Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mental Discipline

I have in recent weeks been running up again and again against incompetence, laziness and stupidity.  I am tempted to say our real crisis is mediocrity, but I've dramatized enough things recently.

What I am trying to guide myself into is a habitual reaction, in running into people who have no pride in their work, is focusing on how I can improve my game, how I can become MORE competent.

As I have said often, Dale Carnegie was quite right, that most people, even when entirely to blame, even when they are fucking up royally, and when they KNOW they are fucking up royally, still just want to protect their egos by being stubborn and vindictive.

You may never have put these two words together, but Carnegie was a cynic.  He didn't think a lot of people: he thought very little.

Yes, with encouragement and regular praise, the mediocre can become average, and the average can become above average.  But solid people don't need molly-coddling or nursemaiding, and they thrive on criticism, when it is accurate, because they are always wanting to improve.

Carnegie himself, in my view, WAS a solid person.  His task, as he put it, was to create a PRACTICAL guide, and he did do that.  It remains a field guide, one which I sometimes use, but sometimes fail to use due to my own lack of patience, and for which I often pay the price.

The truth is, sometimes yelling works, and sometimes that is the ONLY thing that will work.  But it is a poor long term strategy outside the military, and perhaps not even there.  A better strategy is to figure out how to be surrounded by competent, motivated people.

So, net/net, I need to redirect my yelling at others at myself.  There are many ways I can become better, and I need to find all of them.

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