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PERSONALITY, CHARACTER, MOTIVATION AND ASPIRATIONS
She believes that “real life is a story.” I interpreted Sanita Wonser’s statement to mean real life to her requires a larger narrative. A larger narrative produces smaller plot lines. Even her published work (graphic at right) is just one book in a series.
To an extent it’s true or perhaps the result of a quick hunch. That is, it would be oversimple to say Sanita Wonser realizes her ambition by writing. Ambition to her has greater dimension than a project or even a story’s arc.
Understanding Reality Through Creativity
For the while our interview progressed, I got the rickety sense that Sanita’s ambition was simply to understand the world around her. She did this by writing – or as she supposed, expressing interactions and situations that she couldn’t quite wholly comprehend when they happened. It was her manner of saying I’m going to take some time to think about this. But understanding is only part of her ambitious plot.
Creativity Reinforces Reality
Sanita writes both erotic romance novels and stories of the paranormal. The latter involves characters with special powers enabling them to control, alter or will elements of our world, e.g. water, wind, fire, etc.
The elements themselves are symbolic. For instance, fire may characterize anger, power, rage, etc. Their imagery serve as frameworks.
Breaking down her characters–or personas in real-life interactions–gives her a sense of their framework: the depth of the individuals and their respective situations.
The Framework Of A Character
Characters are what they are and are what they aren’t. Finiteness of character, then, allows for understanding a character and, to an extent his or her environment. The graphic shows how intertwined character development can be (Shields, 2015). Introducing herself into interactions between finite characters places Sanita into their existence.
Writing Reality for Others
Were she to have paranormal superpowers, then I suspect Sanita might have the power of language, sound or even kinesics. I am confident that she would use her powers for good. Helping others understand and comprehend the stories of their own environment is indeed Sanita’s ultimate ambition. But there’s still more.
I got the sense that she is part of her own ambition, a character in her own story. “Real life is a story” holds true more as thematic than a storyline.
The Strategy for Helping Others Understand
Strategy is about a unique fit between position and activities (Porter, 1996). I spotted a pattern of graduated strategy across Sanita’s career that lends itself to a broader ambitiousness.
Her lifelong career in customer service and her aspiration to eventually be involved in social justice establish demonstrable motivation (positioning). Sanita wants to help others understand their own character and how that character fits or exists in his or her environment. The manner by which she has trained to do this above and beyond professional experience is her writing.
It started with her, in fact. Sanita wrote her first book in 6th grade for a school assignment. The experience sparked a love of reading. In a sense, she became her first character. Since and particularly as an adult, others’ existence has become her focus.
- Fleeting characters are her customers.
- The mathematics of a bulk price discount confused a customer who Sanita helped.
- More developed characters have been her employees.
- Sanita once helped a young employee reconcile with her mother.
- Eventually, she will affect entire communities as her ambition moves her further and further into her life and career.
Getting To Z
To my surprise, there was still another strategy Sanita utilizes to help others understand their place in the world. Her own story’s longest series are her children; in their situations, she ensures their stories may be written. And her style for raising her children is a strategy that parallels themes of “real life is a story,” obtaining understanding in order to help others understand, and Sanita being a part of her own ambition. “As their mother,” she told me, “it is my job to make sure they get to Z, not A, B, or just C.”
Shields, K. (2015). Writing in the Disciplines: Character Development: Introduction. [online] Writing2.richmond.edu. Available at: http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/creativewriting/characters/introduction.html [Accessed 8 Dec. 2018].
Porter, Michael E. “What Is Strategy?” Harvard Business Review 74.6 (1996): 61-79. Cengage Learning, Inc. Web. 30 Dec. 2016.
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Published by Rehr Consulting
Danny Rehr is a graduate of University of Portland’s Pamplin School of Business where he earned an MBA with a concentration in strategy. He now operates Rehr Consulting, a strategy and continuous improvement consultancy focused on small businesses in the service industry of Southwest Washington State. He loves coffee and fountain pens.