Posted on: Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
Several years ago I read a book by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi entitled, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. I found it to be a fascinating work on the meeting place of productivity and happiness. A major premise of the book is that there are a whole lot of people who are productive but not happy, and vice versa.
One particular point the author made has stuck with me; to this day I think of it often. He stated that one aspect of finding the blend between success and happiness is a trait that he calls “Bare Adequacy”. Paraphrasing, this would suggest that I’m good at what I do, but not that good.
I’ve translated this concept into my own language as follows:
This concept applies to everyone, but let me speak in particular to the veterans out there. If you’ve lost the joy of a business you have always loved, it might stem from a lack of a sense of ‘bare adequacy’. It might mean that you have reached a plateau and you need to push yourself to entirely new levels.
Let’s look at it this way: you might be completely adequate for a strong market, but that would make you an incomplete sales professional. Perhaps you need to re-think your sense of adequacy for a tough market, where the buyer psychology changes dramatically, where macro-economic shifts effect every single transaction, and where the sale is made in the tiniest corners of the sales process.
Figure it out, and you’ll change the world!