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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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I've been watching so much British media that I'm almost inclined to roll my eyes and mutter, "Americans" under my breath.

Those are interesting and pretty common sense ideas that Maslow puts forward. I've been in similar places in my life. I note that the Wikipedia article never mentions 'greatness', just actualization of potential.

The idea of everyone striving to be great genuinely bothers me, it makes me think of millions of little future dictators clamoring for power. Greatness has a lot of ego value attached to it, and the good and bad of it depends on the ego. Achieving greatness is often a matter of hard work applied in the right direction, not a matter of having your head on straight or even having fulfilling goals.

Clearly, I must achieve power so I can keep these guys down and form the world in my own image and keep the worst at bay.
 

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The idea of everyone striving to be great genuinely bothers me, it makes me think of millions of little future dictators clamoring for power. Greatness has a lot of ego value attached to it, and the good and bad of it depends on the ego. Achieving greatness is often a matter of hard work applied in the right direction, not a matter of having your head on straight or even having fulfilling goals.
+1 kudos on that philosophy.

From a 'subconscious' point-of-view, this could be applicable to me. Consciously, I don't seem to mind the prospect of success (I don't brag often, but if I do something especially spectacular, I like to share it with others); however, this could explain why I've been having difficulty focusing on work. I already have expectations that I haven't met (from myself and others), and they already seem to be overbearing - I might dread how much more overbearing future expectations will be.
 
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The No More Hero
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The fear of success isn't often related to the fear of being in public, having to face people and/or having responsibilities?
 

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i know i have a lot of potential. and i hate the aspect, that i feel like im responsible for making humanity better because of that. id like to find a way to rationalize selfishness, that its irrelevant to make humanity better or to fill the expectations my country places on me, so i could focus on reaching personal satisfaction instead.
 
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Oh damn I posted this after you did yesterday, guess we're both dealing with the same questions! (Sorry didn't mean to steal your thunder, but mine didn't get any replies anyhow :wink:)

Thanks for bringing this up!
 

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I've been watching so much British media that I'm almost inclined to roll my eyes and mutter, "Americans" under my breath.

Those are interesting and pretty common sense ideas that Maslow puts forward. I've been in similar places in my life. I note that the Wikipedia article never mentions 'greatness', just actualization of potential.

The idea of everyone striving to be great genuinely bothers me, it makes me think of millions of little future dictators clamoring for power. Greatness has a lot of ego value attached to it, and the good and bad of it depends on the ego. Achieving greatness is often a matter of hard work applied in the right direction, not a matter of having your head on straight or even having fulfilling goals.

Clearly, I must achieve power so I can keep these guys down and form the world in my own image and keep the worst at bay.
What if one does not fear success in a material way, but in a self-growth way? And Achieving greatness is not "often a matter of hard work" etc. It's exclusively a byproduct of hard work. But that's not the intent or point of this article, is it?
 

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What if one does not fear success in a material way, but in a self-growth way? And Achieving greatness is not "often a matter of hard work" etc. It's exclusively a byproduct of hard work. But that's not the intent or point of this article, is it?
Well, to split hairs, greatness is not the same as success. What success is can be ultimately defined by you. What greatness is, is ultimately defined by the world. You can achieve greatness by performing an act at the right place at the right time, which doesn't always require hard work.

The intent of the article is unclear, because it refers to greatness, but references Maslow, who has always been more concerned with achieving maximum potential, which does not always make one great.
 

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Well, to split hairs, greatness is not the same as success. What success is can be ultimately defined by you. What greatness is, is ultimately defined by the world. You can achieve greatness by performing an act at the right place at the right time, which doesn't always require hard work.

The intent of the article is unclear, because it refers to greatness, but references Maslow, who has always been more concerned with achieving maximum potential, which does not always make one great.
Ah, I agree.
 

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It's not a fear of success, although I wouldn't say that it does not exist. Everyone has different gifts and talents, just as everyone has a different level of humility v.s. pride. It's in the interaction between gifts & talents and humility & pride that individuals perform independently.

I think it's actually hard-wired into our genetic structure that we all have differing levels of this. As a species, we would burn ourselves out if the level of competition for success was as strong in each of us.

that's how I see it, at least...



-ZDD
 

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Oh damn I posted this after you did yesterday, guess we're both dealing with the same questions! (Sorry didn't mean to steal your thunder, but mine didn't get any replies anyhow :wink:)

Thanks for bringing this up!
Lol, I just saw your thread and wanted to link this thread there, and then I see you already posted here :D

I wonder if there is any correlation with introversion and this issue....
 

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Lol, I just saw your thread and wanted to link this thread there, and then I see you already posted here :D

I wonder if there is any correlation with introversion and this issue....
I don't think it's limited to introversion, but I'm not sure. After doing more research on the (rather abstract) theory, I am also beginning to doubt that I have any such issues either, or if the "Fear of Success" outlines a few symptoms, and doesn't describe an actual problem. A fever in the malaria-infected man, so to speak.

I'd encourage you to dig further than this, see if you can come up with anything else. I may wander back eventually too, but life is pulling me in so many directions right now, I don't feel I can dedicate research time right now :)
 

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I´ve been researching recently the Jonah Complex, or what is usually called the "fear of success" because I suffer from it.

Here are some great articles I found on that subject:

Jonah Complex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Why some of us avoid seeking to be great – the Jonah Complex - » CHANGING WORLDVIEWS

Does anyone else have a problem with this? :)

What do you think about it?

Discuss!
I had a lot going for me in a couple different fields (medical and psychology/sociology). But I turned both of them away because I knew I wouldn't be happy the rest of my life. I wanted to try to make a genuine difference in the world, no matter how small. I would say that it is partially that I am scared of giving something 100 percent, possibly because then I would be stuck on that path for the rest of my life. I have been known to never stick with something for very long and some would call me a "quitter", which there is some truth in that label. I am not a weak person, but if I am dealing with something that I rationalize will not benefit me, my well being, or my ideas for the future then I will quickly drop it and pick something else up.

At the end of the day, I suppose I am just making excuses for myself. But there is a method to my madness. I think O_0
 
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