In the Interests of Full Disclosure: I’m Addicted to Achievements

I like achievements.  Sure, I like winning contests, and getting praise, and stuff like that.  But what I really go for (and if you know what I’m talking about, you’ll see that there is in fact a difference), is accomplishing things.  Crossing stuff off my list, getting to the next level, being rewarded by the task.

For example, it wasn’t enough to really like going to spin classes, I had to become a spin instructor.  I like to go all out – just get to the next step.  Moving up, not always laterally.  I recently purchased a Kobo ereader.  I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I do, and I find I read now more than ever.  Part of the reason why may be how I get awarded for various things.  Like, the other day I accomplished 10,000 pages.  Another one I got was called the “Witching Hour” award – for reading 5 times between 1 and 3 am.  These little “awards” just pop up when you’re least expecting it to happen.  There are a whole bunch of them and oddly, I find it very fulfilling.

When I was a kid, I was in Brownies.  I got every stinking badge there was to be had, including the badge for getting all the badges.  Now that I’m an adult, they don’t give out badges for stuff I do.  For example, there’s no “great lease reviewing” badge, or a “super teleconference call” badge.  That really left a void for me, personally (and in many ways, professionally). 

I recently got a charm bracelet from the ECBF.  I’ve been secretly collecting charms for this bracelet since before I met him.  He knows, and can appreciate that I like to reward my accomplishments, even when no one else does.  Whenever I reach a milestone of some kind, hit the next level on something, I get myself a little silver charm.  It’s like my adult version of my brownie sash.  I have a little barbell charm, for when I passed my strength-training teacher licensing, for example.   

I teach a regular zumba class, twice a week.  It’s another little creative outlet of mine.  I find it helps me get the “drama” out.  I can be as dramatic as I want in front of my class and it’s a lot of fun – and then I don’t feel the need for the theatrics in other aspects of my life (I think the ECBF also appreciates this but that’s just a theory).  Zumba gives its own set of badges to its instructors.  Every time you complete a training, or attend a conference, you get a little circle thingee next to your name on their website, and just like in Brownies, or on the ereader, I crave getting the next little “badge”.  This week I was in Toronto working on my next badge.  On Monday I’ll be back in the office, working towards…well, no badge.  But that’s the void I’m talking about.

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