Show Off

27 Oct

Dont we all show off, either in the transitive* or the intransitive* sense or both ? If someone says “no”, then, wouldnt the answer by itself mean that they are showing off..:)… A lot of times I have wondered if telling others about what you know or what you have accomplished is a bad thing. I’ve met people who are top-notch people in their own area and not talk about it. Being humble or being embarassed about talking about oneself is one thing. But, some believe that talking about ones own achievement is rude and ill-mannered. I for one think that it is not true. I think people should talk, not necessarily to those who dont want to hear you, but to those to whom you can induce passion. As a listener, when I get into the talker’s shoe and if I realise how much it meant to him/her, I not only feel really happy about it, but on occasions, emotionally inspired as well. I believe inspiration and passion keeps us going. I heard this note somewhere and it just registered onto me. If you are passionate about what you do, it doesnt matter if you succeed or not, you will almost always enjoy the journey…

One commonality that I have observed uniformly is that, most of us dont do one or both of the following 2 things. Firstly, we dont tend to appreciate ourselves on our accomplishments and take pride in it and Secondly, we dont talk about it for all the above said reasons of being humble and blah blah blah. If we dont appreciate ourselves, who would appreciate us…:)…

For those of you who are meticulously orthogonal and have questions about why we need appreciation in the first place, the answer is Appreciation induces inspiration, which in turn will induce passion. I am a believer of passion. If I have strong passion to pursue something, I just go nuts about it. I dont limit myself based on statistics or other people’s generally perceived notions. In statistics, one thing to realise is that there is no “0” or “1”. Usually, it is about majority or minority. I think, generally perceived notions of individuals about impossibility is just a glorified wrapper to their incapability. So, once you pursue something with passion and achieve something, what is wrong about telling it to others. Again, statistically, some people may not like it. But, why do I care. I categorize my audience into 3 categories. The first category are those who are thrilled about the achievement and are highly motivated to achieve something similar, the second category who think that it is not a significant achievement and the usual reply will be one where you hear, “I always wanted to do that.. I even started going to blah blah” OR “Why didnt you choose to blah blah”, meaning one of 2 things, either they can do it, but they just didnt find time or some lame excuse like that OR that you chose the wrong path, the third category either keep quiet or reply back with a completely different accomplishment/topic of theirs, totally dismissing what you were saying. Even if I get a single cateogory 1 listener out of the numerous category 2 and category 3 listeners, I am happy. I get frustrated with category 2 and category 3 listeners, but then, I cant be an anomaly by not complying to statistical variance.

Now that I wrote about appreciating ourselves, the even more interesting and important thing is to acknowledge achievements of others when we hear it. I find a high correlation between whom we appreciate and the age group they belong and also if we can physically see them or not. I think, we feel a sense of inferiority when someone belonging to the same age as us accomplishes something. We praise about Ramanuja (mathematician) and as most of you know, he died at the age of 31. If Ramanuja stayed next door, how many of us would have really recognized him as much as the world does today (You can choose to substitute Ramanuja with Einstein, Hawkins and others…in the lines of adding Maane, Thene, Ponmane to the song in Guna..:)). It is interesting however that we are okay to hear old people or very young kids talk about their accomplishments… Sometimes, we even slip out people who talk about their accomplishment in a different field than ours. But, if it comes to our domain and if we can physically see someone, we rarely admit that they are any better than us. Especially, the ones who are intellectually egoistic and highly opinionated, like me…:)… Not that I dont acknowledge other’s achievements. But, I usually set a high threshold for something to deserve my appreciation…how rude..isnt it?….:)… I dont know if it is bad. Sometimes, I think appreciating someone for very trivial things is no good either. But, thats just me. My point is that, one doesnt have to be a category 1 listener all the time. But, one should definitely be proud and proclaim to the world and to yourself on things that you strived hard to accomplish. Because my friend, not everyone going into a tunnel come out the other side to share a success story. If you re-live the moment of your accomplishments, I believe that you can sustain your passion into achieving greater things. So, show off and sometimes, let others show off too…:)

* – Refer to Merriam Webster’s meaning for show off…


Posted by on October 27, 2005 in From AM-KICKING blog


4 responses to “Show Off

  1. Survivor

    October 28, 2005 at 12:10 am

    From your blog, it looks like you are sandwiched between Category 1 and 2.
    For people who are extra-ordinary achievers, you might be a Cat1 but u might easily become Cat2 .
    I think , at certain times, it is better not to be too candid as anybody will love appreciation and will be happy about it irrespective of the nature of accomplishment. There is another Category where you can appreciate and encourage, thereby inspire the achiever.I think that would be the category that I would want my listener to be in.

  2. BrainWaves

    October 28, 2005 at 12:33 am

    It is admirable quality if a person can tell what they accomplished without threatening others. Some people assume that it is pre-posterous to “show off” and tell it as if it is not very significant to make other feel comfortable and this in turn will cause others to think they are pre-posterous.

    You article brought a good point about not worrying about what others will think which will lift the burden.

  3. bumblebee

    October 28, 2005 at 5:20 pm

    I believe there is no harm in self-acclaim. All said and done I care a lot about what others say or think. I am making a conscious effort to move away from it, where this harms more than it does good.

    I am happy to hear encouragement on anything good I do, no matter how small. It helps me gain confidence to do the next good deed. Being self-critical keeps me from getting over-confident.

    On a similar note, I like to appreciate even small things other people do. No ocean without waterdrops 🙂 Sometimes, I may not be able to acknowledge someone’s achievement or contribution because I did not understand the achievement or its magnitude well enough. My not showing enough enthusiasm or appreciation may reflect my ignorance rather than arrogance.

  4. Mindframes

    October 28, 2005 at 9:56 pm

    First of all, I would like to state that I really do encourage people and I think it really stimulates betterment..:).. However, I have come to believe that being nice is not necessarily good under all conditions. I think, in general, real life is harsh and reality usually doesnt care about whether we are are nice or not (in a more quantitative sense). When you take a test, you either pass or fail, there is no question of marginal adjustments. Why should we be nice about things that are not necessarily good or appealing…My point is that, under certain conditions, we all do some favor in not being nice than being falsely nice.

    I like to think of over-confidence as inflation. Any economy is better off by being a little inflated than being deflated. ..:)…That is to say, yes, I am a little over-confident about my abilities and I like to stay that way..;)..


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