The best of the best never lean back, and this is wrong.
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Calvin, you were right and it sucks. We made a world where talent and genius will not take you far, a world where persistence trumps just about any other human quality.
This is a huge problem. Huge. Believe me. :0
The problem is that:
persistence feeds itself on empathy.
Our economic and social pyramid makes it so that to access the top level one has to be completely emotionally disconected. You just won’t have the time to be emotionally connected if you’re serious about achieving access to top social and economic levels.
Yet emotional disconnect is a base characteristic of sociopathic behavior.
In highly meritocratic systems empathy and EQ are regarded as euphemisms for incompetent underachievers. No one will spell it out to you, but it results from the rules of the game of meritocracy.
The greatest trouble with emotional disconnect is the fading of empathy. Without empathy and EQ human behaviour becomes hightly schizoid and sociopathic.
Easy and clean
This is it. This is all you need. It is not about the riches that you accumulate. It is about how you make your life easy and clean. Everything around must benefit from these two qualities. This is how your brain is designed to work and how you make sure you’ll stay happy even after all the projects have been completed.
If there are two essential attributes of good design and luxury, then they must be“easy” and “clean”. Things should be easy to handle, easy to operate, easy to store and easy to retrieve. Cleanness is about trust. It is not attraction, it’s confidence. Confidence that no harm will come upon you. Confidence that you will not break it, loose it or be labeled.
Emotionally disconnected people are easy and clean. There is no glorious mess of the human spirit in an emotionally dry life.
Now do the math.
I was watching this successful young man which this highly famous interviewer was praising. A future orthopaedic surgeon in training. Very smart. Amazing.
He overachieved just about anything he put his mind to:
- being a super athlete, owning the speed record for his university
- being an international olypmic
- being the best student in just about any phase of his education
- excelling at studies with some of the most hard schools on Earth
In his life story two things got my attention:
- there was a patron in his life, one who has billions and smply helps this amazing young man, provided he needs any help (mostly introductions, rarely any financial support, which was always paid back).
- the answer to the question “Were you ever inlove?”, the most staring glaring distant cold and bold “No.”.
This guy is in his thirties.
The story of “the founder” of McDonald’s. A story of another sociopathic, emotionally disconnected person. He didn’t care, not the slightest bit. The 1% deal he never honoured is the give away.
Many, many, many politicians: sociopaths. Think of this brexit guy, Nigel. He didn’t give a rat’s ass. Not for one tiny second.
Many, so many STEM professionals. So many athletes. So many financiers.
Emotionally dry and proud of it.
The rest of us
Being low on EQ, having none to zero empathy is not a problem by itself. Personally I love Sheldon-like folk. Rational people are not evil. I trust this axiom deeply.
It’s just that the rest of us are not like that. That’s the issue: if the world builders build a world with no tolerance for emotion, which is mostly populated by emotional folk, mental illness pandemic ensues.
In an emotionally dry world thriving gest lost as “details”. Lack of visceral happiness is the new normal, therefore escapism becomes more and more acceptable and in a blink becomes the norm.
The rest of us hardly find capital, not only financial capital, social too. Billions of IQ points are lost because in a world where the shark and the tiger are still the metaphors of a successful attitude:
Potential = IQ — EQ
So, emotionally active folk have a calculated zero potential. Which, as we intuitively know, is false. It should be an additive thing, but it’s not.
This idea, that:
“emotions are something to overcome, not something to cultivate”
… is so present in all competitive environments that currently any field looks like a race for who becomes a rational robot first. It is not about who is the best doctor or the best programmer or the best trader, it is about who is the least emotionally healthy.
Should we reward persistence? Of course. Is this the pinnacle of human achievement? Of course not. Why? Because we can automate persistence since the dawn of agriculture. Actually persistence has been automated since our species has branched and these big brains began working.
The reason why persistence takes one farther than talent and education and genius is that the world is built that way by people whose only remarkable attribute was persistence and we pushed them at the front because generally we’re a lazy group of monkeys.
Today we suffer from our uninvolvement.
Talent is rare and is naturally occurring, therefore hard to predict. Education is worthy of recognition because it allows for better abstraction, and abstraction is the base of human creativity. Genius has constantly pushed humanity from one epoch into another, because no amount of persistence will ever pierce through the ineptitude of a settled mind.
So persistence is not so great. If we’ll keep glorifying it the future will be quite crappy.
In a traffic jam, just look around you at people waiting for the lights to turn green and notice the absence on their faces.