Our culture is seeing an explosion of social studies in the work environment, mainly focused on our irrationality and incapability to see the best logical response. We have been victims of our mind’s flaws since the beginning of time, but we are now fascinated to point out to everyone just how “crazy” we are.
Studies prove that tall people get further in the corporate ladder, women earn less, black people get interviewed for worse jobs, and many other harsh realities. I say realities, because they are true. They happen.
And they are completely irrelevant.
Just because they happen, does not mean they have to happen to you.
We are not getting smarter or hacking the system by knowing about these studies, we are just finding more ways to rationalize our fears and failures. Failing and blaming it on our physique is the ultimate excuse.
I remember when Ben and I were talking about IQ tests. I had just taken one, and after seeing my results (which I’m keeping to myself), I asked his opinion about IQ tests in general. This is what he told me (sort of, it was a long time ago):
“They are pointless. If you are dumb, you’ll only feel bad about yourself. And if you’re smart, what is it going to do for you to know that? It may even be get you to be complacent. We should ignore those things about us that we can’t change, and just work hard and believe in ourselves.”
Same goes for all these studies. Why does it help you to know these facts? The only positive effect that I could see is to motivate those that are on the losing side (and I’m skeptical about that). Feeling good about being a tall white man can’t help your attitude in any way.
There’s a bigger problem with these trends: they are statistics. Majorities. Generalizations. I’m between 5’7″ and 5’8″. Clearly not tall enough to succeed, maybe I should just kill myself. But until I hear of a study that says that 100% of a specific group of people suffers a certain negative effect, I won’t care about them. I just assume I am the exception.
Just believe you are that short, fat, ugly and lucky bastard that will power through.