This series is a continuation of my conversations with an atheist friend of mine. These are my edited responses from that conversation. The twenty-seventh entry is a comment on my own self motivation and desire for power.
I am pretty self motivated, but I get much more done when I am working within an organized structure (I believe I have mentioned this before). And I very much agree that leadership roles force me to do things in a timely and organized manner when I otherwise would not be as efficient. A couple of examples: I love playing the piano, and I am highly motivated, but I get so much more done when I have a group that imposes deadlines or I am merely taking lessons with a teacher. I practice more frequently and more diligently. I get more done. In choir, the piano is the lead instrument (a step below director if you will.), so I am looked towards in music direction, and I have to be prepared when I go into practice. It forces me to be at the top of my game. Two, I love being in school, and part of that is because I learn and do things so much faster than if I were left to learn of my own accord. To tie it back to the subject at hand - in a way collecting all the degrees that I have is a way of becoming more powerful in that I can claim more knowledge in more subjects, assuming the truism knowledge is power. Those structures pressure me to do my best, and leave me feeling much more accomplished than if I were to go off and self-impose those goals. For me, structure is key in accomplishing all that I do. Without it, I would be the deadbeat that does nothing but watch tv.
I agree with your (my friend’s) tendency toward social awkwardness argument, and it is an interesting thought that had never occurred to me before. I also am certainly much more comfortable conversing when I am in a position of authority. I could site numerous examples in my mind of the truth of this argument. When I am a peon in an organization, I keep very much to myself, but I am very extroverted when I am in a position of power. And I become more extroverted as I gain power. I believe the relationship is directly proportional for me. A lot of my friendships have occurred because I have introduced myself to someone in an organization because I had a position of authority. And I must believe that had I not felt extroverted as a result of my position, I would have much fewer acquaintances.
It is interesting that most of our actions and beliefs are a result of us trying to gain control of situations and circumstances that we would otherwise not be able to influence. In a way we are slaves to our own need to be in charge.