Sunday, July 18, 2010


I have a problem with achieving.

Specifically, achieving for the sake of my own personal recognition and not the recognition of others.

This is something that I think comes both from my tendencies to want people to like me and to please them as well as my (relatively long) career in school. From my concern with peoples' opinion of my, I tend to always wanted to be noticed for what I've done - even if it is just a verbal notice. From my years in school, I have come to associate effort with reward i.e. if I do the schoolwork, I will get the grade (and get noticed).

The problem is, this is not the way it seems to work in the real world. More often than not, there is no notice of what I have done - therefore, I often stop doing it. However, the reality is that I do need to continue to do it to move forward both in my career and my life - even though I there is no recognition specifically forthcoming.

This is the core of my problem then - how do I self motivate towards larger goals without the instant gratification of recognition? How do I keep on when it seems no-one else is watching or noticing?

One train of thought, I suppose, is that of attaching your own rewards to the goals: achieve this, reward yourself with that. The only problem with that is usually things that I would reward myself with are far beyond the easy grasp (financially) of what I have available to me, and seldom in a timely manner with the achievement.

Another train of thought would simply be to recognize yourself in your mind and move on. This could work I suppose; the difficulty is that when I do something like that and mentally give myself the "Attaboy", it hardly has any impact on my thinking or my self image - seeing myself as having accomplished something is not something that impacts me.

So how do I do it then? How do I embed what I want to do so deeply that I hold to it, no matter whether recognition comes or not?

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