Politeknikong Unibersidad ng Pilipinas
Kolehiyo ng Sining
Departamento ng Sikolohiya
Sta. Mesa, Maynila
AGWAT NA KAYANG MARATING NG IMAHINASYON NG ISANG TAO MULA SA REALIDAD NG KANYANG BUHAY
MARGUST S. CHING
(Mag-aaral ng BSIOP 1-1, Mananaliksik)
MA. VICTORIA R. APIGO
(Guro, Filipino1023, Pagbasa at Pagsulat tungo sa Pananaliksik)
Taong Aralan 2010-2011, Ikalawang Semestre
Talaan ng Nilalaman
Kabanata I: Panimula 1-8
(1) Batayang Historikal……………………………………………..1
(2) Batayang Teoretikal…………………………………………..…2
(3) Batayang Konseptwal ………………………………….....…..3
(4) Mga Kaugnay na Kabanata at Literatura……………………...…4
(5) Suliranin ng Pag-aaral…………………………………………...6
(6) Saklaw at Limitasyon ng Pag-aaral……………………...………6
(7) Kahalagahan ng Pag-aaral…………………………………….....7
Kabanata II: Metodolohiya 9-11
Kabanata III: Paglalahad at Pagsusuri ng Datos 12-18
Kabanata IV: Pagbubuod 18-20
Paglalahad ng Natuklasan……………………………………….18
Paglalahad ng Kongklusyon…………………………………….19
Paglalahad ng Rekomendasyon…………………………………20
Kabanata I: Panimula
Sa pagkonsulta ko sa mga talatinigan, iba't ibang kahulugan ang nagbigay kulay sa salitang imahinasyon at realidad. Ang salitang imahinasyon na una ng ginamit noong ika-14 siglo ay maaaring isalin sa ganitong pakahulugan: kakayahan o kapangyarihang bumuo ng mga mental na imahe ng mga bagay na hindi pa nararanasan sa katotohanan. Ito rin ay ipinakahulugan na isang malikhaing kakayahan ng pag-iisip upang harapin at lutasin ang problema. Pinapakahuluhan din ito bilang kakayahang mag-isip, maniwala at maramdaman ang isang bagay na hindi totoo. Sa kabilang banda, ipinapakahulugan naman ang salitang realidad na mga katotohanang pangyayaring nagaganap na kabaligtaran ng mga pangyayaring kathang isip lamang. Ito rin ay isang lugar kung saan lahat ng mga bagay ay nagkakatotoo. Sa pag-aaral na ito inuuri ang pangarap o mithiin kung saan upang ang pangarap ay maging isang realidad na kabaligtaran ng nasa imahinasyon, may pagtatakda ng layunin o goal setting.
Ang unang pag-aaral ng prinsipyo ng goal setting o pagtatakda ng layunin ay isinagawa ni Cecil Alec Mace na isang British philosopher at Industrial psychologist. Taong 1935 ng mapatunayan sa kanyang pag-aaral na mas nahihikayat ang mga manggagawa ng pera upang mas lalong paghusayan ang trabaho. Huling bahagi naman ng 1960 nang ipagpatuloy ni Edwin Locke ang nasabing prinsipyo na mula rin sa prinsipyo ni Aristotle na final causality. Ayon sa ideya ni Aristotle sa kanyang final causality, ang isang dahilan ay nagbubunsod ng isang pagkilos. Ang lahat ng gawi ng tao ay laging sumasagot na tanong na "bakit?". Balik naman kay Edwin Locke, napatunayan niya sa kanyang pag-aaral na ang isang ispesipiko at mahirap na layunin ay nagbubunsod ng mas mahusay na kapasidad ng isang gawi kaysa sa malabo at madaling layunin.
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Ang pag-aaral ng prinsipyo ng pagtatakda ng layunin ay isang mahalagang bagay sa bawat isa upang malaman natin kung ano ba sa ating mga pangarap ang dapat nating pagtuunan muna ng pansin. At matapos nating matukoy ang mga ito, dapat naman nating alamin kung gaano natin ito kayang punan ng atensyon at kapasidad nang sa ganon masukat natin ang katagumpayan sa buhay. Dito rin ay maiiwasan natin na magtakda lamang ng magtakda ng mga kung anu-anong bagay dahil matutunan natin ang maayos na pagtatakda nito na maglalayo sa atin sa pagkabigo.
Ang Goal Setting Theory ni Edwin Locke ay nagpakita ng ilang katangiang dapat taglayin ng isang mabuting hangarin sa buhay upang maging matagumpay sa pagkamit nito. Upang magkaroon ng direksyon ang ating buhay, ang pangarap o mithiin ay dapat may clarity, commitment, challenge, feedback at task complexity. Tinukoy niya ang clarity bilang pagkamalinaw at kasapatan sa oras ng isang layunin; ang commitment kung saan upang maging epektibo ang layunin, dapat ay may malinaw tayong pagkakasundo rito; ang challenge naman ang nagpapakita ng ating kahusayan na makamtan ito; ang feedback naman ay nangangahulugan na pagiging bukas sa pagpapalinaw at pagbabago nito; panghuli, ang task complexity kung saan napatunayan niya na ang mga taong nabubuhay sa mas mahirap na trabaho ay mas lalong napapahusay ang kakayanan. Sa kabilang banda, ang isang pangarap na hindi natutugunan ng limang prinsipyong nabanggit ay nangangahulugang may hidwaan sa pagitan ng pinaniniwalaan ng isang tao sa kanyang ugali. Ang teoryang ito ay tinatawag na Cognitive dissonance kung saan kahit na may alam na bagay ang isang tao na sa tingin niya ay tama o mali ay hindi niya ito
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natutugunan ng tamang asal. Isang halimbawa nito na alam ng mga tao na nakasasama sa ating kalusugan ang paninigarilyo. Kahit alam nila ito ay mayroon pa ring mga naninigarilyo na nagpapakita ng conflict o hidwaan sa nalalaman at pag-uugali.
Ang pag-aaral na ito na ginamitan ng dalawang teorya na makikita sa teoretikal na balangkas ay tutugon sa dalawang magkatunggaling aspeto ng pangangarap. Sinabi sa goal setting theory ang limang katangian ng isang pangarap upang madaling makamtan ito. Ang limang ito (clarity, commitment, challenge, feedback, task complexity) ang siya ring katangian ng isang makatotohanang pangarap. Kung gayon, kung may hidwaan ang ugali at nalalaman ng isang tao na inilahad bilang cognitive dissonance theory ay hindi niya maaaring gawing makatotohanan ang isang pangarap kung kaya't ito'y hango sa imahinasyon lamang. Para sa ikalilinaw, ito ang isang halimbawa: Ang isang mag-aaral ay nangangarap na makapasa sa
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pagsusulit bagama't hindi naman siya nag-aral. Alam ng mag-aaral sa sarili niya na kapag hindi siya nag-aral ay siguradong hindi sa makapapasa sa pagsusulit ngunit inaasam pa rin niyang pumasa. Dahil ang pag-uugaling ito ay inilalarawan ng teoryang cognitive dissonance, ang kanyang pangarap ay maituturing na pang-imahinasyon. Sa madaling salita, ang kaibahan ng pangarap sa imahinasyon sa pangarap sa realidad ay bunga ng kaugaliang nakalahad sa cognitive dissonance theory. Dahil naman sa pagkakaiba nito ay pagtutuunan ng pansin ang pananaw naman ng mga tao sa dulot, epekto at ilan pang katangiang marahil hindi nabanggit sa mga teorya.
Mga Kaugnay na Kabanata at Literatura
Isa sa mga kasalukuyang lumalabas na pag-aaral ngayon tungkol sa pagtatakda ng mithiin o goal setting ang pag-aaral ni Manktelow kung saan upang mas matagumpay ang pagkamit ng mithiin at mabawasan ang tsansa ng kabiguan ay nakabuo siya ng ilang katangian ng isang abot-kamay na pangarap. Ani niya, una dapat ay gumawa tayo ng "malaking larawan" kung ano ang gusto nating gawin sa buhay. Pagkatapos, paliitin at hatiin ang mga ito sa mga simpleng mithiin. Maaaring ang pagpapaliit nito ay sa panahon. Halimbawa, aalamin mo ang kaya mong gawin sa loob ng limang taon, isang taon, limang buwan hanggang sa pinakamaiksing panahon. Panghuli, maaari ng simulan ang pag-abot sa mga ito nang nagsisimula mula sa maliliit na bagay. Dapat din na ang pagtatakda ng ating pang-habang buhay na pangarap ay gawing ispesipiko tulad ng pagtatakda muna sa trabaho, pinansyal, edukasyon, pamilya, malikhaing pangarap, ugali, pisikal na katangian, kasiyahan at paglilingkod sa bayan.
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Ang mga ekonomistang sina Lise Vesterlund ng University of Pittsburgh at si Muriel Niederle ng Stanford University ay nagsagawa ng pag-aaral kung saan kinabilangan ng 40 babae at 40 lalaki. Sa kanilang ginawang eksperimento, sa loob ng limang minuto, ang bawat kalahok ay mag-a-add ng mga two-digit numbers at sa bawat tamang sagot ay bibigyan sila ng 50¢. Isinagawa ito ng isa-isa sa kani-kanilang tahanan. Sa sumunod na hakbang ng kanilang eksperimento, hinati ang mga kalahok sa tigdadalawang miyembro sa bawat grupo na parehong lalaki at parehong babae. Dito sa larong ito ay magpapaunahan naman sila sa pag-add pa rin ng mga numero at sa ngayon, ay may kalaban na. Ang makakakuha ng tamang sagot ay bibigyan ng $2 samantalang ang hindi makakasagot ay hindi makatatanggap ng premyo. Parehong nagpamalas ng kagalingan sa dalawang laro ang kababaihan at kalalakihan. Sa huli, tinanong sila kung anong laro ang mas gusto nila. 35% ng mga kababaihan ang gusto ng ikalawang laro o iyong may kumpetensya at 75% naman sa kalalakihan ang sumang-ayon din. Napatunayan dito
na mas pinipili ng mga lalaki ang may katunggalian na nangangahulugan na sila ay mas kompetatibo kaysa sa mga babae. Nilinaw din nila na hindi ito nangangahulugan na hindi kumpetatibo ang mga babae.
Sa pag-aaral naman ni Peter Demerath na isang anthropologist sa Ohio State University ay nagpaserbey siya sa 600 mag-aaral ng isang mataas na paaralang may mataas ding karangalan at pagkakakilanlan. 70% ang nagsabi sa kanila na nakararanas sila ng pagkahapo paminsan-minsan at kadalasan. Nang tanungin ni Demerath ang isang mag-aaral kung anong masasabi ng magulang sa sobrang gawain sa kanyang pag-aaral ay naisagot nito na hindi siya madalas nakakauuwi ng bahay sabay abot ng isang business card kung saan siyang video store nagtatrabaho. Dahil dito, naalarma ang mga anthropologists, psychologists at iba pa sa tunay na
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rason kung bakit at paano natutulak ang isang tao sa pag-ambisyon ng matataas na bagay.
Suliranin ng Pag-aaral
Ano ang ibinubunga ng pangarap sa imahinasyon at pangarap sa realidad?
Ano ang mabuti o masamang epekto ng pangarap sa imahinasyon at pangarap sa realidad?
Ano ang katangian ng pangarap sa imahinasyon at pangarap sa realidad?
Saklaw at Limitasyon
Ang pag-aaral na ito ay sumasaklaw sa pananaw ng mga tao sa dulot, epekto at katangian ng umiiral na pangarap sa imahinasyon at pangarap sa realidad. Sakop lamang sa pag-aaral na ito ang mga mag-aaral sa kolehiyo at hayskul na ginamit bilang respondente. Nakapokus din ang pag-aaral na ito sa kasalukuyang aspeto ng isang tao kung saan ang estado ng pamumuhay sa kasalukuyan lamang ang ikinonsidera. Ginawa ito ng mananaliksik upang mapanatiling balido ang magiging resulta nang hindi nagpapaapekto sa mga pabago-bagong pangyayari sa buhay ng isang tao. Upang mas malinawan, isang halimbawa ang sitwasyong ito: Isang tao ang nangangarap na makapaglakbay sa buong mundo ngunit siya ay isang dukha lamang. Malinaw na makikita rito ang walang kakayanan ng tao sa kanyang pangarap at hindi tiyak o ispesipiko kung kailan at paano niya ito gagawin kaya masasabi rito na ito ay pangarap sa imahinasyon ayon sa kasalukuyang estado ng kanyang buhay. Ngunit kung ikokonsidera pa na maaari siyang yumaman o umunlad ang buhay, magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na ang pangarap ay pang-realidad. Kaya't kung ikokonsidera ito ng mananaliksik ay mas lalong hahaba ang pag-aaral.
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Kahalagahan ng Pag-aaral
Isa sa pinakamahalagang ambag ng pag-aaral na ito sa mga mambabasa ay ang pagpapamulat sa sarili. Ito ay maaaring maging instrumento upang mamulat ang isipan ng mga tao sa tamang pagtatakda ng layunin. Ilan pang mga bagay na maitutulong nito sa mga mambabasa o indibidwal ay ang kakayanang malaman ang katangian ng pangarap na hindi makatotohanan ngunit mas binibigyan ng pansin at ng mga makatotohanang pangarap na hindi naman nabibigyan ng pansin. Sa tulong nito ay mas maiisip ng mga mambabasa na mas pagtuunan ng pansin ang mga makatotohanang bagay na binabalewala lamang. Ang isa pang kagandahan nito sa bawat indibidwal ay dahil pare-pareho tayong nangangarap sa kahit ano pa mang panahon, ito ay aplikabol para sa lahat kahit ikaw pa man ay bata, matanda, mayaman, mahirap, nag-aaral o hindi basta't may sariling hangarin o mithiin sa buhay.
Para naman sa larangan ng pananaliksik, ambag ang pag-aaral na ito sa larangan ng sikolohiya dahil matutukoy rito ang ilang mga bagay na may kinalaman sa pag-iisip ng mga tao. Ang pangangarap ay isang gawaing mental o ginagamitan ng utak na naaapektuhan ng panlabas na impluwensiya. Kung gayon, ang gawaing sikolohikal na ito ay maaaring may maganda at masamang dulot sa pagkatao ng isang tao at sa pag-aaral na ito ay siya ngang aalamin. Pagkatapos ng pag-aaral na ito ay maaaring pagmulan ito ng mga ideya para sa mas malawak pang mga pag-aaral sa nasabing larangan.
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Challenge - prinsipyo ng goal setting theory na nilalayon ng pangarap ang isang tao na kumilos
Clarity - prinsinpyo ng goal setting theoryna pagiging malinaw at tiyak ng layunin
Commitment - prinsipyo ng goal setting theory na pagiging kaisa sa itinakdang layunin
Feedback - prinsipyo ng goal setting theory na hinahayaang maging bukas sa mga pagbabago o pagpapaunlad sa itinakdang layunin batay sa sarili at sa mga tao sa kapaligiran
Imagination - kakayanang bumuo ng ideal na bagay sa isipan sa mga bagay na hindi nararanasan.
Pangarap sa Imahinasyon - mga bagay na pinapangarap o inaasam na hindi natutugunan dahil sa hindi pagkakasundo ng kaalaman sa ugali.
Pangarap sa Realidad - mga bagay na pinapangarap o inaasan na natutugunan ng limang prinsipyo ng goal setting o pagtatakda ng layunin.
Reality - natural o likas na eksistens ng isang bagay; lugar na pinangyayarihan ng mga makatotohanang bagay
Task Complexity - prinsipyo ng goal setting theory na pumapatungkol sa sidhi ng itinakdang layunin.
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Kabanata II: Metodolohiya
Ang pag-aaral na ito ay nasa ilalim ng uri ng panananaliksik ayon sa metodo na deskriptibo dahil sa malalimang pag-aaral tungkol sa mga dulot, sanhi at katangian ng mga pangarap sa imahinasyon at realidad kaugnay sa mga respondenteng pinili. Kwantitatibong pamamaraan ang ginawa ng mananaliksik kung saan pinasagot ang 50 mag-aaral ng hayskul at kolehiyo ng 4 na aytem ng mga tanong na humihingi ng humigit sa 6 na kasagutan na may kinalaman sa paksa. Ang mga respondente ay napili sa pamamagitan ng simple random sampling. Upang madaling matiyak ang relasyon ng mga sagot sa suliranin ng pag-aaral at sa ikadadali na rin ng pag-unawa sa resulta ay ginamit ng mananaliksik ang pinakabasikong paraan sa pag-unawa ng mga numerikal na datos - percentage distribution. Sa istadistikang pamamaraan na ito ay kukunin ang ratio ng bilang ng mga sagot ng respondente sa isang tanong sa kabuuang bilang ng respondente. Pagkatapos makuha ang ratio ay kukunin ang bahagdan nito sa loob ng 100 bahagdan. Upang mas madaling maintindihan, narito ang pormulang tinutukoy:
Bahagdan ng Sagot sa Isang Tanong = Bilang ng sumagot X 100
Kabuuang bilang ng respondente
Narito naman ang sample survey sheet na ginamit sa pagkuha ng datos:
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Unang bahagi ng survey sheet
Ikalawang bahagi ng survey sheet
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Kabanata III: Paglalahad at Pagsusuri ng Datos
Pangarap sa Realidad
Ang pangarap niyang mapagkakitaan ang ani sa pamamagitan ng pagbebenta nito ay nagpapakita na:
Paghikayat at paghamon sa sarili
Paghigit sa kasalukuyang natatamasa
Talahanayan 1. Bunga ng pangarap sa realidad. Makikita sa talahanayan na nagkaisa ang mga respondente na ang pangarap sa realidad ay nagbubunga ng mabuting epekto. Hindi rin gaanong nalalayo kung ano sa dalawang mabuting epekto ang naidudulot nito. Dahil marami ang nagsabi na nais higitan ang kasalukuyang natatamasa ang epekto nito at nasa ilalim ito ng mabuting epekto, ang pangarap sa realidad ay nakabubuti.
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Grap 1. Bunga ng pangarap sa realidad. Mas makikita ng malinawan sa grap na ito ang pagkakaisa ng mga respondente na ang pangarap sa realidad ay nagbubunga ng mabuting epekto.
Ang pangarap niyang mapagkakitaan ang ani sa pamamagitan ng pagbebenta nito ay nagpapakita na:
Bilang ng sumagot
Talahanayan 2. Talaan ng mabubuting epekto ng pangarap sa realidad. Katulad ng nabanggit kanina ay hindi gaanong nagkakalayo ang mabubuting epekto ng pangarap sa realidad. Kahit
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ganoon pa man, ipinapakita rito na ang mga tao'y gumagawa ng pangarap sa realidad upang higitan ang kasalukuyang natatamasa o gawing stepping stone ang pangarap para sa susunod pang mga pangarap.
Grap 2. Bahagdan ng mabubuting epekto ng pangarap sa realidad. Makikita naman dito ang grapikong representasyon ng talahanayan 2 na nagpapakita ng parehong interpretasyon.
Pangarap sa Imahinasyon
Ang pangarap niyang makapunta ng ibang bansa kahit kapos sa kakayanan ay nangangahulugang:
Paghikayat at paghamon sa sarili
Paghigit sa kasalikuyang natatamasa
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Talahanayan 3. Bunga ng pangarap sa imahinasyon. Inilalarawan sa talahanayan na ito na kapag pangarap sa imahinasyon ang pinag-uusapan ay nagkakaiba-iba ang paniniwala ng mga tao ukol sa kung ano ang bunga nito. Sa pangkalahatan, mas malaki ang kinalabasan na bahagdan para sa mabuting epekto ng pangarap sa imahinasyon.
Grap 3. Bunga ng pangarap sa imahinasyon. Ang grap na ito ay nangangahulugang may mabuti at masamang dulot ang pangarap sa imahinasyon.
Ang pangarap niyang makapunta ng ibang bansa kahit na kapos sa kakayanan ay nangangahulugang:
Bilang ng sumagot
Talahanayan 4. Narito ang bilang at bahagdan ng mga mabubuti at masasamang epekto ng pangarap sa imahinasyon.
Grap 4. Mabubuti at masasamang epekto ng pangarap sa imahinasyon. Halos hindi nagkakalayo ang mga pananaw ng mga respondente ukol sa epekto ng imahinasyon. Nangunguna sa kanilang pananaw ang pagiging ambisyoso, sinundan ng paghigit sa natatamasa, tapos ang paghikayat at paghamon sa sarili at panghuli ang pagiging hindi kuntento.
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Pangarap sa Realidad
Pangarap sa Imahinasyon
Pagkakitaan ang ani
Pagpunta sa ibang bansa
Talahanayan 5. Nakatala rito kung alin sa dalawang pangarap na binanggit ang ikinokonsidera ng mga tao bilang pangarap sa realidad at pangarap sa imahinasyon. Una itong itinanong bago ang susunod na mga kadahilanan upang matiyak muna kung magtutugma ang sinabing katangian ng dalawang pangarap mula sa mga teorya't dokumentong ginamit at mula sa mga tao mismo. At lumalabas nga sa talahanayan na ito na nagtutugma at totoo ang mga teorya't mga impormasyon sa dokumento.
Katangian ng pangarap sa realidad ayon sa resulta ng pag-aaral
Talahanayan 6. Narito ang buod ng mga kasagutan ng mga respondente sa tanong na kung ano ang dahilan kung bakit itinuturing nilang pangarap sa realidad ang pagkakitaan ang ani.
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Katangian ng pangarap sa imahinasyon ayon sa resulta ng pag-aaral
Talahanayan 7. Nakatala naman dito ang kabuuang kasagutan ng mga respondente sa tanong na kung ano ang dahilan kung bakit nila itinuturing na pangarap sa imahinasyon ang makapunta sa ibang bansa.
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Kabanata IV: Pagbubuod
Paglalahad ng Natuklasan
Matapos ang masusing pag-aaral ng mananaliksik, natuklasan na:
Ang pangarap sa realidad ay nagbubunga ng mabuting epekto. Nagbubunga naman ng parehong mabuti at masamang epekto ang pangarap sa imahinasyon.
Ang mabuting epekto ng pangarap sa realidad ay ang paghigit sa kasalukuyang natatamsa. Ito ang mabuting bahagi ng pagiging hindi kuntento sa buhay dahil tinutulungan tayo nitong huwag manatili lang at sa halip ay umunlad ang pamumuhay. Mula sa mga bagay na natatamasa ay unti-unting ginagamit ito bilang stepping stone para sa pagpapaunlad sa sarili.
Ang kalimitang mabuting epekto ng pangarap sa imahinasyon ay ang paghikayat at paghamon sa sarili. Sa paggamit sa pangarap bilang driving force ay natutulungan lalong
lalo na ang mahihirap na huwag mawalan ng pag-asa.
Ang pagiging ambisyoso ang masamang epekto ng pangarap sa imahinasyon. Ang pag-aambisyon ng mga bagay na alam naman nating hindi makatotohanang ay nakasasama sa pamumuhay ng tao dahil na rin sa naisasantabi natin ang mga bagay na makatotohanan.
Ikinokonsidera ng mga tao ang kapasidad o kakayanan sa pag-alam kung alin ang pangarap sa realidad at imahinasyon.
Ikinokonsidera rin ng mga tao hindi lamang ang pansariling kakayanan kundi maging ang idinidikta ng kapaligiran. Nakabase rin ang uri ng pangarap ayon sa kasalukuyan ng lipunan.
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Paglalahad ng Kongklusyon
Matapos ang masusing pag-aaral ng mananaliksik, napatunayan na ang pangarap sa realidad ay nagdudulot ng mabuting bunga samantalang ang pangarap sa imahinasyon ay nagdudulot ng mabuti at masamang epekto. Dahil na rin sa nalalaman nila sa pagkakaiba ng pangarap sa imahinasyon at realidad masasabi na maaaring ng matukoy ng bawat indibidwal ang mga ito sa kanilang sarili lamang. Bukod sa mga pansariling kakayanan ay binibigyang pansin din ng bawat indibidwal ang aspetong panlipunan na isa sa mga bagay na magdidikta sa katangian ng isang pangarap. Minsan may mga pangarap nga na masasabing pang-realidad dahil napupunan ng sapat na kakayanan ngunit nagiging pang-imahinasyon dahil sa dikta ng kapaligiran.
Paglalahad ng Rekomendasyon
Matapos ang mga natuklasan at napatunayan na mga impormasyong nabanggit, bilang
mananaliksik, narito ang ilan sa aking rekomendasyon sa ikauunlad ng pag-aaral:
Maaaring baguhin ang bilang ng respondente lalo na at may ilang bahagi ng resulta ay halos dikit dikit ang numerikal na datos. Sa pagdadagdag ng populasyon ay maaaring maiwasan ito.
Ang pagbabago naman ng katangian ng respondente ay maaaring pag-igtingin na bukod sa mga mag-aaral ay gawing saklaw ang iba't ibang antas ng tao sa lipunan.
Nirerekomenda rin na muling isagawa ang pag-aaral para sa pagpapatibay nito.
Ang pag-alis ng control variable na ginamit na ang kasalukuyang estado ng buhay ay maaaring gawin sa pagpapaunlad at pagpapalawak ng pag-aaral.
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Carson, Heady, Mace, Cecil Alec, The man who discovered goal-setting, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a779939894~frm=abslink
Kluger, Ambition: Why Some People Are Most Likely to Succeed, http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CA8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.time.com%2Ftime%2Fmagazine%2Farticle%2F0%2C9171%2C1126746%2C00.html&ei=UQdVTZe8A86PcYHZwYwN&usg=AFQjCNH3Toy_ES0mUhGSqsVgM0UWHxVqQQ, 2005
Manktelow, Personal Goal Setting – Planning to Live Your Life Your Way, http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Planning+to+Live+Your+Life+Your+Way%2C+http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mindtools.com%2Fpage6.html
Sander, Sam, Goal Setting Tips, http://www.achieve-goal-setting-success.com/goal-setting-tips.html
Sander, Sam, Types of Goals, http://www.achieve-goal-setting-success.com/types-of-goals.html
Straker, David, Goal Setting Theory, http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/goals.htm
Zalta, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Aristotle on Causality, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-causality/, 2006
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Planning to Live Your Life Your Way
Many people feel as if they're adrift in the world. They work hard, but they don't seem to get anywhere worthwhile.
A key reason that they feel this way is that they haven't spent enough time thinking about what they want from life, and haven't set themselves formal goals. After all, would you set out on a major journey with no real idea of your destination? Probably not!
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.
The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You'll also quickly spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you astray.
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Why Set Goals?
Goal setting is used by top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.
By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you'll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. You will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you've set.
Starting to Set Personal Goals
You set your goals on a number of levels:
First you create your "big picture" of what you want to do with your life (or over, say, the next 10 years), and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve.
Then, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit to reach your lifetime goals.
Finally, once you have your plan, you start working on it to achieve these goals.
This is why we start the process of goal setting by looking at your lifetime goals. Then, we work down to the things that you can do in, say, the next five years, then next year, next month, next week, and today, to start moving towards them.
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Step 1: Setting Lifetime Goals
The first step in setting personal goals is to consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime (or at least, by a significant and distant age in the future). Setting lifetime goals gives you the overall perspective that shapes all other aspects of your decision making.
To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some of the following categories (or in other categories of your own, where these are important to you):
Career - What level do you want to reach in your career, or what do you want to achieve?
Financial - How much do you want to earn, by what stage? How is this related to your career goals?
Education - Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to have in order to achieve other goals?
Family - Do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family?
Artistic - Do you want to achieve any artistic goals?
Attitude - Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? (If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.)
Physical - Are there any athletic goals that you want to achieve, or do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
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Pleasure - How do you want to enjoy yourself? (You should ensure that some of your life is for you!)
Public Service - Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?
Spend some time brainstorming these things, and then select one or more goals in each category that best reflect what you want to do. Then consider trimming again so that you have a small number of really significant goals that you can focus on.
As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want. (If you have a partner, you probably want to consider what he or she wants - however, make sure that you also remain true to yourself!)
You may also want to read our article on Personal Mission Statements. Crafting a personal mission statement can help bring your most important goals into sharp focus.
Step 2: Setting Smaller Goals
Once you have set your lifetime goals, set a five-year plan of smaller goals that you need to complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan.
Then create a one-year plan, six-month plan, and a one-month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals. Each of these should be based on the previous plan.
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Then create a daily To-Do List of things that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals.
At an early stage, your smaller goals might be to read books and gather information on the achievement of your higher level goals. This will help you to improve the quality and realism of your goal setting.
Finally review your plans, and make sure that they fit the way in which you want to live your life.
If you feel that you're not paying enough attention to certain areas of your life, you"ll find our articles on The Wheel of Life and the Life/Career Rainbowuseful.
Staying on Course
Once you've decided on your first set of goals, keep the process going by reviewing and updating your To-Do List on a daily basis.
Periodically review the longer term plans, and modify them to reflect your changing priorities and experience. (A good way of doing this is to schedule regular, repeating reviews using a computer-based diary.)
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A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic. While there are plenty of variants (some of which we've included in parenthesis), SMART usually stands for:
S - Specific (or Significant).
M - Measurable (or Meaningful).
A - Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
R - Relevant (or Rewarding).
T - Time-bound (or Trackable).
For example, instead of having "To sail around the world" as a goal, it's more powerful to say "To have completed my trip around the world by December 31, 2015." Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation has been completed beforehand!
Further Goal Setting Tips
The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective, achievable goals:
State each goal as a positive statement - Express your goals positively – "Execute this technique well" is a much better goal than "Don't make this stupid mistake."
Be precise: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you'll know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
Set priorities - When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
Write goals down - This crystallizes them and gives them more force.
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Keep operational goals small - Keep the low-level goals that you're working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.
Set performance goals, not outcome goals - You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. It can be quite dispiriting to fail to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control!
In business, these reasons could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy. In sport, they could include poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck.
If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals, and draw satisfaction from them.
Set realistic goals - It's important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (for example, employers, parents, media, or society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions.
It's also possible to set goals that are too difficult because you might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.
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When you've achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement, and observe the progress that you've made towards other goals.
If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself appropriately. All of this helps you build the self-confidence you deserve.
With the experience of having achieved this goal, review the rest of your goal plans:
If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goal harder.
If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goal a little easier.
If you learned something that would lead you to change other goals, do so.
If you noticed a deficit in your skills despite achieving the goal, decide whether to set goals to fix this.
Our article, Golden Rules of Goal Setting, will show you how to set yourself up for success when it comes to your goals. If you're still having trouble, you might also want to try Backward Goal Setting.
Failing to meet goals does not matter much, just as long as you learn from the experience.
Feed lessons learned back into your goal setting. Remember too that your goals will change as time goes on. Adjust them regularly to reflect growth in your knowledge and experience, and if goals do not hold any attraction any longer, consider letting them go.
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Goal Setting Example
For her New Year's Resolution, Susan has decided to think about what she really wants to do with her life.
Her lifetime goals are as follows:
Career - "To be managing editor of the magazine that I work for."
Artistic - "To keep working on my illustration skills. Ultimately I want to have my own show in our downtown gallery."
Physical - "To run a marathon."
Now that Susan has listed her lifetime goals, she then breaks down each one into smaller, more manageable goals.
Let's take a closer look at how she might break down her lifetime career goal - becoming managing editor of her magazine:
Five-year goal: "Become deputy editor."
One-year goal: "Volunteer for projects that the current Managing Editor is heading up."
Six-month goal: "Go back to school and finish my journalism degree."
One-month goal: "Talk to the current managing editor to determine what skills are needed to do the job."
One-week goal: "Book the meeting with the Managing Editor."
As you can see from this example, breaking big goals down into smaller, more manageable goals makes it far easier to see how the goal will get accomplished.
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A good way of getting going with this is to use the Mind Tools Life Plan Workbook. Supported by worksheets and advice, this guides you through a simple 5-step process for setting your life goals, and for organizing yourself for success.
Goal setting is an important method of:
Deciding what you want to achieve in your life.
Separating what's important from what's irrelevant, or a distraction.
Building your self-confidence, based on successful achievement of goals.
Set your lifetime goals first. Then, set a five-year plan of smaller goals that you need to complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan. Keep the process going by regularly reviewing and updating your goals. And remember to take time to enjoy the satisfaction of achieving your goals when you do so.
If you don't already set goals, do so, starting now. As you make this technique part of your life, you'll find your career accelerating, and you'll wonder how you did without it!
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Types of Goals
(Sam Sander, achieve-goal-setting-success.com)
Part of the reason why goal setting fails is that people don’t understand the different types of goals and how to treat them. Goals may involve:
• Developing a new skill or improving current skills.
• Beating old habits, or developing better ones.
• Producing an outcome, achieving a dream.
The way each of these types of goals are treated is different – some are short term, others are medium to long term, some have a clear direction to achieve them, others may have a more torturous path, and some are naturally easier than others to achieve.
Goals can also be:
• Big-picture goals – your end destination as defined by the ‘Big-Picture' Statements for your various life aspects. These goals are typically not achievable in one simple step – there is a journey to be taken to get there.
• Milestone Goals – these are the series of goals that will take you to your destination.
• Mini Goals – milestone goals may need to be broken down into bite-size chunks to make them more manageable.
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This is shown diagrammatically as follows, where you can see that your ‘Big-Picture’ is achieved through a few long-term milestone goals, which are achieved through several medium-term goals, which are achieved through many short-term mini goals.
Like climbing a mountain, you need to start at the bottom with the mini-goals before you can get to the top. This is just recognizing that it takes time and effort to achieve your goals, but achieving the mini-goals along the way keeps you inspired to continue – they’re like stepping stones down the river of life or the traffic lights along your road to success! You need all types of goals.
Too many Big-Picture goals can be daunting and it is difficult to measure progress against. Too many mini-goals can make you lose sight of the big picture, but they keep you heading towards your big picture if done right.
So you need the right mixture of each, and this will depend on your specific goal.
As an example, you’re Big Picture might include to become fit and healthy. A milestone goal might therefore be to lose 10kg or to jog 5km in under 30 minutes.
Mini-goals might then be along the lines of “lose 2kg” or “walk 5km without stopping” – these goals are steps in the right direction towards both the milestone goals and ultimate big-picture.
Once the mini-goals have been achieved you’ll get a great sense of satisfaction as you have leaped onto the first stepping stone towards your big-picture, so use this motivation to set the next set of mini-goals to put into action!
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Why people don't follow through
Most people never even start the goal setting process, so you’ve got a head start already – so the first of the goal setting tips is "keep it up!"
But many people still fail to get anywhere because:
1. They can’t think of a good reason to set goals: Perhaps they haven’t figured out what they really want or maybe they just aren’t convinced that goal setting is important. This is your future we are talking about here – goal setting establishes the destination and how to get there, so that one day the future you dream of becomes your reality.
You are in control of your own destiny – you are where you are now because of the action [or inaction] you have taken in the past, and where you’ll be in 10 years time is a direct result of the action you take over the next 10 years. What better reason is there to start setting goals and have some control over your future?
2. They don’t see how goal setting will help them: Perhaps they haven’t realised how effective goal setting can be for ensuring success, or maybe they just haven’t figured out how it works. Maps help get you where you want, right? Well that’s all goal setting and action planning really is – your map to your future, so of course it will help.
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3. They haven’t got time: Goal setting is about working smarter, not harder. Yes, it will take some of your time and energy, you may even have to make some sacrifices, but the end results are truly worth the effort. Surely you can take 1-2 hours a day to plan your life’s direction and take the action necessary to get there?
We’ve all procrastinated though and put off important tasks – I’ll start my diet tomorrow, I’ll change my life with new years resolutions, I just want to wait until the kids are older. The sad reality is that some people procrastinate all their life and never achieve what they really want to achieve.
Don’t be one of those people. Visualise what life will be like when you achieve your goals and use this vision to give you the motivation and drive to get there.
4. They find it too hard: Goal setting is not hard. Yes, it takes some time and you need to do some deep soul searching to determine your inner most needs, desires and motivations – but it is not hard.
I can understand though if you find this all a bit overwhelming. But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s the same with goal setting.
The other thing to remember is that goal setting is a skill, and like all skills it takes time to learn and gain experience. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and start you on a few ‘easy’ goals and build up from there – before too long, you’ll be an expert goal setter!
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5. They are afraid they won’t achieve their goals: What is fear? False Expectations Appearing Real. This means that what you are really afraid of, probably isn’t real anyway. What will happen if you don’t lose those 10 kg’s overnight? You may still lose 0.5 kg, but you won’t get struck by lightning, no-one will laugh at you, you won’t be considered a ‘failure’ – so what is the real problem?
Fear of failure is real, but the 'outcome' if you do fail is often overrated. It is really important though to come to terms with this as fear of failure can result in in-action and therefore failure to achieve. Learn to grow from failure, rather than fear it.
6. They don’t take it seriously: You need to take goal setting seriously if it is going to work for you. I’m sure you’ve tried new years resolutions before – did you take it seriously? Did you succeed?
Ambition: Why Some People Are Most Likely to
by: Jeffrey Kluger
TIME Magazine 2005, TIME Inc., USA
You don't get as successful as Gregg and Drew Shipp by accident. Shake hands with the 36-year-old fraternal twins who co-own the sprawling Hi Fi Personal Fitness club in Chicago, and it's clear you're in the presence of people who thrive on their drive. But that wasn't always the case. The twins' father founded the Jovan perfume company, a glamorous business that spun off the
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kinds of glamorous profits that made it possible for the Shipps to amble through high school, coast into college and never much worry about getting the rent paid or keeping the fridge filled. But before they graduated, their sense of drift began to trouble them. At about the same time, their father sold off the company, and with it went the cozy billets in adult life that had always served as an emotional backstop for the boys.
That did it. By the time they got out of school, both Shipps had entirely transformed themselves, changing from boys who might have grown up to live off the family's wealth to men consumed with going out and creating their own. "At this point," says Gregg, "I consider myself to be almost maniacally ambitious." It shows. In 1998 the brothers went into the gym trade. They spotted a modest health club doing a modest business, bought out the owner and transformed the place into a luxury facility where private trainers could reserve space for top-dollar clients. In the years since, the company has outgrown one building, then another, and the brothers are about to move a third time. Gregg, a communications major at college, manages the club's clients, while Drew, a business major, oversees the more hardheaded chore of finance and expansion. "We're not sitting still," Drew says. "Even now that we're doing twice the business we did at our old place, there's a thirst that needs to be quenched."
Why is that? Why are some people born with a fire in the belly, while others — like the Shipps — need something to get their pilot light lit? And why do others never get the flame of ambition going? Is there a family anywhere that doesn't have its overachievers and underachievers — its Jimmy Carters and Billy Carters, its Jeb Bushes and Neil Bushes — and find itself wondering how they all could have come splashing out of exactly the same gene pool?
Of all the impulses in humanity's behavioral portfolio, ambition — that need to grab an ever
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bigger piece of the resource pie before someone else gets it — ought to be one of the most democratically distributed. Nature is a zero-sum game, after all. Every buffalo you kill for your family is one less for somebody else's; every acre of land you occupy elbows out somebody else. Given that, the need to get ahead ought to be hard-wired into all of us equally.
And yet it's not. For every person consumed with the need to achieve, there's someone content to accept whatever life brings. For everyone who chooses the 80-hour workweek, there's someone punching out at 5. Men and women — so it's said — express ambition differently; so do Americans and Europeans, baby boomers and Gen Xers, the middle class and the well-to-do. Even among the manifestly motivated, there are degrees of ambition. Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer and then left the company in 1985 as a 34-year-old multimillionaire. His partner, Steve Jobs, is still innovating at Apple and moonlighting at his second blockbuster company, Pixar Animation Studios.
Not only do we struggle to understand why some people seem to have more ambition than others, but we can't even agree on just what ambition is. "Ambition is an evolutionary product," says anthropologist Edward Lowe at Soka University of America, in Aliso Viejo, Calif. "No matter how social status is defined, there are certain people in every community who aggressively pursue it and others who aren't so aggressive."
Dean Simonton, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis, who studies genius, creativity and eccentricity, believes it's more complicated than that. "Ambition is energy and determination," he says. "But it calls for goals too. People with goals but no energy are the ones
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who wind up sitting on the couch saying 'One day I'm going to build a better mousetrap.' People with energy but no clear goals just dissipate themselves in one desultory project after the next." Assuming you've got drive, dreams and skill, is all ambition equal? Is the overworked lawyer on the partner track any more ambitious than the overworked parent on the mommy track? Is the successful musician to whom melody comes naturally more driven than the unsuccessful one who sweats out every note? We may listen to Mozart, but should we applaud Salieri?
Most troubling of all, what about when enough ambition becomes way too much? Grand dreams unmoored from morals are the stuff of tyrants — or at least of Enron. The 16-hour workday filled with high stress and at-the-desk meals is the stuff of burnout and heart attacks. Even among kids, too much ambition quickly starts to do real harm. In a just completed study, anthropologist Peter Demerath of Ohio State University surveyed 600 students at a high-achieving high school where most of the kids are triple-booked with advanced-placement courses, sports and after-school jobs. About 70% of them reported that they were starting to feel stress some or all of the time. "I asked one boy how his parents react to his workload, and he answered, 'I don't really get home that often,'" says Demerath. "Then he handed me his business card from the video store where he works."
Anthropologists, psychologists and others have begun looking more closely at these issues, seeking the roots of ambition in family, culture, gender, genes and more. They have by no means thrown the curtain all the way back, but they have begun to part it. "It's fundamentally human to be prestige conscious," says Soka's Lowe. "It's not enough just to be fed and housed. People want more."
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If humans are an ambitious species, it's clear we're not the only
one. Many animals are known to signal their ambitious tendencies
almost from birth. Even before wolf pups are weaned, they begin
sorting themselves out into alphas and all the others. The alphas are
quicker, more curious, greedier for space, milk, Mom — and they
stay that way for life. Alpha wolves wander widely, breed annually
and may live to a geriatric 10 or 11 years old. Lower-ranking wolves
enjoy none of these benefits — staying close to home, breeding
rarely and usually dying before they're 4.
Humans often report the same kind of temperamental determinism. Families are full of stories of the inexhaustible infant who grew up to be an entrepreneur, the phlegmatic child who never really showed much go. But if it's genes that run the show, what accounts for the Shipps, who didn't bestir themselves until the cusp of adulthood? And what, more tellingly, explains identical twins — precise genetic templates of each other who ought to be temperamentally identical but often exhibit profound differences in the octane of their ambition?(See TIME's Wellness blog.)
Ongoing studies of identical twins have measured achievement motivation — lab language for ambition — in identical siblings separated at birth, and found that each twin's profile overlaps 30% to 50% of the other's. In genetic terms, that's an awful lot — "a benchmark for heritability," says geneticist Dean Hamer of the National Cancer Institute. But that still leaves a great deal that can be determined by experiences in infancy, subsequent upbringing and countless other imponderables.
Some of those variables may be found by studying the function of the brain. At Washington University, researchers have been conducting brain imaging to investigate a trait they call
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persistence — the ability to stay focused on a task until it's completed just so — which they consider one of the critical engines driving ambition.
The researchers recruited a sample group of students and gave each a questionnaire designed to measure persistence level. Then they presented the students with a task — identifying sets of pictures as either pleasant or unpleasant and taken either indoors or outdoors — while conducting magnetic resonance imaging of their brains. The nature of the task was unimportant, but how strongly the subjects felt about performing it well — and where in the brain that feeling was processed — could say a lot. In general, the researchers found that students who scored highest in persistence had the greatest activity in the limbic region, the area of the brain related to emotions and habits. "The correlation was .8 [or 80%]," says professor of psychiatry Robert Cloninger, one of the investigators. "That's as good as you can get."
It's impossible to say whether innate differences in the brain were driving the ambitious behavior or whether learned behavior was causing the limbic to light up. But a number of researchers believe it's possible for the nonambitious to jump-start their drive, provided the right jolt comes along. "Energy level may be genetic," says psychologist Simonton, "but a lot of times it's just finding the right thing to be ambitious about." Simonton and others often cite the case of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who might not have been the same President he became — or even become President at all — had his disabling polio not taught him valuable lessons about patience and tenacity.
Is such an epiphany possible for all of us, or are some people immune to this kind of lightning? Are there individuals or whole groups for whom the amplitude of ambition is simply lower than
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it is for others? It's a question — sometimes a charge — that hangs at the edges of all discussions about gender and work, about whether women really have the meat-eating temperament to survive in the professional world. Both research findings and everyday experience suggest that women's ambitions express themselves differently from men's. The meaning of that difference is the hinge on which the arguments turn.
Economists Lise Vesterlund of the University of Pittsburgh and Muriel Niederle of Stanford University conducted a study in which they assembled 40 men and 40 women, gave them five minutes to add up as many two-digit numbers as they could, and paid them 50¢ for each correct answer. The subjects were not competing against one another but simply playing against the house. Later, the game was changed to a tournament in which the subjects were divided into teams of two men or two women each. Winning teams got $2 per computation; losers got nothing. Men and women performed equally in both tests, but on the third round, when asked to choose which of the two ways they wanted to play, only 35% of the women opted for the tournament format; 75% of the men did.
"Men and women just differ in their appetite for competition," says Vesterlund. "There seems to be a dislike for it among women and a preference among men."
To old-line employers of the old-boy school, this sounds like just one more reason to keep the glass ceiling polished. But other behavioral experts think Vesterlund's conclusions go too far. They say it's not that women aren't ambitious enough to compete for what they want; it's that they're more selective about when they engage in competition; they're willing to get ahead at
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high cost but not at any cost. "Primate-wide, males are more directly competitive than females, and that makes sense," says Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis. "But that's not the same as saying women aren't innately competitive too."
As with so much viewed through the lens of anthropology, the roots of
these differences lie in animal and human mating strategies. Males
are built to go for quick, competitive reproductive hits and move on.
Women are built for the it-takes-a-village life, in which they
provide long-term care to a very few young and must sail them safely
into an often hostile world. Among some of our evolutionary kin —
baboons, macaques and other old-world monkeys — this can be
especially tricky since young females inherit their mother's social
rank. The mothers must thus operate the levers of society deftly so
as to raise both their own position and, eventually, their
daughters'. If you think that kind of ambition-by-proxy doesn't
translate to humans, Hrdy argues, think again. "Just read an
Edith Wharton novel about women in old New York competing for
marriage potential for their daughters," she says.
Import such tendencies into the 21st century workplace, and you get women who are plenty able to compete ferociously but are inclined to do it in teams and to split the difference if they don't get everything they want. And mothers who appear to be unwilling to strive and quit the workplace altogether to go raise their kids? Hrdy believes they're competing for the most enduring stakes of all, putting aside their near-term goals to ensure the long-term success of their line. Robin Parker, 46, a campaign organizer who in 1980 was already on the presidential stump
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with Senator Edward Kennedy, was precisely the kind of lifetime pol who one day finds herself in the West Wing. But in 1992, at the very moment a President of her party was returning to the White House and she might have snagged a plum Washington job, she decamped from the capital, moved to Boston with her family and became a full-time mom to her two sons.
"Being out in the world became a lot less important to me," she says. "I used to worry about getting Presidents elected, and I'm still an incredibly ambitious person. But what I want to succeed at now is managing my family, raising my boys, helping my husband and the community. In 10 years, when the boys are launched, who knows what I'll be doing? But for now, I have my world."
But even if something as primal as the reproductive impulse wires you one way, it's possible for other things to rewire you completely. Two of the biggest influences on your level of ambition are the family that produced you and the culture that produced your family.
There are no hard rules for the kinds of families that turn out the highest achievers. Most psychologists agree that parents who set tough but realistic challenges, applaud successes and go easy on failures produce kids with the greatest self-confidence.
What's harder for parents to control but has perhaps as great an effect is the level of privilege into which their kids are born. Just how wealth or poverty influences drive is difficult to predict. Grow up in a rich family, and you can inherit either the tools to achieve (think both Presidents Bush) or the indolence of the aristocrat. Grow up poor, and you can come away with either the motivation to strive (think Bill Clinton) or the inertia of the hopeless. On the whole, studies suggest it's the upper middle class that produces the greatest proportion of ambitious people — mostly because it also produces the greatest proportion of anxious people.
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When measuring ambition, anthropologists divide families into four
categories: poor, struggling but getting by, upper middle class, and
rich. For members of the first two groups, who are fighting just to
keep the electricity on and the phone bill paid, ambition is often a
luxury. For the rich, it's often unnecessary. It's members of the
upper middle class, reasonably safe economically but not so safe that
a bad break couldn't spell catastrophe, who are most driven to
improve their lot. "It's called status anxiety," says
anthropologist Lowe, "and whether you're born to be concerned
about it or not, you do develop it."
But some societies make you more anxious than others. The U.S. has always been a me-first culture, as befits a nation that grew from a scattering of people on a fat saddle of continent where land was often given away. That have-it-all ethos persists today, even though the resource freebies are long since gone. Other countries — where the acreage is smaller and the pickings are slimmer — came of age differently, with the need to cooperate getting etched into the cultural DNA. The American model has produced wealth, but it has come at a price — with ambition sometimes turning back on the ambitious and consuming them whole.
The study of high-achieving high school students conducted by Ohio State's Demerath was noteworthy for more than the stress he found the students were suffering. It also revealed the lengths to which the kids and their parents were willing to go to gain an advantage over other suffering students. Cheating was common, and most students shrugged it off as only a minor problem. A number of parents — some of whose children carried a 4.0 average — sought to have their kids classified as special-education students, which would entitle them to extra time on standardized tests. "Kids develop their own moral code," says Demerath. "They have a keen sense of competing with others and are developing identities geared to that."
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Demerath got very different results when he conducted research in a very different place — Papua, New Guinea. In the mid-1990s, he spent a year in a small village there, observing how the children learned. Usually, he found, they saw school as a noncompetitive place where it was important to succeed collectively and then move on. Succeeding at the expense of others was seen as a form of vanity that the New Guineans call "acting extra." Says Demerath: "This is an odd thing for them."
That makes tactical sense. In a country based on farming and fishing, you need to know that if you get sick and can't work your field or cast your net, someone else will do it for you. Putting on airs in the classroom is not the way to ensure that will happen.
Of course, once a collectivist not always a collectivist. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, a professor of globalization and education at New York University, has been following 400 families that immigrated to the U.S. from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Many hailed from villages where the American culture of competition is alien, but once they got here, they changed fast.
As a group, the immigrant children in his study are outperforming their U.S.-born peers. What's more, the adults are dramatically outperforming the immigrant families that came before them. "One hundred years ago, it took people two to three generations to achieve a middle-class standard of living," says Suárez-Orozco. "Today they're getting there within a generation."
So this is a good thing, right? Striving people come here to succeed — and do. While there are plenty of benefits that undeniably come with learning the ways of ambition, there are plenty of perils too — many a lot uglier than high school students cheating on the trig final.
Human history has always been writ in the blood of broken alliances, palace purges and strong
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people or nations beating up on weak ones — all in the service of someone's hunger for power or resources. "There's a point at which you find an interesting kind of nerve circuitry between optimism and hubris," says Warren Bennis, a professor of business administration at the University of Southern California and the author of three books on leadership. "It becomes an arrogance or conceit, an inability to live without power."
While most ambitious people keep their secret Caesar tucked safely away, it can emerge surprisingly, even suddenly. Says Frans de Waal, a primatologist at the Yerkes Primate Center in Atlanta and the author of a new book, Our Inner Ape: "You can have a male chimp that is the most laid-back character, but one day he sees the chance to overthrow the leader and becomes a totally different male. I would say 90% of people would behave this way too. On an island with three people, they might become a little dictator."
But a yearning for supremacy can create its own set of problems. Heart attacks, ulcers and other stress-related ills are more common among high achievers — and that includes nonhuman achievers. The blood of alpha wolves routinely shows elevated levels of cortisol, the same stress hormone that is found in anxious humans. Alpha chimps even suffer ulcers and occasional heart attacks.
For these reasons, people and animals who have an appetite for becoming an alpha often settle contentedly into life as a beta. "The desire to be in a high position is universal," says de Waal. "But that trait has co-evolved with another skill — the skill to make the best of lower positions."
Humans not only make peace with their beta roles but they also make money from them. Among corporations, an increasingly well-rewarded portion of the workforce is made up of B players,
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managers and professionals somewhere below the top tier. They don't do the power lunching and ribbon cutting but instead perform the highly skilled, everyday work of making the company run. As skeptical shareholders look ever more askance at overpaid corporate A-listers, the B players are becoming more highly valued. It's an adaptation that serves the needs of both the corporation and the culture around it. "Everyone has ambition," says Lowe. "Societies have to provide alternative ways for people to achieve."
Ultimately, it's that very flexibility — that multiplicity of possible rewards — that makes dreaming big dreams and pursuing big goals worth all the bother. Ambition is an expensive impulse, one that requires an enormous investment of emotional capital. Like any investment, it can pay off in countless different kinds of coin. The trick, as any good speculator will tell you, is recognizing the riches when they come your way.
— With reporting by Dan Cray / Los Angeles and Eric Ferkenhoff, Noah Isackson and Leslie Whitaker / Chicago
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