400: Achievement

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
400: Achievement

What are you proud of having achieved?

Show notes and links:

Full episode script

When I first asked this question, I had no idea at all that this is a question often and consistently asked in job interviews. Having figured this out, however, this particular question takes on a whole new flavor. After all, as with many questions, the context of when and how you are being asked something can have a very big impact on how you might want to answer it, and being asked this in a work environment predisposes the answer to be work-focused. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that you should only take pride in achievements from work.

In June 2015, researchers published an article in the Journal of Personality that looked at the question of if feeling true pride in your accomplishments actually did anything. While they couldn’t measure everything, they did look at both school exam performance and long-distance running.

The short version of their study findings is that when you feel truly accomplished, you’re more likely to do better in the long run.

If that’s correlational – those who tend to perform well tend to feel better about their accomplishments; or if it’s causational — if you take excitement and feel good about what you accomplish, you’re more likely to put more energy and effort into it.

Either way, feeling proud of your accomplishments does release all kinds of happy endorphins in your head.

Author Mandi Ehman put it very well, I think, when she wrote, quote:

But I think the trouble we run into is thinking that the opposite of pride is low self-esteem. The opposite of being prideful is not thinking badly about yourself, and there’s nothing wrong with being proud of the things you’ve accomplished or done. Those words might be related, but the definitions I’m using show that they’re very different.

pride or prideful :: a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.

proud :: feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements or qualities

So – what do you feel deep pleasure or satisfaction about having accomplished?

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.