It’s odd how some of us get stuck in a rut of not understanding who we are. Being told to go in a direction that is antithetical to our core, we work where what we have is not what they want. For most people, this is probably nuts. If you aren’t one, maybe a tale from my past will help.
Did you know that one of my raving fans and frequent commenters, Mary McQueen, appeared on the CBC show, Dragons’ Den? It’s like the American Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs make a pitch before a team of investors trying to get money. Mary pitched her brilliant Hand & Beak business: she makes greeting cards with her lovebird partner, Luigi. No, he’s …
One of the remarkable things that Carol Dweck showed is that students who thought that they succeeded because they were smart did more poorly in new tasks. They wouldn’t ask for help because they were supposed to be able to figure it out themselves, or perhaps because they thought that if they asked for help they would be shown as not being smart.
Of course, this can be mixed with a DIY attitude, to make it even worse. I’ll chime in here with a personal story: when I was in college, I wouldn’t go to the math profs’ office hours because I somehow believed that I shouldn’t ask for help. It could have been a result of believing I succeeded because I was smart. It was at least also a part of “don’t ask for help” that was a cultural thing with my family. Compound the latter with the former and you get someone who could have done much better in differential equations than he did. (It didn’t help that I really don’t have a strong aptitude for mathematical thinking, arriving at most of my conclusions through intuition and guesswork.)
So internally you need to think that you succeed because of effort.
Lots of people ignore this advice. This leaves them open to being manipulated by you to your advantage, as long as you are willing to not be the smartest person in the room.
Alicia recommended this NPR show in a comment on “Unhappy? Stop Trying to be Happier!“. It wasn’t podcasted yet, but is now. If you missed it, like I did, here it is, with no added commentary from me. (Maybe later: I need to get through it.) But feel free to comment if you learn something important.
Callings drive your sense of purpose. It doesn’t have to be religious but it is usually “spiritual”. Your sense of purpose in vocation at work is important.
Remember things as being happier by contemplating something positive before you write your resume / CV. You can use this to help you feel happier at interviews and other situations.
We religious types talk about callings a lot. Christians of the Calvinist mindset even call all work, “your calling”. Other Americans have caught on, and many spiritual people of various types talk about callings. It’s not a term restricted to people of a particular faith, or even of any faith. Saying that you have a calling seems to encapsulate something important, something big.
I think that Calling is an important topic for most hidden high potentials. We use the term when we talk, seeing many of your frustrations through of the lens of frustrated calling. It’s an important topic, one that I’m now convinced I have to deal with openly. There’s just one small problem.
Dan Ariely reports that pursuing happiness can backfire. Trying to be happy doesn’t work.
Learn how your love life is influenced by the Law of the Real Boss — discovered by Elliott Jaques and Wilfred Brown (etc.) at Glacier Metal — and the associated corollaries. If you are on a higher trajectory than others, finding a mate will be harder.
A look at why counting your blessings is worth doing, especially when times are awful.