Status symbols (titles, watches, cars, etc.) work to signal people “below you” in status. To the status-seeking person, these are the talismans of displaying achieved happiness.
But those same status symbols don’t work “up.”
The CEO is still patting the Vice President on the back and telling him, “Good job.” Who does the CEO want to pat her on the back? Or more realistically, who is the CEO scared will stab her IN the back?
It’s a case of, “Baby genius, where do you go from here?”
If we let the symbol have the meaning, the pursuits will be endless. And that’s exhausting.
If we find out what’s really driving us, which means getting off the status ladder and being content taking it out of the garage when we need it, we can lead a happy life.
It’s way easier said than done.
h/t Nicolas Cole who shared a graduation speech of a tweet thread the other day and this one (of nine) “uncomfortable truths most people spend their life avoiding” jumped out at me enough to inspire this post.