This is about self-esteem

by Dmitry Kirsanov 19. November 2011 21:37

“People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and you see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it – walk!” (Ayn Rand)

One of the most favorite questions asked by all sorts of people (usually – for the sake of asking the question) is what is the most valuable quality of [name the profession]. That is – what do you have to do in order to reach new heights, become a better specialist or succeed in something.

I already had a chance to speak about how to learn more and become more creative, and that topic needs the follow up, but getting the quality of self-esteem wasn’t really discussed. It’s not a psychological trick, not something to put into your checklist or include into the training course – self-esteem is one of the top qualities that makes you a human being. But unlike some others, it can be acquired.

It’s close to impossible to describe everything in one post, I’ll just try to put it as short and informative as possible.

So, first thing first. Understand, that this world does not exists the way you know it.

Hard to swallow, but that’s what we learn from clinical psychology – the world you live in is your perception of the world. Since birth you are taking information about the world around you, bit by bit, and building a model of the universe in your head. The logical model, the blueprint of the world, which in it’s turn defines your tastes and preferences.
You are understanding how things work and it’s your personal unique understanding, as (very fortunate for you) you don’t understand any language during first months of your life. First you deal with yourself – your small weak growing body, then you possess the world around you and absorb knowledge like a sponge.

Children very often build fantastic theories about how things works and nearly every object around them is a black box. That’s until they break it and see what it’s made of. But, for example, they can’t break the human body and many other objects around them, so can’t understand how they work until it’s explained.

The point is – you are building the theory of how something works and what it is. You put it into your own schema of things. And then – either you are trying to prove that theory, or accept it as the fact. In latter case you may believe in Earth being the center of the universe, or worse.

This is the most important process in the life of human being which defines your behavior and abilities. Your taste and preferences. It defines how you are smart.

So, returning to the topic, for some people it’s very hard to think about the problem, or perhaps to think at all. They are building their own world, just like anyone else, but everything in that world becomes a constant, instead of variable. The world of constants. And people living in such world of constants can hardly accept someone else’s point of view, because it virtually breaks their world.

And soon they realize, that every attempt to dig into the problem is a potential threat to their world and it’s system of values. So they just don’t.

For those people it’s easier to ask than to google. Because they are afraid to type the question as they don’t want to know how to solve their problem, they just want it to be solved. By you, perhaps, but please spare their time and don’t explain the inners of the problem and what to do to not have that problem again. Because that hurts!

To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that's real power.

Now, answering the question about the most valuable quality of a professional. As you probably understood from the title of this post – that’s self-esteem.

Honor is self-esteem made visible in action. You should have honor to try and solve your problems by yourself, at least to not look stupid and lazy. And reality is – when you are asking someone question which has no sense or which you should have answer for – your image suffers. The same is when you are asking someone to do something for you, pretending you have no time for it. Of course, you can avoid the reality, but you can’t avoid the consequences of avoiding the reality. Opportunities tend to avoid those who are not looking for them.

One of the most ungrateful things you can do is to answer questions asked by such people. Or solve their problems. Or hope that their engine will eventually start and they will begin to use their own brain. It’s hopeless, as the practice shows – when thinking stops, it’s irreversible. So one of the main principles I am using is that the truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.
And when certified sql server administrator is staring at SQL Server setup screen and asking me what he should do next – I am just answering that he should be the one to know the answer better than anyone around.

The moral of the story: as less questions you ask people around you, as more knowledge you get. Dig to the truth by yourself, by your own methods, analyze information by your own brain and structure it by your own unique method you’ve developed over your life span. Otherwise – don’t dare to complain.

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