If you had been praised for being motivated, early 20s (most of reddit) is when you become the most powerful. You’re a young adult, and you can finally get things done, and have an influence on the world. Moreover, early 20s is all about taking your life under your control. Those who were praised for being go-getters now shine bright.

But what if you were praised for being smart? When you’re in your early 20s, you’ve lost the amazing superlearning child brain that you used to have. You introspect on your mind, and feel dull. You begin to worry that your time is over, that you can no longer match the learning ability of your younger days, and that your worth has gone down. Now, more than ever, you shy away from trying very hard, to deny this reality and maintain the label.


AWWHH! lol

Is this your argument?

(1) Some people are praised as motivated
(2) Other people are praised as smart
[(tacit 3?) These are,on the whole, mutually exclusive]
(4) Being praised as [something] leads you to want to ‘maintain the label’
So (5)&(6) Motivated-praised people strive to become powerful and influential, and smart-praised people strive to stay smart [both relative to the expectations of their age, perhaps]
(7)&(8) The rate of fruition of ‘go-gettingness’ gets higher in your early 20’s [for everyone, right? But the rate is higher for motivated-praised people…]; the rate of getting smart gets lower in your early 20’s [for everyone, but the rate is proportionally lower for smart-praised people, relative to their rate when they were younger]. [Though both smartness and [power and influence] still cumulate, for both, on the whole.]
(9) Depression ensues for smart-praised people. [Or: we should praise people for being motivated? Or should not praise people for being smart (/without praising people for being motivated?)

Cute. The lament, as I understand it, is not simply that you want to be a go-getter; it’s that you want to want to be a go-getter, or want to not want the label of being smart, because it’s too expensive and difficult to acheive. Trust a smart-praised-person (I’m assuming you’re one) to be the one with the second-order desire!

The step that’s sinister for me is (4), reworded:
‘You want to be exactly as Master says you are, and likes you to be, so then Master will give you cookies.’

Fair enough, lots of our desires are probably about the way society perceives us, and the way we perceive ourselves. And I think being praised a certain way is probably a big element in developing these desires. But, here’s a second order desire for you: want to not want labels. Labels screw you over. Labels anchor some quality and identity on something that is constantly changing.

Labels are all that’s involved in the dichotomy you’ve presented here. Stepping out of the view of there being smart-praised and motivated-praised people, it’s probably the case that many of the underlying qualities of praised people overlap. You surely have to be motivated, quite a bit, I’d imagine, to be praised as smart, and vice versa! It’s people “thinking they are a certain way*, and holding on to a limited perception of themselves, that they are in one camp, and worse, therefore not in the other camp, that I believe causes this depression.

I’m not saying that you can’t cut up praised people as smart and motivated. I’m just saying: try not to. It’s not helpful, it’s not worth it, and it’s not any more true just because it is sad!

‘The man whose self is disciplined in yoga, whose perception is the same everywhere, sees himself in all creatures and all creatures in himself.’ - Bhagavad Gita 6:29

Comment by grhiofgfghjhgkgfk Sat 29 Dec 2012 03:16:05 UTC

The effort-praised person isn’t trying to maintain anything, he’s just getting on with things because that’s that’s habitual for him; it’s only the smart-praised person who is trying to maintain a label.

Comment by spw Sat 29 Dec 2012 12:08:57 UTC