The Real Me?

Posted on Tuesday 9th June 2009 at 00:00
I am two people, not one.

I guess we all are, really. Not in a split personality way, although some people are. Just in a variable mood sort of way. I doubt I'm really that different from most people, and I don't pretend to be so, so please don't think otherwise of me. I know we all have different moods at different moments, but some people seem to do a better job of controlling their moods than others, and I'm not really sure how it is they do it.

The two people within me are quite distinct. They have different views and opinions, different hopes, ideas and plans. They are interested in different things, do different things, behave differently and, ultimately have different futures. The trouble is, I don't really know which one is the Real me.

Person A is the Mark I'd like to be. He is motivated and enthusiastic. He loves life and loves learning. He has a powerful imagination and constantly dreams of the life he can achieve if he puts the effort in. He wants to succeed; wants to do whatever it takes to be the best. To make it to the top.

He's the Mark who once wanted to be a lawyer. Now he can't decide between becoming an IT professional and trying to be the best in the industry, going into management and working his arse off to become a chief exec in some large, global company or starting up his own business, where he's already the boss, and if he works hard he can make a success of it.Mark A respects himself and is respected by others. He wants to save up for a yacht and learn to sail. He wants to work out in the gym until he's fit enough to enjoy exercising. He wants a big house, plenty of surplus income and lots of foreign holidays. He's a success story; a product of all the best things that life in Britain has to offer. He's a winner.

Person B is not the Mark I want to be, not by a long shot. The first thing to know about Mark B is that he's lazy. I don't just mean a little lazy, he's digustingly so. He combines a particular mixture of laziness and procrastination that allows him to pass hour after hour whilst doing very little and wastes all the time he could be enjoying himself.

Mark B suffers from a deep set dislike of putting an effort into tasks. He shrinks away from companies whose job adverts say they are seeking "highly motivated types". Mark B isn't highly motivated at all. He has no motivation to do anything. His main focus is on achieving instant gratification and he'll always seek out short term pleasure at the expense of long term gain.

This Mark has very little ambition in life. It's not that he doesn't wish to be rich or have everything he desires - far from it. It's simply that he doesn't want to have to do anything to get it, and as such he has no life ambition. Given the choice, he'd choose a deadend job with no responsibility, no matter how dull it is and how long it goes on for. Learning is not something Mark B takes much interest in. He is quite happy to have knowledge in his head, so long as he doesn't have to put it there himself.

If this sounds dull and teenage-angsty then I apologise. I'm not a teenager and I'm not trying to whine, I merely wish to explore an issue that is bugging me, in the hope of embarking on a little self discovery in these words.

The problem is that I really, honestly do not know which Mark is the real one. Yea, I'd like it to be Mark A - who wouldn't? I'd love to be a winner, I genuinely would. Or, at least I think I would. Surely if I do as much as I say I'd just do it, right? But Mark B is here too, stealing my energy and drive. When he comes along (which he does at some point almost every day), it's like I'm a car, speeding along, and then someone puts the brakes on. Try as I might I'm suddenly having the momentum forced out of me and I can't fight against it.

I think in many ways it comes down to energy. Whilst I have plenty of mental and physical energy, things are good. On Saturday afternoon I was Mark A, and I sat in Starbucks, drinking coffee, blogging away and loving every minute of it. On Sunday though I woke up with Mark B, and although I tried to fight on and get stuff done, I eventually went to bed with a mess of a flat, a pile of washing up and not a single shirt ironed. In fact, the only task I completed the whole day was to wash my car, which took barely 10 minutes. What a waste of time!

I know everyone has their off days. I'm not claiming to be anything special in that regard. I know everyone needs their chill out time, so that they can relax and recover, but that's not what I'm talking about. At the moment I'm having so many off days, it's stopping me progressing in life. People say to me "Mark, you're an intelligent guy, but you're so lazy. Think what you could be achieving if you just worked hard!" and they are completely right of course.

I'm writing about this here because I'm curious to know if anyone else suffers or has suffered from the same problem, and how they've solved it. I can't believe that it simply isn't possible for people like me to consistently find the drive to succeed.

I'm just not ready to be Mark B.

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