You’ll know a lot more than you currently do about the career landscape and the specific game boards you’re interested in, and you’ll have become a much better game player. Fish do not feel pain the way humans do, according to a team of neurobiologists, behavioral ecologists and fishery scientists. They haven’t reached that stage yet. I think a lot of those regrets stem from the fact that most of us aren’t really taught about path-making in our childhoods, and most of us also don’t get much better at path-making as adults, which leaves many people looking back on a life path that didn’t really make sense, given who they are and the world they lived in. The people on the right are jump-happy—the wing-footed—and they have the opposite pitfall: they’re quick quitters.11 (You should be especially wary of cement feet—psychologists believe that people at the end of their lives are most likely to regret living by inertia: a commonly voiced regret is “I wish I had quit earlier,” and the most common advice of the elderly is, “Don’t stay in a job you dislike.“). You’ll get to a deeper Because behind the Because. The Want Box is a game of compromise. You probably know how it feels to be in pain. And this is despite openly saying he didn’t invent it. Ask any biologist and they'll tell you — whether they agree or not — that there's no conclusive evidence that crabs and lobsters feel pain. You’ll pull off others to reveal the values and judgments of broader conventional wisdom, or the viewpoints of your more immediate community, or what’s considered cool by the dominant culture of your generation or the immediate culture within your closest group of friends. As you get wiser, you’ll learn to view a largely unhappy octopus with acceptance. 4) On top of having my own story to look at, I’ve had a front-row seat for the stories of my dozen or so closest friends. I’m hoping this WBW Dark Ages era is nearing its end, because I miss hanging out here. It gets worse. Your beliefs about the world of careers and about what it takes to succeed need just as thorough an unmasking as your yearnings did—and I suspect that behind most of them, you’ll find big, fat conventional wisdom. It’s a hypothesis that you’ll be able to test and then revise based on how actually living this hierarchy feels in practice. And if you want to download this post for printing and offline sharing, you can buy it here. But be patient—now that you’ve done your audit and cleared space for them on your octopus, they may begin to emerge. The particulars of your career also often play a big role in determining where you live, how flexible your life is, the kinds of things you’re able to do in your free time, and sometimes even in who you end up marrying. The part of the tentacle that just wants to sit around and relax will hold you back from sweating to build the kind of career that offers long-term flexibility and the kind of wealth that can make life luxurious and cushy and full of toys. Generally, responses to the type of pain you enjoy fell into the following categories: E And this brings us to you and your particular strengths. And by asking questions like these and digging deep enough to identify the true roots of your various yearnings, you start to turn on the basement light and acquaint yourself with your octopus in all its complexity. It’s also concerned with your life in the big picture being as great as possible—as far as your lifestyle tentacle is concerned, you should be able to do what you want to do in life, when and how you want to do it, with the people you like most. It doesn’t really care how these things happen—it just wants them to happen. Nobody understands how to knock out the consciousness in an octopus because nobody knows how an octopus feels consciousness. As we’ve discussed before on this blog, we all have a Social Survival Mammoth living in our heads who’s earth-shatteringly obsessed with what other people think of us. Qualities related to persistence, like resilience and determination and patience, should be thought of as promising strengths, while a social tentacle clamoring to appear successful as quickly as possible should be viewed as a bright red flag. Some of the complexities are purely scientific, but others are caused by moral or philosophical issues getting mixed up with scientific issues. It’ll be that the chef in you has decided that the mission itself calls for a strategic dot jump. If you handed 25-year-old Michael Jordan a basketball for the first time, he’d suck. Or maybe two or three. Careers are complex games that almost everyone starts off bad at—then the chefs improve rapidly through a continual loop…. Or a desire to be famous that your particular tribe has shamed you out of. 1 0 Reframing a bunch of career paths in your mind will affect your level of yearning for some of them. The interrogation room probably won’t be that fun a time. Cooks arrive at conclusions by following someone else’s recipe—in the case of careers, the recipe is usually conventional wisdom. Brathwaite, author of the 2010 book Do Fish Feel Pain?, has also investigated whether fish can suffer. Creating vs. copying. For most of us, a career (including ancillary career time, like time spent commuting and thinking about your work) will eat up somewhere between 50,000 and 150,000 hours. They also feel a mental desire to minimize their suffering. Rather, the octopus can make “value judgments around sensory input.” In short, they weigh up the need for food with the physical pain caused by using an injured limb. Feeling contentment in those times when your choices and your circumstances have combined to pull it off, and knowing you have all that you could ever ask for, is for the wise. Please LIKE and SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed! But there are other times when a part of us is in Denial Prison because someone else locked it up down there. Maybe you pine to be rich. If your actions seem beholden to yearnings that you don’t believe you actually care that much about, you’re probably not looking closely enough at your fears. The Reality Box deals with what’s possible. If dad has successfully convinced you that you care deeply about having a prestigious career, he probably has also convinced you that the part of you that, deep down, really wants to be a carpenter isn’t really you and isn’t what you really want. The first thing to think about is that there are totally distinct yearning worlds—each living on one tentacle. The drop from naive over-confidence to wise, realistic humility never feels good, but pausing the roller coaster while it’s still on that first cliff and avoiding the pain—which turns out to be a lot of people’s move—isn’t a great strategy. On the tentacle are a number of odd creatures. It’s time to bring back your Career Plans map that I made you put down at the beginning of the post—the one with the arrow or the question mark. Reddit. The yearnings you did prioritize won’t be feeling much gratification yet, and they’ll wonder if they were wrong all along about what they thought they wanted. It also makes all kinds of multi-faceted, vibrant, mid-career people feel like they’re too old to make a bold switch or start a whole new path afresh. Because in many cases, it’s the ickiest set of yearnings to really go for; because the fears of this tentacle aren’t scary in an immediate way—they creep in out of the background over time; and because the personal tentacle is always at risk of getting bowled over early in your career by the powerful animal emotions of the other tentacles. 4. It’s been way, way too long. But then there are those parts of life that are really really deeply important—like where you choose to live, or the kinds of friends you choose to make, or whether you want to get married and to whom, or whether you want to have kids and how you want to raise them, or how you set your lifestyle priorities. How is pink salt different than regular salt? A live-streaming host known as Seaside Girl Little Seven regularly posts clips of herself enjoying seafood, but this time, in hopes of gaining more popularity, she tried something else. It’s instead a framework that I think can help a career-path reflector better see their own situation, and what really matters to them, clearly and honestly. And this is why persistence is so important. As far as you know, you might be Michael Jordan holding his first basketball, so start playing. For those paths, evaluate your starting point, based on your current skills, resources, and connections relevant to that field. Going for one thing you want means, by definition, not going for others, and sometimes, it’ll specifically mean going directly against others. I'm not sure I understand the third aspect, but I take it to mean the ability to transform nociception into experience. Eric Barker’s blog is full of actual data that can help with career choices, like this post on what makes a career fulfilling or this one on the importance of mentors. Then there’s the trash can, for the drives and fears you flat-out reject—those parts of you that fundamentally violate the person your wisest self wants to be. A few days ago I posted a discussion here of the problem of determining whether an animal such as an octopus has genuine pain. You worked in that profession for 40 years or so before the tunnel spit you out on the other side into your retirement. You can play around with what works for you—I like the idea of a shelf: This divides things into five categories. We’ll come back to it at the end of the post. We can’t test this, but I’m pretty sure that you can select any 80-year-old alive today, go back in time 80 years, find them as an infant, throw the infant in the trash, and then come back to the present day and find a countless number of things changed. The age old question! Our job isn’t to think about our path—it’s to succeed on the path we’ve been placed on, based on the way success has been defined for us. Tune in for non-stop knowledge and learn a thing or two about your food! We’re super bad at this. !↩, Stubbornness is a cook quality because it means being a cook to your previous self—i.e. To do this, octopus use a protein called protein acetylcholinesterase, or AChE. Or are a few of these combining together to generate your fear of making the leap? While the moral and lifestyle tentacles tend to be in direct conflict, others may sometimes find common ground—the social tentacle can get very into philanthropy if it’ll happen to win you respect and admiration from a highly regarded social group, and some people’s personal tentacle may find the meaning or self-worth it so craves in a philanthropic endeavor. The past couple posts have described some pretty severe experiments on octopuses, including: showing how octopus … The personal tentacle is why you don’t find very many billionaires content to spend the rest of their life sipping cocktails on the beach—it’s a highly needy tentacle. Humans know the surprising prick of a needle, the searing pain of a stubbed toe, and the throbbing of a toothache. When I say persistence, I’m referring to long-term persistence (as opposed to day-to-day work ethic). I'd like to try to explain where that discomfort comes from. I’ve thankfully never been on anything that felt like a deathbed, but it seems like there’s something about the end of life that lets people see things with clear eyes. New videos captured by researchers are changing the way that people look at plants. It’s not off-limits to us—it’s just in the basement. And they’ll often demand it—core parts of you won’t go quietly into non-prioritization, and they sometimes can really ruin your life if they’re neglected. The particulars of each person’s Yearning Octopus will vary, but people also aren’t all that different from each other, and I bet many of us feel very similar yearnings and fears (especially given that I find that Wait But Why readers tend to have a lot in common). How does acute pain become chronic pain? Humans have this protein, too, but our store of the molecule is much less active than an octopus’. It doesn’t show you reality, it shows your best crack at what reality might be—your perception of reality. In the past, I’ve written about the critical distinction between “reasoning from first principles” and “reasoning by analogy”—or what I called being a “chef” vs. being a “cook.” Since writing the post, I notice this distinction everywhere, and I’ve thought about it roughly 2 million times in my own life. I have been prescribed Fentanyl for eleven years and have been cheeking the patches (cutting pieces and placing them sticky side to the inside my cheek-buccal ingestion) for about nine years. Finally, some of us may find a loving little dog on our social tentacle who wants more than anything in the world to please its owner, and who just cannot bear the thought of disappointing them. But as philosophers are well aware, there's a big problem with that approach. And we end up on a path. When assessing your chances on a certain career path, the key question is: With enough time, could you get good enough at this game to potentially reach whatever your definition of success is in that career? Whether you’re yet to start your career or well into it, somewhere in the back of your mind (or maybe in the very front of it) is a “Career Plans” map. Sometimes new parts of us are born only to be immediately locked up in prison as part of a denial of our own evolution—i.e. Like a childhood dream that was etched into the back of your consciousness as the thing you believe you really want, when you’re being truly honest. But even these people should pause and ask themselves, “Who actually drew this arrow? By Morris M on April 30, 2016 Animals. One career may seem less appealing after reminding yourself that it will entail thousands of hours of networking or multiple decades of pre-success struggle. Getting to know your real self is super hard and never complete. We usually think of this as a bad feeling, or even an existential crisis, but it actually means you’re doing better than most people. I constantly want to go back for more. Share 74. A yearning for security at its simplest is just your practical tentacle doing what your practical tentacle does. 2) Specific game boards. The yearnings you didn’t prioritize will get out the guitar and start singing love songs for the greener-seeming grass you deprived them of. This is where it gets juicy: More than 100 of you wrote in to explain what you like, and why! First of all, for a while at least, you’ll probably suck at what you’re doing on your new dot. Other people will see a nice clear arrow representing a direction they feel confident is right—but find their legs walking in a different direction. The length of the distance depends on where point A is (how far along you are at the current moment) and where the star is (how lofty your definition of success is). 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