I was walking from my office back home on my usual path. Most of the time I pass through the park and then the two libraries (one of them looks like Hogwarts:*). As you know this most of the time refers to the time that we were free to walk in parks and it was not any COVID-19 around. Commonly, that time of the year the park is very very beautiful with colorful leaves. However, this year we had an early winter with heavy snow, which literally covered all the park over one night. Anyway, I was walking and thinking about my current situation in academia and of course in life. I was thinking about so many tasks and deadlines that I have before the new year coming (our new year in Iran, which is around mid-March, the beginning of Spring). At the same time, I was listening to a podcast about Dan Ariely’s famous book Predectibbe Irrationalties and trying to find out about what actions of mine could actually be categorized under this umbrella. I came up with easy ones like how I bought my new laptop which is very funny and a long story. But very suddenly, I just realized something about my own personality.
So, I am (or I think I am) so humble in front of others, I have (I am sure of this one) sever imposter syndrome, I am (again, I am sure) very perfectionist, I am too hard on myself, but (very very big but) apparently and even unconsciously somehow, I am also so arrogant regarding my abilities specifically my cleverness (IQ?). Then I was thinking: “hey fool that is the key!! You think you are so smart and clever and everything, so you depend on it more than you supposed to! You put all the deadlines for the last minutes since you think you can handle them; you are procrastinating everything because you think you do not need so much time and you can do it in a blink of an eye!! Yeah, you believe and broadcast hard working and everything but you are not doing it at all. On the other hand, you are hard on yourself because you think you can do more or BE more but you are not”. So that thought was my very bright insight about myself.
The day I accepted my limitations, the day I confessed to myself that I am just an ordinary person my whole life changed. Nowadays, not only I can enjoy my small achievements, but also I can be more productive and progressing. So now I can make very organized long and short plans, I can put enough time and energy into my dreams and responsibilities (Compare to before, for sure).
There are two main takeaway messages: first, when you expect less you will get more definitely, small achievements and happiness are much more inspiring and sustainable than big ones. They contribute to more slightly, but as the proverb said: Go slowly but go forever. Contrary, if you achieve something big without those middle steps you will fall down fast and easily. Second, if you be humble also in front of yourself, you will allow yourself to make mistakes, you would not be too hard on it, you would not punish and blame it forever (what I was doing almost my whole life). Also, you will be open to the possibilities of learning new stuff much more effectively. If you be arrogant you do not pay enough attention to the new materials and you will not give yourself the flexibility of changing beliefs or attitudes (believe me that most of us are doing it to ourselves unconsciously). So I am proud to announce to you my new way of life from that night till forever. Sit and solve your shits with yourself, then start fresh, I did it; for sure you can, too. I Will be super happy to hear your stories, keep me posted.