Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Thought 310: Sense of Accomplishment

One's sense of accomplishment can sometimes be governed by the level of effort expended in manifesting that accomplishment.

This psychological phenomenon can be double-edged in so far as what comes easily to one, even though not to others, might not create any sense of personal accomplishment and therefore be the possible object of neglect with the result that one does not do what one is best at. 

Taking myself as an example, while I derive plenty of self-satisfaction from my musical and visual creations, which require a lot more effort than writing, I feel largely un-accomplished in terms of my thought communications - which comprise the majority of this website - because these come much easier to me than drawing or playing the piano, although possibly due to the fact that I'm more practiced at writing than the aforementioned activities.

I know a person who is particularly gifted on the piano but has chosen to make his living, unsuccessfully might I add, by ever more bizarre and ineffectual business ideas that do not draw on his greatest talent, the piano. 

It occurred to me that perhaps finding piano all-too-easy he does not derive feelings of personal accomplishment from being so good at it and has sought instead to focus on activities in which he has no competitive advantage but that presumably bring him greater feelings of having achieved something. 

This insight links up with 'circle of incompetence' theory according to which people who are good at things in the workplace - finding them presumably easy for them to do - get promoted until they reach levels where they are no longer good at what they do - finding things more difficult - and therefore stuck in a position/area where they are more incompetent than competent.