Social status is formally defined as “a person’s standing or importance in relation to other people within a society” and yet, people often think of status exclusively in terms of wealth. The truth is, the concept of social status is at play everywhere; In every situation where we get the feeling that we are of value to other people, or where where we feel even an iota of elevation in our relative social position. The universal human desire for status greatly influences our culture, as well as our own behaviour and the ups and downs of our mood… turns out, this probably has a lot to do with our hobby as watch collectors too!
In her book Dopamine Nation, Dr. Anna Lembke – psychiatrist, author and Chief of Stanford’s Addiction Medicine Clinic – explores why the relentless pursuit of pleasure leads to pain… and offers suggestions on what to do about it. She condenses complex neuroscience into simple metaphors often using the experiences of her patients. I thought there was some benefit in talking about the concepts at a high level, and drawing some parallels to this weird world of collecting watches.
I came across an article about Alexander Graham Bell and his approach to increasing productivity; I thought it would be a useful post for a Sunday evening, ahead of a new week.
The term ‘imposter syndrome’ was first coined in 1978 by two US psychologists who called it the ‘imposter phenomenon’. They defined it as feeling like a fraud despite obvious successes and high achievements. Although this concept is mostly applied to workplaces and working professionals in various fields, it absolutely does apply in watch collecting, and I believe it signals a loss of one’s perspective – which just needs some recalibration.
It is likely that you have, at some time in your life, really wanted something… but upon finally getting it, felt rather disappointed. Pehaps you thought a career change was the solution to all your problems, but realised it wasn’t, once you had done it. Or perhaps you thought you’d like living in another country, but ended up regretting the move. Why does this happen? Why do we find a divergence between what we think something will be like, and the ultimate reality when we finally experience it?
I was reading this book by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein entitled “Nudge” – in the book they evaluate choices, biases and the limits of human reasoning from several perspectives. They tell stories about how they trick themselves to becoming victims of the very limitations of thought that they are describing. This is telling, because the very fact that these educated, articulate professionals can trick themselves (even though they know what is happening) demonstrates how tough it is to think clearly. We fall prey to systematic errors of judgment all the time – however, one of the ways of harnessing this issue is to help others make better decisions.