What is it, that collectively makes us us, e.g., our personality, potential, our desire to excel and succeed, etc.? One way to address this important question, through these lens, lies in the epitome of intangibles. Either of these descriptors can, and routinely do become, for us humans, our very own (individualized and personalized) sets of intangible assets.
Our personality and potential can be a relatively complex array of characteristics – descriptors of human behavior…insofar as identifying, distinguishing, isolating, and measuring, says NPR’s (National Public Radio’s) Shankar Vedantam in a recent episode of his NPR program ‘Hidden Brain’.
For starters, Vedantam describes personality testing and what such tests can and do not reveal about our personality…that is, the various ways the human personality is categorized (purposefully or inadvertently) will affect (a.) who they are now, and (b.) who they will likely become at some point in the future?
To address the issue further Vedantam describes a story originating in China’s Anhui Province in 1987…where a young Chinese couple announced their readiness to start a family. For them, the timing was right because the coming year, 1988 was significant in the Chinese zodiac, i.e., the year of the dragon.
According to Chinese (zodiac) tradition and belief…this is the best year for a child to be born, i.e., a ‘dragon child’ who then, are destined for greatness. So, when the couple’s son was born ‘in the year of the dragon’ they already had great aspirations for his future achievements. Among other things, the boy’s father, a doctor himself, wanted his son to be even more educated than he, ideally at a top-ranked university in the United States. In other words, great things were already being expected of and from this still baby boy.
Not unexpectedly, the son did not disappoint…he completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in China, then enrolled in an economics Ph.D. program at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he met the economist, soon to be mentor, Naci Mocan.
Han Yu’s (the son) eventually discussed his life in China as a ‘dragon child’…with Mocan which prompted further discussion and thought, largely through Mocan’s ‘economistic lens’ about whether being born a ‘dragon child’ could manifest as actual advantages?
Verdantum asserts that throughout most of our lives, especially perhaps, as adults…we are inclined to evaluate (assess, appraise) children, students, friends, and colleagues, etc. One element to such evaluations, which is not consistently clear, is (a.) the influence – power of imposing expectations on children and others, and (b.) whether such expectations actually have-an-effect on people’s lives, be they zodiac – folkloric based, or otherwise?
Of course, as some assume, perhaps correctly, the imposition of (life) expectations on people…may manifest favorably or unfavorably, i.e., function as weights, of sort, that may diminish the probability that imposed aspirations will come to fruition, while for others, aspirational beliefs-expectations can lift people up, influence them to run harder and reach higher. https://kpstrat.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=5606
Initially, Han Yu (the son) and Dr. Mocan (the LSU economist) assumed…distinctions, insofar as one’s personality characteristics, experienced by ‘dragon children’ could be explained by preferential assumptions – treatment granted to children by parents and teachers, etc. who believed in the Chinese zodiac as it applies to the so-called ‘dragon children’. But, further research which Han Yu and Mocan engaged, literally-burst many of those assumptions.
So, is there any one particular or collection of intangibles which make us us?…to be sure, but why is this important to examine-dissect more closely? One reason is…it may have a bearing on formidable changes which no longer can be described as horizonal. Instead, they may already be present – exist in various ways, that is, the effects of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning on employee work and expectations, etc. Expectations, of course, are intangible!
Michael D. Moberly – originally published August 1, 2018 – St. Louis – [email protected] ‘The Business Intangible Asset Blog (since May 2006) where attention span, business realities, and solutions meet’!
Readers are invited to explore other papers, posts, and books I have published at https://kpstrat.com/books/ and consider purchasing ‘Intangible Assets: The Introvert of All Business Assets’.