By Arnold Siegel
It’s interesting to discover when we’re looking to know ourselves—to know what makes us tick, so to speak—that we often find our “answers” when we look at ourselves as one among many. Yes, each of us is unique. Yet all of us are here. Set down. Made. What do I mean by “made?”
We all come into the world at the effect of the authority of the natural, historical and linguistic experimental design and ordering of the human condition. The design and ordering appeal to our desires; exploit our fears (with natural intimidation or with cultural or human-made criteria which generate sentiments such as shame, ridicule, embarrassment and pity); and attempt to motivate us to adapt to the environments in which we find ourselves and to compete successfully over the course of a lifetime.
By Arnold Siegel
What follows are seven instances of self-misdescription. Think about them. Do any apply?
One: Do you have a tendency to “buy” your own press or believe your boasts? If so, are you unwittingly hiding from yourself pockets of ignorance and inexperience? If you’re “over-confident,” do you sometimes fail to evaluate the risks inherent in reality and, consequently, charge into situations wherein your actual resources are insufficient? Said another way, do you give yourself credit for holding a card that you do not actually hold and proceed as if you had intellectual, educated or social assets you don’t really possess?
Two: This one is complex. Does your oversized ego “posture.” Though it’s no saint, does it feign indignation, shock and disbelief at the conduct of others? Does it say, as if it’s a virtue, “I was naïve,” or “I like to see the world in black and white,” or “I had faith in him or her,” or “I thought I could trust him or her,” or “I think people in leadership positions should be perfect role models?”