Remember Oubipaws? Known to the real world as Nick Mercer, he was the lucky duck who won my free t-shirt contest last month. Although sporting the promotional pens tee will help him look pretty damn sharp this summer, Nick is not without his faults. By his own confession, he has a bad temper, poor self discipline (and time-management), a lack of patience, and a little too much pride for his own good. He also considers himself to be the most evil blogger (but not the root of all evil).
Nobody is perfect — that much is clear — but we can all strive towards it. People say that if you think positively, you’ll experience more positive outcomes than someone who has a habit of thinking negatively. At the same time, it is of utmost importance that you recognize your shortcomings so that you can work to overcome them. This is a common interview question — “Tell me about your weaknesses” — because it gives you an opportunity to tell them what challenges you face, but also how you’re working to overcome them. That is one of the best ways to tackle that question in an interview, because it shows that you have direction, purpose, and you’re willing to work in order to fix things.
Looking into my own soul, I know that I am not without faults either. Here are a few that come to mind.
Need for Novelty: Admittedly, I can be pretty fickle. I can get really excited about something and really want to buy it — that’s what happened with the Nintendo Wii — and while I’ll enjoy that particular item for a while, I grow tired of it faster than most people. Now that Susanne’s family got their hands on a PlayStation 3, I’m itching to go out and buy Resistance: Fall of Man. This same fault applies to my freelance writing work. I very much like the fact that I have multiple clients, each of whom have some rather different needs. This breaks up the routine, breaks up the monotony, and offers me a little more variety. Without this variety, I think I’d go nuts.
Hesitation: Let’s go back to the video game side of my life for a second. I just said above that I want to buy Resistance for the PS3. Then, why haven’t I purchased it yet? Well, because I hesitate. I’m unsure. I can’t decide whether it’s worth the $60-$70 (CDN) price of admission. And so, I don’t buy it. Oftentimes, I end up buying nothing at all, because — due my high need for novelty — the thing that I once wanted is not so highly sought after anymore, shifting my attention to something else, something new and shiny. And the cycle renews itself. I’ve made it a point to be more decisive this year. We’ll see how that goes.
A Messy Desk: It pains me to say it, but I know that there is probably some truth to the old adage, “Messy desk, messy mind” (or something like that). My home office isn’t an absolute pig sty, but there are papers everywhere, receipts floating around, and god knows how many computer accessories kicking around randomly. I have a difficult time finding certain items, naturally, but by contrast, I keep meticulous records. I write down exactly where my money is coming from, how many hours I worked, and all that kind of good stuff. I’m a living, breathing paradox.
Impatience: If patience is a virtue, then I’m not really virtuous. I hate waiting for anything, whether it be a package in the mail, a cheque from a client, or a table at a restaurant. The time that you spend waiting for anything can be used for something productive. Instead of just sitting in the foyer of a cafe, I can easily walk across the street to the bank to take care of some things, for example. If I show up at a place to eat and discover that I have to wait more than 15 minutes, I’d rather go somewhere else, even if the food there is supposed to be top notch. That’s why the three-hour dining experience at Rare Restaurant wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.
So, there you have it. Contrary to popular belief, I am not perfect (but I’m working on it)… and neither are you. Nick Mercer is currently holding a contest where the entry requirements are to talk about your faults (as I have above). You should also check out some of these cool Online Flash Games so that you can better achieve a healthy life-work balance.