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Success Factors, pt. 2: The Delusional

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Some recent literature on has focused on the topic of work and how to it relates to children and life in general. Topics included how to train kids to adapt to modern working society as well as how to explain the concept of “employment” to a child. A child’s daily life is whimsical and timeless. Perhaps the true indicator of adulthood is when you consciously become aware that your life has shifted from timelessness to scheduling. Adult life is stringently scheduled and almost always do adult schedules operate around the idea of work. Employment has become the primary determinant for scheduling other, non-work related adult activities such as vacations, personal appointments and even things as routine as dinner and watching TV. There are four kinds of people in the modern workforce: the psychopath, the delusional, the realist, and the apathetic. In this new 4-part series, we’ll look at each segment of the population as it relates to employment.

Part 2: The Delusional

The delusional is someone who believes that professional advancement will eventually manifest itself as personal growth. While this person does not possess the ruthless nose-to-the-grind work habits of The Psychopath, the delusional are not entirely different in the sense that they truly embrace the idea that happiness in life is a direct function of success in one’s career. The delusional is the person who will work long hours and extra days not out of a need to find intrinsic value in their jobs, but because the outward perception of their professional pseudo-pride will eventually garner them professional advancements, financial gain, and thus personal happiness. The delusional believe in a cause-and-effect scenario that is only partially within their control and intentionally overcompensate in the workplace in an attempt to shift the balance in their favor. In doing so, the delusional seek rewards based on their feigned professional happiness.

The delusional differ from the psychopathic in the sense that they’ve identified a personal happiness, however it is ultimately rooted in success factors inextricably linked to their careers. Much like the psychopath, the delusional will neglect personal needs in favor of work, however they only do so insofar as they believe their “professional altruism” will be witnessed, appreciated, and in time, rewarded. The delusional have trained their minds into believing that excellence in the workplace will afford them benefits that they can use to enhance their personal lives.

The delusion in this type of belief system exists because the individual truly buys into the notion that their employer will see their feigned effort as authentic pleasure in their profession. The delusional are easily identified as the employees who purposefully go above and beyond. The individuals who will intentionally upstage co-workers in order to be seen. Colloquially, we call them brown-nosers, suck-ups, and snakes. Often times the delusional are backstabbers, gossipers, and swindlers. The façade they wear like a mask is translucent to everyone except them. Only they can see their true motives however for all their delusional foresight, they often fail to see themselves for who they really are.

Because the delusional are, well, delusional, they place a heavily weighted emphasis on the end result of their professional excellence yet find that they’ll never truly cease to be delusional. The reason for this is because as long as personal growth is tied to professional success and by extension, money, there will never be an end to the cyclical act of pretending to find intrinsic value in one’s job.

What this really boils down to is utility. When the bulk of your adult life is spent engaged in your career, where is the utility there? When aspects of your existential being that formerly made you…YOU, have vanished in favor of your career, are you still able to have a sense of utility? If your day job is now your sole source for perceived personal growth, then you’ve reached this point of delusion. If you have effectively trained your mind to believe that whatever it is you do all day for money is somehow the nucleus of your personal satisfaction, then you are the delusional. Congratulations.


Part 1: The Psychopath

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  1. Pingback: Success Factors, pt. 4: The Apathetic - Dad for Beginners

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