Friday, May 10, 2013

How narcissistic should one be?

The story behind a narcissist is that according Greek Mythology there was a guy named Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his relationship, he just waited by the pool of water forever and finally converted into a flower. 

It is a well known fact that everyone (excluding the very few exceptions) is trying to promote themselves on the internet, social networking sites and also when they meet people/friends/potential business opportunities. My understanding is that everyone can talk big about themselves only when they have an extremely high opinion of themselves / their work. Otherwise it would be very difficult to just blabber about their work or themselves without genuinely feeling good about themselves. And also that they should get into acting if they can really do that.

This then makes me wonder as to how much narcissism is actually good for your work/career. 

Say there are two people, one of them is an extremely talented piano player, but is extremely humble and never blows his own trumpet (no pun intended) but the other one is not as talented, but definitely not a bad piano player, but who keeps talking about himself and announcing his achievements all the time. 
From my experience, it looks like the person who talked about himself for a greater amount of time gets more music concerts than the one who is extremely talented but humble.

I wonder then, if that is actually true, as to why we stress so much on teaching kids about being humble and vanity is profanity. Is it actually profanity? Or is that narcissism that gets you forward in your career?

On the other hand, I have noticed that the people who are nice and down to earth are known to be better at working in a collaboration and get more work from the same client. That seems to me like the humble person might have more work from the same client (which may not be such a bad thing).

I have two simple questions in mind:

1)Does being humble mean you have an inferiority complex?Or does that mean you'll be able to grow as a more talented person given that you are open to criticism and self improvement?

2)Does being vain and narcissistic mean you'll go more forward in your career? Or will that hamper you as a frog living in a well?

I honestly used to be quite a vain person as a teenager. I used to think I am the smartest person on Earth. All that narcissism was brought down when I started meeting so many people and reading about so many people. Now I am on the side where I will promote my dance company, but not promote myself as much. Maybe that is a bad thing,I don't know?

What do you think? What gets you going in your career? Be it a corporate office, where you'll find many talkers who seem to know all ? Or are you into arts, and you are wondering whether you be like the guy who brags about himself all the time, or be the good guy who everyone likes?

Please share your thoughts. 

Your thoughts might be a life saver for a lot of people and their jobs, and also, to me. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Do what makes you nothing but happy.

What is the point of doing anything otherwise? The primary reason why we as kids were asked to study, sleep early , eat food on time, play well, be a good child at school, grow up and go to a good college, get a reputed job , earn well was so that we could be happy. Everything that was asked from us as kids or even after we grew up by our parents was so that we could be happy. Why then would anyone do something that doesn't make us happy?

Think about it, I decided to succumb to something that didn't make me happy because I was scared not doing that MIGHT make me even more unhappy. The fear of greater unhappiness made us stick to the current status of dissatisfaction. You stay doing the same thing for the next thirty years. Assume you are 20 something, after 30 years you become 50 something. Salt and pepper hair, loose skin, wrinkles, all the glamour beginning to fade away. And then you think? Why did I do that particular thing that didn't make me happy?

I am a non drinker, non smoker. I have a lot of close friends who drink and smoke which is absolutely fine with me. I love them dearly and the smoking, drinking has nothing to do with my judgement of them. But there have been times in the past where I have been at parties with people I didn't know too well and always ended up being an outcast by being the only one who didn't drink and smoke. Smoking is fine as normally no one normally forces you to smoke. But not wanting to drink is quite a social stigma and people have come and told me I am like a 40 year old wanting to go to bed early without drinking (which I probably just might be). I have wished to succumb to that situation a few times, and honestly I have even decided to have a small glass of drink or something. I wake up the next day feeling totally groggy, my dance class mostly would have got missed as I would have got up late. And I feel like an entire day is about to get wasted.

Now, I am not oppose to the concept of drinking. I feel very happy for the people who get very happy drinking. It feels like a nice solution for the people who have drinking suit them. But it unfortunately does not suit my body. Why then, I wonder , should I succumb to something which ends up not making me feel happy?

This is an extremely trivial example of what I am talking about. But hope you get my point. Anything big or small that doesn't make us happy but we still do it, I don't know why. Like we get angry at someone who has been irritating us, and we end up feeling irritable long after the person has left. And then we are grumpy with ourselves, with our loved ones, with friends and family. What was the point then of feeling grumpy?

Life would be so much simpler if we just decide at every moment whether to do something or not to do something depending on whether it makes you happy. Now there are situations where doing something doesn't make you really happy but doesn't make you sad either. But say, it makes your spouse happy. Should you go ahead and do it? I say totally . Because seeing your spouse happy will make you feel happier (assuming it will) . Again comes around to doing what makes you happy. Even if the thing that makes you happy is seeing your loved one happy.