There is this classic Tyler Cowen line for figuring out how attractive you are. He said you take the average rating of all your partners, shave a little off and you’ll have yours.
Brian Clark used this logic earlier in the week. Copyblogger, for him, was a success not because it made money but because people take his phone calls.
So how do you figure out how important you are? Take the average importance of the names in your email inbox and phone log, shave a little off and that’s your answer.
Important in what capacity?
Is this how you cope with those bouts of self-doubt?
What if my inbox is empty. Does that mean I’m not important or INFINITELY important? (Don’t answer that).
Funny about the attractiveness thing, though. I don’t have facebook as sort of a personal boycott/ matter of principle because I prefer to keep my meaningful interactions in the physical realm. I realize it has its usefulness, but, I’m not budging on this one.
Anyway, I was curious as to what the deal is, and a buddy stopped by my office for a beer this week. He asked to check it on my computer, and was showing me his page. We were clicking around some old highschool people (it’s been about 8 years) and almost without fail, their partners (many are engaged/married now) were the exact same attractiveness I would have expected them to be based upon the quality of tail they pulled way back in high school.
Isn’t that letting external factors validate your sense of self? I.e., important people talk to me so I must be important too?
PS: Unless you’re trying to change the fucking world I don’t know why you feel self-doubt. By actually being yourself you’ve already accomplished more than most of the anonymous haters will in their lifetime.
I had the same thoughts as some of you, and Ryan’s post can certainly be taken that way, but what if you look at it from a different view, that of who you associate with is who you are?
If you’re in contact with lowlife’s day in and day out, that’s likely what you are. If you’re valued and in contact with people whom you and others deem successful, then you yourself are successful. Essentially you are your friends.
Not to flame, but this entry is less than impressive, especially when compared to your other stuff. One would probably think my professional contacts are trivial, but for my field, they’re the ones who will open doors.
Some really good posts on here…peppered with BS like this. I guess we must take the good with the bad if we’re going to get things straight out of this guy’s brain.
Yes, we very much are defined by our peer group. But that concept can be phrased and approached in both positive and negative ways.
Thinking about this idea in this way makes me want to burn up my own membership card in the “Me Generation”.
To me, the exercise is about knowing how you are perceived rather than how you perceive yourself. It’s self-awareness, not self-doubt.
Looks like I need to do a post on being myopic. You guys freak out when something I write isn’t tailor-fitted to your exact situation and then you hammer at whatever specific words are responsible.
Importance is relative. Do you think I’m talking about the President? And nowhere, did anyone (except the commenters) say anything about replacing your internal perception with an external one. It’s called perspective and it’s crucial. If your impressions of your own self-worth have no corresponding relation to reality they are called delusions.
You use the word “myopic” too much. It’s annoying.
I use the words as they apply.
I think the main issue is that importance and self-worth (as open to interpretation as these words may be) are probably not as subjective or objective as they seem.
Let’s suppose that if my impression of my own self-worth does not correspond to anything in reality, that makes me delusional. This implies that when my impression does correspond to something in reality that it’s validated, presumably to the extent to which it corresponds to reality (in this case we could use, among other things, quantity of important contacts as a barometer.)
But how does this ensure how important I am? What if I’m just a hanger-on? What if I’m a con? What if I’m part of an important social network by inheritance or some other factor independent of my own actions? What if my contacts only keep in touch with me because they like my personality, in spite of the fact that they don’t consider me important? What if history forgets me?
The point is that whatever proof of integrity I give to my network and desert thereof (they called me first, I earned it, etc.) amounts to little more than the same compartmentalization a delusional person uses. Unless one’s peer group be the end-all and exclusive defining factor of one’s self-worth and importance (as opposed to any actual ability, talent or productivity of which one’s peer group is either a reflection of or constituent of), giving a measure such as the one found in this entry only displaces the problem from “How do I know I’m important? Because of my peers.” to “How do I know I’m really on par with my peers?”
Importance and self-worth are subjective insofar as they themselves correspond to the objective measure of the agent, i.e. you set your own standards and stick to them as facts. They are objective only insofar as they are based on inflexible subjective standards.
Objective measures such as The Rolodex are usually the result of a desire to find/create objective measure. In this respect, The Rolodex is a good example, assuming it be respected as an inflexible standard by at least one person in the world (this alone is what makes it in some sense objective.) But to contrast it to delusion as some sort of proof of objectivity only gives it an appearance of objectivity when in fact both rely on the very same thought process to establish themselves as beliefs.
Ryan, I am disappointed that your blog does not simultaneously suck my dick and pleasure my asshole. You should look into that.