Category Archives: Psychology

I need X to do Y — Syndrome

Most of us have or have had this syndrome “I need X to do Y”.

  • I need to join X course to learn Y
  • I need to X training to start doing Y project
  • I need a Laptop to start programming Python; Desktop doesn’t make me productive
  • I need an iPhone to start learning iOS programming; Simulator doesn’t make it feel real
  • I need to join Gym to workout; Workout at home doesn’t work :-)

Get over with it this syndrome:

  • Start learning/doing as soon as you get curious about anything, we don’t have to wait to do X to start doing Y by ourself.
  • We can always do X, but who is stopping us from starting with Y?
  • Wouldn’t it be better to get our hands dirty and try to learn more about Y by ourselves?

Eventually we have to do it by ourselves, doesn’t matter if we do X or not. It is more fun and engaging when we do Y by ourself; it is also a litmus test, if we really want to do Y.

Discipline and Passion matters. I wish, I had more of these in me.

Illusory Superiority

Illusory superiority is a topic of psychology, and it is considered to be one of many positive illusions relating to self.

I am not a psychologist. This blog post is based on my observations about this topic in context of coginitive tasks and something highlighted by Dunning-Kruger effect  (Research - PDF).

In my experience, if the culture of place, we live or work doesn’t provide enough challenges and competiton (validations), it’s so easy to get dilusional about our actual competence and  have illusory superiority.

In my own experience, we stop learning and improving once we get to a certain level (in an organisation). We think, we know what we are supposed to. We think, we are great or good enough for tasks in hand or in job?  I believe, these are symptoms when we start living with “Illusory Superiority” or “Distorted Reality” or “Cognitive Bias”.

One of many ways, I avoid to have this distorted view of reality or illusory superiority or coginitive bias is by looking beyond the boundaries of my organisation/city/country. I look up to great people in community at large, places (great companies) and practices. I try hard to follow the gurus and be like them.

Another way is to think like, ‘I am a software-developer/technologist and I work at X place/company’ NOT ‘I am a software-developer/technologist in X place/company’.

The difference between these two statements is, former makes me live in actual reality, and look beyond and place myself in larger community). Latter might make me live with distorted/percieved reality, and place myself in a smaller community (organisation, place, country).

As a leader/mentor, we need to challenge and help our team so that they keep living in reality. We have to do it, carefully, without affecting their self-confidence.