Why do we do it?

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Jun 04, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Wednesday, May 24, 2006

18 days in a row I've been working. I've enjoyed it, but as ever, working more means slowing down as the brain fries and the adrenalin of a new routine or special urgency wears off. But why? If I knew that, I'd probably be immeasurably smarter and richer than I am. Personally, I can only equate it to personal pride, the desire to avoid a car crash, and the sheer buzz of trying to overcome the odds. We've got no right to expect to achieve what we're trying to do, but if we can do it we know it will feel great. This, I believe to some extent, but it's somewhat ephemeral and I don't know what it really means in terms of motivation or benefits.

When it gets really tough we have to get more pragmatic, and I like this more. You ask some really hard questions and can't be afraid of speaking unspeakable answers. In terms of personal motivation, there's an element of not giving up. We are looking for a solution, any solution. We understand what we'd like it to be, but we can't have that, but we aren't going to give up. There is a pragmatism and pride to this that I love, but above all there's an undying desire not to be defeated, and I wonder if somewhere, deep down, that's one of my defining national characteristics. In saying this, I do not mean to echo the rhetoric of Churchill, but merely to try to rationalise why we are working so hard to achieve something we're not being paid extra to achieve. It's there in Michele's face and undoubtedly in mine: fatigue, concern, and yet that perverse and undying determination which says that however bad we feel, we're not giving up. From that alone, a mutual respect is born. In the film, The Bridge over the River Kwai, it's described as, "...the kind of guts that will get us all killed." There are no guns here, but it's not a health existence. The almost irrational determination holds strong and I'm trying to make it go as far as it will. Pride is a strange thing - but I'm proud of my pride, if that's not too much of a self-fulfilling phrase.
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