“We want more. We want more.”
Yesterday I read this interview with a famous popstar and after I finished, I said to myself, “She is just not very smart.”
This is ridiculous if you think about it. What the fuck do I care if she is not very “smart?” Being smart is not her job. And to judge someone who is, in other areas, incredibly skilled and talented, as being somehow deficient because they lack some other additional thing? Selfish and entitled are the only words.
Bill Simmons wrote a good article Tracy McGrady a few months ago. He talked about car washes and how they usually have a couple packages, the most expensive one having basically a complete list of amenities (even though the cheaper middle packages have pretty much everything you could reasonably want). People don’t like T-Mac because he may or may not have been gifted with it all–and didn’t make the most of it.
But that’s kind of the problem huh? We go around expecting everyone to be the “Everything Package” and then we write them off as being failures if that turns out not to be true. We do this for professional athletes. For musicians. For politicians. For potential boyfriends or girlfriends. For the people in our own lives. When the reality is that the full package is extraordinarily rare. Only children don’t understand this.
Yet, we sit around expecting more and more from people, instead of accepting them as they are. We somehow tell ourselves that they’re letting us down instead of the other way around.
We’re the asshole. We’re the one with a glaring hole that needs to be fixed: Whether Tracy McGrady is making the most of his talents is not our concern–at least not one we’re allowed to get genuinely upset about. What other people do and how they are is up to them. Going around expecting more, more, more out of people is a recipe for a very unhappy existence.
It’s called setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s called distracting yourself from the task at hand (your own life). It’s called wasting your energy on things you can’t fix.
Spot on, and very humbling. Also, as a native Houstonian, it would be an act of sacrilege if I failed to suggest that we all take a brief 35 second break to see the “everything package” dismantle the eventual 2004 NBA champs (i.e. 13 points in 35 seconds) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C6gDS9YGAU .
I’m fully convinced that the majority of peoples lives are boring….to the point of chonic masturbation, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Therefore, when one of their “hero” types drops the ball in professional or personal life they tack them to the cross and point FAILURE!! The Audacity! How COULD he!?
What one should be focused on is providing value to his own sphere. His work. His family. His distant wife he hugs every 3rd day when rushing out the door.
Those who point are those who love to pass the blame for their own miserable existence.
Anyone that ends a post with “jus sayin” is an asshole.
Would this to be applied to a business situation–hiring employees and expecting them to do everything instead of just the one thing they’re good at and that you hired them for?
Yes, it applied to all situations I think
It seems like we have a natural disposition to seek out the bad in people instead of the good. I’ve heard it blamed on evolutionary reasons (if you see a banana and a lion, you focus on the lion).
This short story has really helped me change my perspective: http://zachobront.com/the-rabbis-gift/
Great article, and very on point. Although I’d refrain from ever calling a Bill Simmons column good (I won’t get into why here, but google the Mr. Roboto column that describes why he’s such an awful writer), that one point he made about the car wash happens to be a great one. I’ve fallen into that trap often. Few of us would bash an intellectual for not being a great singer or athlete, but we often bash athletes and singers for not being intellectuals. That being said, we rarely ask intellectuals to sing and dance, yet we often have interviews where we ask athletes and singers questions that require intelligence, and I think that’s where the problem stems from. My favorite example is postgame athlete interviews. They never shed light on anything and have very little intellectual insight into what happened in the game, yet we keep conducting and watching them.
Do you think this is because of some sort of bias towards intelligence over other skills or because intelligence is just more central to communication, which is ultimately what we’re after?
Or the like the comments in this article. All the top comments are about how said celebrity shouldn’t be allowed to speak at prestigious school because of some apparent intellectual deficiency. Like the administrators at Harvard design basically knew that the negative backlash would garner some type of attention.
I think Marcus Aurelius would agree too!
Have you thought more about doing a post on strategy books? If so, have you read Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt (if so, what did you think of it)?
“We want and we believe these illusions because we suffer from extravagant expectations. We expect too much of the world. Our expectations are extravagant in the precise dictionary sense of the word –‘going beyond the limts of reason or moderation.’ They are excessive.” – D. Boorstin, The Image
That commercial says it so well!
If you find yourself criticizing other people, you’re probably doing it out of Resistance. When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived our own. – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Fantastic! This can be applied to all areas of life in different situations. If we fall in the trap of expecting the “Everything Package”, what are some ways to train our minds to be less selfish and entitled?