How dare you be more motivated than I am?

On the road to self-improvement

As a notorious nerd, I was astonished when a fellow interpreting student told me he set some time aside on the weekend to do some reading on Austrian politics in order to fill any gaps in his knowledge and to translate all relevant tecnical terms into Italian.

Say what?!

“Wow”, I replied, as it hit me like a baseball in the stomach that my repertoire of productive activities this past weekend has been limited to taking out the trash bags.

Also, I could hardly deny the fact that in my case, speaking of “knowledge gaps” in the ambit of Austrian politics would have been the understatement of the year.

But never underestimate the motivational power of pain.

I figured, the panicky feeling of falling behind and the reawakening quarter-life-crisis after this rude awakening might serve as a driving force for becoming a more well-rounded person.

Seize the opportunity

In my previous post, I explained how a semester abroad can help you to form new, productive habits. Also, in this particular case, I noticed how the new routine opened windows of opportunity for me: an hour of free time here, an unexpectedly well-rested brain cell ready to soak up some facts there. I would find myself sitting down at my desk at times I would never even consider doing research on anything at home, as I’d be too busy doing what I always do.

Already the first round of research on rather basic terminology gave me some peace of mind; and even though I am still light years away from the orderly bilingual glossaries, the neat notes and the artsy mind maps I am envisioning, I am happy to take on this new challenge.

In the end, the activities that cost the most effort are usually the ones of which you will reap the most benefit. No effort is made in vain … at least this is what I tell myself to keep going 🙂