December 27, 2012

"15 Things Overachievers Do."

Penelope Trunk's list is — in typical Trunk style — highly provocative, full of surprising details and counterintuitiveness.
2. They use pharmaceuticals. Adderall is de rigeur [sic] for the high-powered jobs in high-powered cities...

8. They get pregnant at 25. If they’re a woman, that is. It’s clear that only a very small, anomalous group of women can have a high-powered job when they have young kids. So women should make a plan to have kids early, and then they can position themselves for a high-powered job once their kids are all grown up....

12. They don’t write books. The book industry is dead. They have no control over distribution channels and they have no control over author publicity, so the value publishers add in the book business is pretty much zero.... So for now, if you have an idea, put it in a blog. Harvard Business Review says that people who are serious about ideas are blogging.

13. They don’t let themselves get fat....
Read the whole thing... and this other thing that — in accordance with item #15 — she stole the idea from.

38 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Trunk is good and funny. I've added her to my blogroll.

I don't intend to follow her workaholic prescriptions, but so what? I don't just read people that I agree with.

Her best advice is don't go to college just to fill up your time or to seek approval from graders! Not worth the money.

The Farmer said...

And they told me dropping out of school and taking lots of drugs was going to fuck up my life!

Ha!

Icepick said...

Paul Erdos, that most prolific of mathematicians, was a life-long amphetamine addict. He made it to age 83, which isn't bad for an addict. He also didn't waste time opening or closing windows, or buttering his own toast.

Icepick said...

And they told me dropping out of school and taking lots of drugs was going to fuck up my life!

Depends on the drug! And the person....

Shouting Thomas said...

The advice about having kids when you're young is good advice for men, too.

My kids were all out the door by the time I was in my mid 40s. Myrna and I had a fantastic decade of enjoying a great income and having the freedom to do what we wanted to do.

Whoring around for a while when you're a kid may be a necessary developmental stage for most young people, but if you haven't worn that out by the time you're in your mid 20s, you might have misplaced priorities.

dreams said...

One way to live longer is to not let yourself get fat.

Freeman Hunt said...
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Henry said...

What's with the picture of the Lacrosse guy?

As for the the pharmaceuticals, does coffee count?

kentuckyliz said...

Must I be an overachiever?

The whole idea just makes me feel so very tired.

edutcher said...

If the second list is right and the trolls are right, I'm an overachiever.

Other than that, getting pregnant at 25 is easy.

somefeller said...

Interesting list, but the other list was better. And is Penelope Trunk an overachiever at anything other than self-promotion and being annoying?

Shouting Thomas said...

Interesting list, but the other list was better. And is Penelope Trunk an overachiever at anything other than self-promotion and being annoying?

An interesting question. I've been wondering the same thing.

Freeman Hunt said...

I thought Trunk's list was much better.

I think they each defined overachiever differently.

Astro said...

So... overachievers are douchebags.
Okay. Got it.

Michael said...

Astro: They are "douchebags" because they do things consistently that you do not do? Or because they achieve more than you do? Is it the word "over" that bothers you? Interested in why you are offended by this group.

Michael said...

Astro: They are "douchebags" because they do things consistently that you do not do? Or because they achieve more than you do? Is it the word "over" that bothers you? Interested in why you are offended by this group.

tiger said...

FTA: 'Read the whole thing...'

Heh.

[Iseewhatyoudidthere.jpg]

ricpic said...

Maybe these superwomen don't write a book because ego can only stretch so far. I mean how long can others maintain interest in your wonderfulness? A blogsworth, perhaps. A whole book, no,

Palladian said...

The sooner we get rid of the people who do all the things on this annoying woman's list, the better the world will be.

somefeller said...

Shouting Thomas @ 9:58am, I think the operative term here is "fake it until you make it". Emphasis on fake it. Though to be fair, that term is sometimes good advice.

Carol said...

Loved her linked post on divorce...predictable butthurt follows in comments.

MadisonMan said...

Overachievers don't read lists about overachievers.

Ann Althouse said...

"Overachiever" used to be an insult -- applied to kids in school who got grades that made them look smarter than they were. They worked extra hard to rack up achievements, cared too much about those outward marks of excellence... and just weren't really that excellent.

It was the opposite of underachiever -- someone getting worse grades than he "should" be getting.

It was more of an insult, in fact, to be called an overachiever than an underachiever.

When did that change?

Inga said...

I enjoyed her post about sex with a person who has Aspergers, hysterical. It's a wonder they ever get together.

Inga said...
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ambienisevil said...
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ambienisevil said...

Sorry, not buying it. It's not serious. IMO, real overachievers actually, you know, *achieve* something. This just seems like a flurry of meaningless busywork to create a false image of self-importance.

What does Penelope Trunk do exactly? Is she (or her readers) researching a cure for Alzheimer's? Is she coming up with the next Apple, inc, but in biotech?

I don't see any quality control here, just the vaguely narcissistic impulse of class z wannabe 'celebrity' cementing the "overachiever" concept in her head with yet another bit of entirely disposable content.

I hate to be all "High Expectations Asian Father" about this, but I consider even Mark Zuckerberg an underachiever, simply because he was capable of doing so much more with his brain.

sydney said...

Real overachievers don't need to take drugs to achieve.

ambienisevil said...
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Alex said...

I read the article and the woman is an annoying douchebag. What is her claim to fame?

Shouting Thomas said...

I believe that her "claim to fame" is that she's an annoying douchebag!

creeley23 said...

2. They use pharmaceuticals.

OT: Last year I got a kick out of "Limitless," a fun film about a loser-writer guy who stumbles across an incredible intelligence-enhancing drug and comes close to taking over the world.

Creeley-Bob says, check it out.

chrisnavin.com said...

This brand is your brand,
this brand is my brand...

...this brand was made for you and me.

pj (lowercase) said...
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Freeman Hunt said...

What is a big career? Trunk writes about people wanting "big careers." What is that? Getting promoted a lot? Having lots of people in your office think you're very good at your office job? Having people in lots of offices think that? What is it?

I understand the goal of making money. I understand the goal of building a business that offers something worthwhile and provides people with their livelihoods. Big career doesn't sound like those though. What is it?

Kirk Parker said...

edutcher,

"Other than that, getting pregnant at 25 is easy"

Speak for yourself.

Henry said...

Big career doesn't sound like those though. What is it?

Marketing. Whenever I read any of Trunk's stuff -- including her personal horror stories -- I remind myself that she's in marketing.

Trunk started off in a software company. Go to any big successful software company and you'll find brilliant people doing difficult work and getting recognized for it because they like to do it. Trunks #10 applies to them.

The vain, list-making, sell-out, kleptomaniacs are driven by something else. Maybe that's why they take adderall.

Astro said...

No, I do many of those things too. Most people do. I just don't care what the general public thinks of my achievements; Trunk's analysis implies that they care so much! what other people think, and that they feel morally superior because they are overachievers - or at least they want the people around them to think they are. Big effing deal.
Trunk makes these people sound like they still have that high school running-for-student-council mentality and that they use the word 'behoove' a lot. Douchebags.

Why are you so bothered that I think of them as douchebags?