The Myth series

Discovering Your True-Self is a Lot Like Peeling Layers of Cognitive Tendencies

True self, Identity

THE FOLK concept of true selves is implicit in the everyday talk about “who you really are,” “being yourself,” and “finding yourself.”
These phrases imply the existence of a fundamental layer of a person’s identity that defines them as an individual.

In fact, we’re often bombarded with the adage to “be yourself.”

Adam Grant wrote¹ in the New York Times that “we are in the Age of Authenticity, where ‘be yourself’ is the defining advice in life, love, and career.” A study² from 2011 found that in college commencement speeches, one of the most common messages was “Be True to Yourself.”

The Myth of Optimum Performance

Our economy has long since evolved from blue-collar to white-collar, and despite research to the contrary, the majority of workers still find themselves on the wrong side of this normatively accepted benchmark.

Modern information age is often dominated by knowledge workers and creative entrepreneurs; here the output is not necessarily units of cars, but rather challenging and innovative ideas or creative new products.

The Myth of Entrepreneurship

Value innovation places equal emphasis on value and innovation. Value without innovation tends to focus on value creation on an incremental scale, something that improves value but is not sufficient to make you stand out in the marketplace.

Innovation without value tends to be technology-driven, market pioneering, or futuristic, often shooting beyond what buyers are ready to accept and pay for.

The Myth of Hard Work

You’re not exactly unhappy, but something’s off. But you can’t say for sure. You’ve just always felt that there is more to life than what you are living right now.

The numerous signs that you’ve fallen prey to the Workaholic Cult’s influence are subtle:

Working more than 40 hours a week
Sleeping less than 6 hours a night
Often feeling guilty about any time away from work — even if that time is with family and friends.