Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Seven Neuroses of Highly Effective People

1) "I don't belong here, everyone is better than me, I'm going to have to work my butt off."
2) "People only love my work/my body/my style/my parties, and if that's my only way to get it, I'm going to have to work my butt off."
3) "Everyone is out to get me and just waiting for an opportunity, so I'd better work my butt off."
4) "My mother/father/sister/brother always viewed me as hopeless/supernaturally gifted at this, so if I want to have their respect/show them, I'd better work my butt off."
5) "My mother/father/sister/brother told me this was Wrong, so it's exactly what I'll work my butt off to do."
6) "God wants me here working my butt off, and He'll see that I suffer torture for eternity if I don't."
7) "If I just work my butt off a little more, my wildest wishes will be fulfilled."

(Just another idea from the shower stall. ..subject to revision...shouts out to Max Weber )

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SteveG said...

How about..."If I don't post something everyday, everyone will stop reading my blog."?

t.s. said...

Neuroses, or the modern substitutes for the Protestant Work Ethic?

Murky Thoughts said...

Exactly my point in shouting out to Weber. Weber explained Western social and economic development in terms of a mindset that emerged from changes in Christianity, and so, generalizing and merging with the common wisdom, your mindset affects your industriousness. Why invest effort, money or feeling into anything that doesn't reward you immediately and 100% reliably? Faith, hope and optimism? Where do those feelings come from? In Weber's West I think it's because one feels virtuous in the deed and/or ignoble or despicable in idleness or the pursuit of immediate pleasures like cocaine. If we feel virtuous as we plow and sow and tend, we know it's no waste of effort, because drought and pestilence are stuff "God" inflicts only on the wicked or on people who will benefit from the lesson of the disappointment and catastrophe. Also if we all agree on what's virtuous and what's virtuous is economically worthwhile, then our inevitable competition to be the most virtuous will produce a thriving economy. Ah, those were the days. I think neuroses are how the economy works for a lot of people nowadays. Also "identity" in aspects, because by identifying with a subculture we can find economically worthwhile values and priorities and competition. Or we grow up on an Indian reservation. Or our boozy wife-beating trailer park has satellite TV and we learn to aspire to the bling and the sex and glamor, and we work to get there and/or to pay the credit card bills.

Murky Thoughts said...

So 50's housewives identified as housewives and competed in 50's housewiveliness. I wouldn't say their labors weren't "economically worthwhile," because the money economy relied on them doing that, but it's true that they didn't earn money, and arguably money would have been more rewarding, in that it's more fungible and can buy respect of both men and women anywhere in the money-based world. But I think "economy" ought to be allowed to apply to more than monetary transactions, because I don't think money is what economies are about fundamentally.

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