Which of these statements are characteristic of you?
1. I am willing to defend myself if I think I'm right .
2. When I am ill, I like to have others make a fuss over me .
3. Planning everything ahead of time makes life boring .
4. It is more natural for me to be dominant than submissive .
5. I do not always have to do things like everyone else .
Persons who identify strongly with sentence one may be motivated by assertiveness, with two by "love and belonging," three by "change and adventure," four by dominance and five by independence.
"Understanding motivation" -- from which the questions were drawn -- is one of 10 topics covered in a new Women's Self-Study Program, "designed," says program director Charlota Wilson, "to help women discover what makes them tick.
"It's created to give women a systematic method of learning about themselves, in areas like values, health, legal issues, careers, support systems and roles."
Sponsored by Consumers United Group, a Washington-based international financial services company, the home-study program is available free to women's groups and for $35 to individuals. It grew out of a special life insurance policy for widows, developed by CUG.
"We were getting lots of calls from widows with problems," says Wilson, "because they had no one else to talk to." To help their clients, CUG decided to set up a "widows network." "In doing our research," says Wilson, "we found out some eye-opening statistics."
Among them: 70 percent of husbands die without wills, the average private pension plan received by retired women is $81 per month, less than half of all working women participate in retirement plans and half of all women over age 65 have incomes of $3,000 or less per year.
"Women let this happen to themselves," says Wilson, "by not being prepared for the inevitable changes in their lives. Our hypothesis was that women who become personally aware of certain critical issues in their lives before a crisis situation are better equipped to respond effectively."
The company set up a Women's Lifetime Development Center to work on a project geared to help women assess their understanding of these "critical issues as a preventative tool."
The resulting self-study program was written by Washington career development consultant Jane Collet Johnson, with contributions from specialists such as attorneys and psychologists.