Sunday, September 7, 2008

Some Else Said It Best

I read Scott Adams' blog daily, and sort of as a tribute, I have included the dilbert widget in the blog. It seems like tit for tat, though the origin of that phrase is somewhat troubling.*
This week, Scott wrote about what he calls the "Ambition Defect." The question he poses is whether ambition is truly a positive factor, or whether, as he self-describes, it comes from a place of deep insecurity, and a feeling of not having achieved enough to simply "be." 
The ladies of TC could be characterized as ambitious. I mean, we take on these ridiculous jobs, these insane schedules, and usually, at least once a week, each of us calls the other with the message "that's it. i'm tapped out. I can do no more."  We operate at the edge of our bell curve, pushing in every way. Pri is trying to run a marathon. I'm trying to see a week at home as a "long stretch." We're both always on the edge of personal disaster - and our breakdowns are even constrained by the next to-do item, or the fact that we really can't take a day off, even if we need one.
So, I guess that's ambition. As we reach the next rung in the ladder, we're already preparing to climb another.  Both of us have tried to rest on a rung, and have managed for... maybe 3 months. Tops.
Why? I dunno. I think I am driven by "if you're not moving forwards, you're moving backwards, " but intellectually, I know that's not true. I'm just fine. I can attest that we both spend some time worrying we're not good enough (perhaps me more than pri, but I definitely do), so there's a fear we'll be caught in our inadequacy, despite having rarely experienced that eventuality.
Some of it is finding yourself in a new situation, working it out, and then having the hubris to think you could do the job above you better than the person doing it. That does happen alot. And sadly, I wish I could say it weren't true as often as it is.. there are a lot of ding dongs in this world. I've never been happier than when I'm working for someone who I can learn a lot from. But when i'm not... I do always think "oh, the bar isn't that high. I could do that."
I don't think it's entirely insecurity.. but that plays a role in it. What about you all? How do the more mentally stable look at this situation?
*further research shows this has nothing to do with anything lewd, and is more of a 16th century "eye for an eye" slang term. ah well.


Priya said...

initially perhaps my need to do all this stuff was driven by insecurity. but somewhere along the way, it just became a fun challenge to continue to see if i could reach the next level of whatever it was that i was doing.

Pauline said...

I'm a sniveling bucket of inferiority.

Magnetic said...

I do it because I enjoy it, the challenge, the people, the acomplishment is just icing.

My favorite thing is starting something new, a company, group, project, anything.