The Problem With Over-achievement

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The School of Life : Would you prefer to achieve a huge amount - or be at peace in your soul? Does this choice even make sense? Let us know in the comments below or we have a discussion going on right now our app available free here:

Science with Katie : This can’t apply to everyone? Some people who have seemily overachieved have definitely put in hard work, but have also had luck on their side. Not necessarily really trying to make huge achievements. - also I want evidence that that wasn’t Emma Watson at the end 🙊

shawnlocotucker : Reminds me of the phrase: It is sad to get to the top of your ladder only to realize it was leaning against the wrong wall

Jessica Stein : I have a bit of experience in this area. As a kid and a young adolescent, I pushed myself to be on the top in everything, and I beat myself up if I ever got anything less than an A. What this video says about this behavior is true—I did it because my parents weren’t happy with me. They’ve always been very expectant for us to achieve. Whenever I’d tell my dad I got a 95 on a test, he’d ask why it wasn’t a 100. When I said I was Vice President of my class, my mom asked why I wasn’t president. When I was benched for a volleyball game, my parents got angry with me for not trying hard enough, even though I already practiced for 3 hours a day. It’s why for a long time I aimed to be a doctor who graduated from Harvard, and took the hardest classes and signed up for every club I possibly could. Eventually I became crushed under the weight of my own workload, and had to go to therapy to fix it all.

Faiza : This channel makes me think about things I've never thought about before, thank you

star666moon : Why is this video painting over-achievers as people who are compensating for psychological problems through their work when most under-achievers also suffer from these issues.

ET Snyder : This video struck a deep chord. My brother and I both experienced abuse and trauma as kids. He went on to get 3 college degrees, including a PhD at an Ivy League school with a full scholarship. He now does research involving machine learning, travels constantly, presents at conferences around the world, and is almost always sick and tired. I hit the road to be a "famous" musician for about 2 years, started to see success, but realized I would never be happy that way. I have zero desire to be famous anymore, and purposefully simplified my life. I love him to bits, but I really hope he does the same someday. It's hard living in his projected shadow, but I mostly want him to be happy and healthy. :/

Love Me : I appreciate that these are uploaded in the morning where I live. It starts my day off with awareness..

Fuckn patriarchy, : Jesus christ. I felt as if this video was describing me especially at 1:29. I was an over archiver my whole life at school, university and even work. I didn't do it for myself but rather to impress my father who no matter what I did it wasn;t good enough for him and I didn't relize this till the age of 24yo.

Videnda Noor : Ok this was good, BUT not every over achiever is problematic. The problem occurs when someone still feels empty/sad/inferior after multiple successes. Many over achievers feel pretty good and satisfied after their successes and don’t go through such traumas. So there was a bit of over generalization going on in your video.

HydrangeaDragon : wow that used to be me o.o I'm glad I chilled out and stopped caring about my parents approval, I feel much happier that way

Jade Jones : Once again, the timing of this video is very interesting! I'm not a hugely successful person, but i hold myself up to possibly unrealistic goals. I took a biology test yesterday that i got a D on. I don't get Ds, only As. i don't expect perfection out of those around me, but expect it from myself. I know why, it's no big mystery that I'm searching for acceptance from my dad, living in the shadows of my sister's disappointing choices, trying to make other's happy. It would be great if i ever finally achieve that feeling, but as I've aged I see that trying to make other's happy is not why we should do things, because no matter what we do, we can't make everyone happy and we shouldn't feel the responsibility to do so.

***Leticia *** : I have to admit I'm an underachiever for the same reasons shown. At least overachievers try to cope with their past by succeeding in life, making their traumas work for them, not against.

MakeupByCovi : just wanted to say this channel had tough me so much about myself. And answered so many questions

whileimonmars : This used to be me, but I no longer try to achieve to get the approval or love of my parents. I’ve accepted that I will never truly achieve that. Now, I see every achievement of mine as something that makes myself proud and that will push myself further to achieving my goals. I don’t brag or tell my family about my achievements at all now. I just live for my own approval. If I fail or do not live up to my own expectations, I give myself slack and compassion because I know I should be kinder to myself than my family would be.

Zoë Clark : Ummm this was actually a bit real could you just tone it down a bit so I don’t have to realise these extreme personality faults in myself

No Face : Not necessarily, in my opinion. People may be naturally driven towards achievements and want their work to be seen and appreciated. Many famous people have had dark pasts that they've pulled inspiration from, that's true, but you put this idea forward seemingly believing it applies to almost everyone and that doesn't have to be the case. Not every success needs to hide a shadow of emotional pain. I have a slightly unusual philosophy channel myself. If you like TSOL, perhaps you'd be interested in my channel as well. Thank you.

Parvin Ahmadova : I am also overachiever, and I can see its influence on my mental and physical health. Sometimes I suffer from this situation, but I really can't stop because it has become an addiction.

Lea Pal : But, we wouldn't have achieved so much as a society if there weren't overachievers...

Nicholas Bonasoro : This is a false dichotomy. There definitely are people who are over achievers because they use it as a defense mechanism, but the use of over is subjective and achievement is correlated with intelligence and conscientiousness not neuroticism.

Felix Warren : Man, this hit a little too close to home. Thank you for the reflection.

anastasia : I wish i could achieve

Xxx Tentacion : Underrated channel

Sophie : Sophie The psychanalists would say that overachievement typically stems in the relationship with the parents, or care givers. In the film Inception the topic is a big part in one of the main characters. The relationship between Fischer, quite the overachiever, and his father. Fischer : [of his father] At the end, he called me to his deathbed. He could barely speak; but he took the trouble to tell me one last thing. He pulled me close... and I could only make out... one word: "Disappointed." Later on it is explained that it was the father’s strategy to treat his son with contempt in order to push him to be obsessed with excellence. Usually it’s not a conscious strategy, usually the care giver will be neglectfull and distant and that will stem the kid to be the best he can be.

Brianna Williams : I am an overachiever and this video pertains to me. This year I had a bad depression after I made one of my achievements. I went to a counselor after that and still going. The bad upbringings and heartbreak help fuel overachievers to become better people and inspire people so I rather be an overachiever. I think once an overachiever understands themself, they can manage their mental state.👩‍🎓👩‍⚕️👨‍🚀👮‍♂️👨‍🔧👨‍🏭👨‍🔬👩‍⚖

Chandrika V : I partially disagree with this proposition, sometimes an overachiever is driven by the other overachievers nevertheless whatever their past may be. There is nothing wrong in being ambitious or being an overachiever as long as they don't fool themselves with their achievements as a way to claim higher social status , make people envious, become snobbish or greedy. Sadly in today's world we see most of the achievers with these virtues. Then we tend to dismiss them by saying that it is sad to be at the top and it is lonely or they must have had some troubled past. Thank you!

Doze : Extremely accurate! Thank you for spreading awareness

Saeed Mobayed : Lol South Park made fun of this by portraying Bono as literally the biggest piece of shit ever taken but Randy eventually took the biggest shit haha

na vi : My over-achievement problem is i am feeling hollow shortly after I achieve what i want. So i move to my next goal to feel "something". Maybe because i never get acknowledgements for my achievements? I don't know... 😐

Phoebe : Woah, this is me.

Kevin Yeoh : When Science with Katie isn't in the comment section you know you're early.

Ayoub Khalil : Sad how greatness is associated with emotional trauma. You don't need emotional trauma to have a drive to be an over-achiever, you just need purpose. What a video to make herd animals feel better about themselves. Laziness is the norm now and anything but must be a result from something negative, lol how pathetic humans have become.

tentativesuggestion : I don't think this provides a lot of comfort for the underachiever who has not been allowed to develop to his/her potential and who has to watch overachievers prevail.

Alice Wong : Damn.... parents I think have to make a art of care responsibilities to their children mentally and physically in order to reached the better adulthood lifestyle... Thanks!.....(edited) I shed my tears when watched again.... I don’t know how to be successfull in what i love😔

R Isack : That's so deep! Thank you for the knowledge.

لمى الشريف : You mean that those who notice over achievers are themselves one. Thank you! This goes out to all the beautiful overachievers who were misunderstood and didn't get their needs met!

Emily Brock : I just got roasted for 4:51

Addy Saw : This year I finally acheived all the milestones that were on my bucket list. Shortly afterwards I fell into a great depression and am currently taking anti-depressants to crawl out of that hole and restructure my life and perspectives. This video nails it very precisely.

The Infinity Light : Interesting description of over-achievers. They can be just as neurotic as underachievers, and they may even be underachievers to themselves. The bridge between under and over has been built, and the distinction between the two has been blurred, an almost postmodern act which draws one away from categorisation and into a grey blur of assimilation and unification.

Napoleon I Bonaparte : We all have that one classmate that has too much pride and refuses to acknowledge they are already defeated...

MakeupByCovi : this is me.

Karen Foo : Yes I work hard because I was bullied in the past and I came from a broken family. Plus I've tons of people who left me because they didnt believe in me

MysticOceanDollies : I just have a fear of failure. It has nothing to do with my childhood.

ariaran gopalan : what about underachievers?

Ath Leb : This is a problem I'm sure I won't ever face.

Graeme Roberts : This is excellent! Wise, true, and very useful. Bravo!

Elisa Superbi : It makes me think about the sad AVICII story and death ... This video explains the other side of so-called "Success"

i am a catheter : ❤❤❤❤❤ this made me feel better tonight. Thank you once again, School of Life. 😊

burnt cookie : I can't even begin to explain how true this is

Dwayne Benjamin : What's the difference between over achievers such as Usain Bolt, Akon, Adel whom are generally universally appreciated; vs Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Floyd Mayweather who have as much people that can't stand them as much as they do people that appreciate them? I feel this lesson on contentment takes away from the esteem of seeking achievement rather than explain how to accomplish achievement in a manner the majority of the public will appreciate. My suspicion is, because the latter group are at times motivated by negative trauma such as doubt, abuse, betrayal etc.. The public are polarized into either relating to being on the revenge side, or seeing triggers from the over achiever that makes half the audience relate to feeling like they're under attack since the person that doubted/abused/betrayed them seems quite similar to them; while the other half of the public relate to having a point to prove?? My theory. Therefore, healthy over achievement is figuring out how to motivate one self without the negative reinforcement. Which is hard for many since loss aversion is a strong emotional trigger. Is sharing effort and achieving due to enjoying something, being professional, connecting and understanding a strong enough emotional trigger? Especially for us who were in mental atrophy and had our comfort or hopes taken away? Maybe the polarizing effect the unhealthy over achievers inspire is due to some relating to feeling misunderstood and punished; while others despise them for being in self inflicted atrophy now trying to embarrass the world because we didn't reward their younger entitled selves. Second theory