I was thinking today why some people I know seem so much more able than others. It is not, I think, because of genetic endowment – that the more able ones have better brains. So what is it?
From my experience, the answer has to do with values. I do not mean that the less able have no values. It is not a moral or ethical issue. Instead, it has to do with values as motivators.
To get a sense of this, consider for a moment, what are your most important values. The ones you consider the most important to live well. Now from this list, which one is the ultimate? Which one “rules them all”?
This is not an easy exercise for most of us. it is not easy because most of the time we do not verbalize what motivates us – in fact, what defines us. For example, why we spend huge money on certain things. or why we are attracted to certain people. They just are valuable to us.
The more able people I am thinking of have done this more thoughtfully. They are more consistent in acting out their ultimate values. As a result, they get more out of the cognitive and emotional resources that they have.