Ungrateful wretches and… the planning fallacy?!

How am I ungrateful? Let me count the ways…

I have a meaningful and challenging paid job, that has status attached to it, a high degree of autonomy, scope for personal and professional development.
I have my “activist” (unpaid) job, where I work with a fantastic journo, and we chase down stories and do cool stuff and seem to be having a real impact on the stuff we want to (while never forgetting that the Titanic has already done gone and hit dat iceberg).
I have a blogging life that involves coming into regular contact with seriously smart and perceptive people (y’all know who you are)
I have my health (looks around for wood to touch)
I have an amazing intelligent and uber-kind wife, albeit slightly removed by circumstances beyond our control.
I have [list edited for the sake of everyone’s sanity]…

So why aren’t I “happier”? Because…

I am, despite what some may perceive, quite conscious (neurotic?) about when I screw stuff up, and impatient.
I would like to be able to do more stuff at work that helped the situation improve. I am not high enough up the food chain (something to do with my frequent insubordination, perhaps?) and anyhow, who can make an elephant tapdance?
I think all the time about climate change and the grotesque crimes humans are committing against other species and members of their own species.
And – which is where the second half of this title comes in – our old friend…. narcissism

What have ye done?” is the question that Samuel Johnson used as the title as an awe-inspiringly brilliant essay back in the mid-18th Century. Haven’t read it? Stop reading my drivel right now and go and read it. NOW, goddamit.

Unrealistic expectations of oneself. Which is the Planning Fallacy all over. People are accurate when estimating how long it will take someone else to perform a task, but imbue themselves with magical powers of productivity, discipline, stamina. Don’t want to admit they are frail, distractable etc. And thus under-estimate the time and resources required to get stuff done – aka the Planning Fallacy. {At this point Antonio “Horizons of Significance” Dias is going to pitch in with 500 words on Mastery and Control. Just watch…)

And so, I am comparing myself with an absurd fictional Dwight (har har).

Look, Sammy J. said this waaaaaaay better than I ever could. If you haven’t gone and read that essay yet, consider yourself finger-wagged and I am Very Disappointed In You. I suppose you want to watch a video of it instead?


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
This entry was posted in a little self-knowledge, competence, narcissism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ungrateful wretches and… the planning fallacy?!

  1. Antonio Dias says:

    Too busy rushing off to read Sammy j.!

  2. pendantry says:

    ‘What have ye done’ can be taken as either an admonition or an accusation. With the latter in mind, especially when posed together with the ideas of ungrateful wretches and planning in a human context, it brings to mind extinction.

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