Why not always worth to emulate successful people
A Life / / December 19, 2019
Young Scott (Scott Young)
Author of books and courses about the habits, training and productivity.
In many animals, there is a hierarchy of power: the strong dominate the weaker. Among people it is also common, but we have yet another separate hierarchy - prestige. It is supported at the expense of respect, not power. Anthropologists who study the behavior of people in different cultures have noticedPrestige-biased cultural learning: bystander's differential attention to potential models influences children's learningThat we imitate those who are placed higher in the hierarchy, that is, has the prestige.
Who is the celebrity, creative people, scientists, successful entrepreneurs. And we often copy some habitsWithout thinking what they are better than our previous - just because they have seen a successful person.
An anthropologist from Harvard, Joseph Henry (Joseph Henrich) considersThe Big Man Mechanism: how prestige fosters cooperation and creates prosocial leadersThat this simple strategy - an imitation of prestigious individuals or groups - was one of the main mechanisms underlying the formation of culture. Perhaps it is thanks to her people surpassed their ancestors, the apes.
This mechanism is similar to natural selection. Only here, instead of inheritance of genes - up actions of successful individuals.
Typically, a strategy for success was copied down to the last detail. Due to this complex behavior patterns culturally have evolved and distributed, even if people do not understand why they are effective.
In the end, it turned into a culture built countless profitable strategies of behavior that we can not always explain rationally. We can say that we are like a cat, which is able to hunt, not knowing how her digestive system is designed.
However, in some cases, the imitation is useless and even dangerous. Successful people often do something expensive, just to demonstrate their ability to bear these costs. Such occurs in animals.
For example, an antelope, which jumps up high, seeing lurking leopard, could spend the energy to escape. But she seems to be saying: "I am so healthy and fast, that you should not even try to chase me." In the human world is to demonstrate superiority to buy expensive cars and diamonds. It is clear that, in imitation of such false alarms it succeeds, it will not become successful.
It makes no sense to copy the behavior of expensive, if you can not afford it.
False signals of success are all around us. Coupled with the habit to imitate, they explain why some broken system for so long does not change. For example, in health care, education, Politics is a glaring errors, the solution of which is obvious. But the alarm function overpowers useful, and change does not occur.
For example, education is not reformed. The fact is that because of the changes that would make the education process more convenient, it would become more difficult to issue documents of qualification.
In theory, inefficient things have to be eliminated at the expense of competition. Institution, which is best established educational processes would be superseded by the idea of the rest. But as important to us prestige, this is not happening.
Do not forget about the false signals. Copying the actions that are not worth a successful person, you can hurt yourself.
Understand where the wrong signal, and where the real reason for success, pretty hard. Here are a few examples of when to imitate others is clearly not worth it:
- Wasteful attitude to money. You will surely agree that by itself possession of Ferrari car will not make rich. But for some reason many countries, investments are motivated by the rich, who have nowhere to do with money, and try to follow their example.
- Excessive fastidiousness. Some people who have achieved success, boast that they refuse to offer or avoid hard work. But do not throw anything, just because it makes some successful people. Remember that it's a different situation. He can afford to do that for a beginner, on the contrary, it is necessary.
- Strange and most likely useless habit. If you are interested in the reasons for the success of a person, whether he eats or how much it rises in the morning. The rich have the opportunity to experiment with strange trends (and their health), but this does not mean that they need to blindly imitate.
Try to strike a balance. skeptical about habits of successful peopleBefore copying them. Yet not dismiss from the tips just because you do not know on what they are based. Consider your own situation and their own strengths. And then someone will bring you an example of really good, not harm.
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