Why Not Me? Meaningful Life

On my drive home I was listening to a story about young voters on NPR. When I heard the intelligent, well-informed, confident voices over the speaker, I realized with a jolt that these are not people to admire. No, these are my competitors; these are my peers.

And suddenly everything felt impossible. I’m not capable of making a difference in the world. Images of myself as a fat Walmart employee with gray hair flashed into my mind. Or simply bumbling through life without direction for a greater good.

The voices on the radio held starkly different depictions in my mind. They appeared as confident, healthy, passionate young professionals, making their mark and touching lives. They seem to move through life guided by some inherent skill set.

Where did they obtain such direction? A congenital blessing? Pure determination? Values instilled in them by their parents?

The vast majority of the world population will not go on to make what I few as a significant difference in the world. It could be argued that how they effect people close to them is significant. In that way, groups can make a collective difference. That is not the change I think of when I look jealously at professionals and competent people.

I worry that my yearning to impact peoples’ lives is simply a narcissistic wish for admiration. I have not found any way to reconcile that concern. Beyond that, the idea that this want is simply a product of socialization to perpetuate the species is oddly vexing.

Why can’t I make a  difference in the world? The answer of course is that I can, but fear of failing and my certainty about my incompetence clouds the path. There are many noble causes to pursue. If I can set aside my self-deprecating thoughts, the piece that is missing is passion. How do I want to help people? What is important and what will be most significant?

These are the questions that currently plague me. A welcomed plague as they are more utilitarian and tangible than my past ruminations about intentions behind relationships, my conclusions of which I have mostly come to terms with.

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2 thoughts on “Why Not Me? Meaningful Life

  1. Fear of failing. I have it xD But this also made me remember this thing I was reading about yesterday about competence from Wikipedia, the four stages of competence. It kind of reassured me, maybe it will help easy the worries a little for you too? I don’t know. But I am sharin’ haha

    “1. Unconscious incompetence

    The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage.[2] The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.[3]

    2. Conscious incompetence

    Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.[4]

    3. Conscious competence

    The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.[3]

    4. Unconscious competence

    The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.””

    I am such a nerd. Sorry. But yeah, I get the fear of failing. I want to make a difference in the world too :I

    Liked by 1 person

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