THE CURSE OF KNOWLEDGE

Danish ‘superstar’ Nicklas Bendtner was adjudged to have his self-esteem scale the normal charts when the whole of the gunners were subjected to a test by psychologists after a difficult period in their football season a few years back. I hear he was declared to have about 106% of high self esteem or so. I wonder how this is possible.

In the real world, Bendtner is nowhere near as good as he thinks himself to be or as he often declares (he compares himself with the greatest strikers in the modern game). When you see him fail to hit the target from 6 yards out, or comically botch beautiful passes from his teammates, or lose the ball to the opposing defenders uncharacteristically, you’ll know what I’m saying. The estimation of the psychologists is scientifically accurate. Nicklas isn’t short of proper mental reasoning. Then it means that somewhere, somehow, there has to be an imbalance in how good he is and how good he thinks he is.

This condition is not uncommon amongst beings that walk the earth (I like how that sounds). It has been observed that we often adjudge ourselves to be smarter, more attractive, more capable than we actually are. It shows in our interactions and I’m certain it manifests even during our individual private thinking sessions. Why else will someone fail to perform at a level that correlates to what we think she should be capable of?

In some way, it is a twisted effect of the “Curse of Knowledge”; a term coined to show how difficult it is for someone to try to understand in another way, something she believes she knows so much about already.

This debacle really puts a cloud over how feasible the ‘unlearning’ aspect of the oft proclaimed ‘LEARNING, UNLEARNING AND RE-LEARNING’ is. In essence, practically, we as a people often refuse to discard preconceived notions, and the reason is linked to our overestimation of our rightness, intelligence and all round superior qualities as opposed to reality. Hence, it is pretty difficult to ‘unlearn’ what we already know or think we know.

Perhaps if every person’s regard of herself is properly aligned with her authentic value, the world will be a more predictable place as we’d know who gets what and who deserves what based on qualities clear for all to see. But who says predictability is within the realms of possibility?

It still is expedient though to always ensure that our beliefs as regard our intrinsic worth are in proper alignment with the virtues we exhibit. Only then can we present our true selves always, only then can there be growth and opportunities for improvement in our lives.

 

P.S. – Bendtner is only a ‘superstar’ in his native country when showing up in his national team colors.

 

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