Sunday, March 14, 2010

Absolute Vs Relative

Nah, this is not about the jargons in the computer world, it is the scale of self evaluation. In the mad race to compete, succeed and make money, if we fail to pause and evaluate, the very race would turn into a staggered rush to the podium. In my race to find peace and satisfaction, I often look back and look within.

In one such introspection, I found in the current system of rating success relatively, I was an absolute women! Every significant achievement in my life was benchmarked against my own. I believed in giving my best and the results it fetched were only a consequence, never an event. Today I realize this method of assessing was imbibed in me very early on, and the races I compete in off late have made a revelation.

My First:

At work, I have always drawn a bell curve for my own performance; I have never tried to fit myself in the irrational bell curve of the masses. It doesn’t matter if I do better than the rest; it only perturbs me when I realize I did one short of my best. Yes, so I place myself at level 2, though I deserve to be at level 1 by the system of relative grading, followed by large at work place. Life’s lesson comes slow and hard. Time revealed my cognitive process of absoluteness, only helped me better myself but didn’t help me position myself in the race. I was running a race where I was the only competitor.

My Second:

Recently I was competing in Speech contests, there again I realized and understood how my cognition towards competition works. I was trying to get the best out of me as a speaker, and the candid me knew I had areas to improve upon, which by my cognition implies I am not the best. My cognition fails to understand, every speaker would also have some areas to improve and I can be better than the rest, which makes me the best out there. I have never looked at it that way; the satisfaction of having given the best can only crown me as a “Winner”.

I began to look back and see, from where did I form this cognition? It comes from my school days. I always aimed to be absolute. I have never wanted to come first in class; I have always wanted to score 100. That made the difference. Every target that I had sent in my life was absolute, they were measurable by the standard scales of measurement, and it worked well for me. I can recollect every instance in my life and realize all of them were absolute. When I couldn’t be top the class in a semester, my target for the next semester was to score 90 and above, I stood first.

Now, the absolute system doesn’t prevail I believe, in the survival of the fittest, it is all about how relatively fit you are. I still feel, absolute scale helps you bring in the best in you, but experiences have taught me it has to be weaved in with relativity. I feel one has to be absolute while setting targets and working towards it, after the execution, it has to be a relative evaluation to position oneself. Give yourself a chance by being relative despite the fact that you haven’t been able to pull it off completely, for the rest might not have come even half way long. Likewise don’t be absorbed into the relative scale that wouldn’t help the individual explore his true potential; one would be basked in the glory of relative success rather than absolute capacity. From absolute woman, will have to transcend into relatively absolute fine lady! I better learn to make an event out of what I strive for, rather it be a consequence of my excellence.


Nirmal said...


Nice analysis esp when it comes from someone who got 90% in CSE/Engineering.

As you mentioned about success, world always remembers successful ppl..we still remember/read in history abt gajini's and successful ppl. What i am trying to say is world doesnt care much abt ppl who dint win or hvnt lived up their potential ...

Now here comes the tricky part about setting goals as you put it.. goals we set for ourselves might be better than our peers but in the end of day success is relative. Insense though we might be doing well, we still need a benchmark and i dont mean that we have to compare ourselves.

This is appraisal time, ppl go through the whole trauma of not getting recongized/ that context this is an nice blog~!!

Keep writing!~!!!

There is a quote i read somewhere
"Success is Relative, it brings Relatives " :)

Divya said...

@ Nirmal: Yeah its quiet right that success is relative ! not sure about it bringing relatives ;-) I agree we need a benchmark, esp among peers for the system that's being followed, if you set a benchmark for yourself, you will only find yourself lost. The sad part is there are no norms governing 'How' the benchmark is set. The system has its own flaws !! Bottom line is don't just look at one flawed system, look at life as a whole, set high targets for yourself, and be conscious success is relative and grab it !