Furthermore, it is decidedly a job I enjoy, I get to practice Japanese, and hang out with kids.
However, I find myself realising that if I had the choice, most days I would not choose to go into work...
Being in Japan has also provided me another opportunity, modelling. Thanks mostly to the fact that I am tall, not ugly, and white, in a country where this is rare, I quite easily get the occasional job as an extra in a drama, or some commercial. Perhaps because these jobs are always different, I don't dread them nearly so much as work, but I would still prefer to be paid and do whatever I want... or perhaps be paid for doing whatever I want.

This leads me to the title: Currently I am studying for my Bachelor of Business and Commerce, and Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems, a combined degree at Monash University. My reason for taking the time to study this, while working full time, was to meet this end goal of being paid to do what I enjoy.
Though, intellectually, I know this fact, it doesn't stop me from avoiding all study to the last minute, and not using each semester's new found knowledge to immediately benefit this goal.

One of the many reasons for this recently came up in my (belated) Consumer Behaviour study: Conscientiousness.
Costa and McCrae (1986) developed the Big Five Model, which goes something like this:
We are each made up of degrees of several traits, and each define how we respond in any given situation. This are not immutable, but are also not a switch we can trigger at will. The traits are:
Neuroticism: Our degree of likeliness to experience negative emotions, where more neurotic people, more readily feel negative emotions in a situation, such as fear, sadness or embarrassment.
Extroversion: How likely we are to voluntarily interact with the world.
Openness to experience: Likelihood of seeking out a variety of experiences, novel ideas, and unconventional values.
Agreeableness: Our tendency to move towards people, pretty self explanatory.
Conscientiousness: Our tendency to control our impulses and to pursue our goals.

This last one is my problem, growing up with a pretty quick grasp of concepts and situations has only assisted in my low level of conscientiousness, but this is no excuse. Now that I have a name for it, I find that I can manage myself ever slightly better than before.

So I write this post for two reasons:
One: To help you, the reader, to know yourself. After all, Auguste Comte said, "Know yourself to improve yourself." Even the bible says: "Let us test and examine our ways" in Lamentations 3:40a.
Two: As a stepping stone, since I enjoy writing these posts, and if I could do it for a living, it would be a blessing.

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