My title sounds like a disorder that comes from a hostage situation, doesn’t it? Well, in a manner of speaking, perhaps. No, the Dunning-Kruger effect is a type of cognitive bias where people with little expertise or ability assume they have superior expertise or ability. This overestimation occurs as a result of the fact that they don’t have enough knowledge to know they don’t have enough knowledge. (@sciencefunn) In other words, we place too much value on staying at a Holiday Inn the previous night.

I feel we all allow ourselves to be in this category here and there, to be fair. We all know that guy, though, don’t we? No one wants to be that clueless one. Bless his heart, this person is usually last to know– never considers any other alternative. This person may often be revealed right after he asks you to hold his beer.

I don’t feel we can completely eliminate the Dunning-Kruger Effect, but mindfulness is helpful. It can be a seductive, fine line to mistake confidence for competence. Often, those suffering from this syndrome don’t stop talking long enough to listen to reason and logic. God help us all if they happen to be charismatic and/or plausible. They thrive in the corporate world and likely may be your CEO or senator.

Why does everything have to be so hard? Just because you hit the easy button doesn’t mean there is not hard work to be done. That last statement will put some at ease, others will be surprised and in denial about the hard work part. A good, albeit niche, example of this easy/hard model is writing a novel. I know most won’t undertake a task such as this, so bear with me on this example.

We all have huge undertakings in our lives, right? Of course. Well, what’s the difference in a project you love versus one you are forced into, or worse yet, one you think you should love? Consider that laboring in love is never the hard way, only sweat-drenched. When selecting the direction of my novel, I don’t think I could have written its rough draft in six months if I wasn’t interested in its subject matter. That said, there will always be the nitty gritty of a project to be done to satisfaction just as there will always be those that don’t want to or don’t realize there’s no substitute for elbow grease. I know I’ve made this mistake in the past, so I’m casting no stones, only looking to provide varying perspectives.

Now, how do we apply the notion in the previous paragraph to our lives? Maybe this isn’t apples to apples, but we need to start with the understanding that we live in a world where in the 1980’s A&W tried to compete with McDonald’s quarter pounder by selling a 1/3lb. burger at a lower cost. It failed, because many thought the 1/4lb. was bigger. (@jaddevouerofficial)

Meander with me here a minute: The roots of the Dunning-Kruger Effect are buried in superiority and ignorance. Not the superiority of I can drive a golf ball farther than you, or run faster, etc. Such things are measurable. I’m talking about superiority with no evidence for its existence. This leads me to the poison pill of cynicism.

Sure, I’ve been cynical, but I resist the urge most of the time unless I’m using it in a humorous way. Once you resist, in this context, you begin to feel the damage of its release. We alternatives like to have our fasts or some other fancy Tibetan sounding practice. We often can feel very high and mighty when we’re working outside the box, so try being cynical for your 30-day fast from the silver lining. Do you feel like you now have a good foundation for a victim mentality? Do you grasp the selective outrage of it all? Is cynicism how we seed the clouds of fear in the name of righteousness? Has paranoia set in? If you don’t have an answer to any of the above questions, tack on another week and go from there.

What should we pray for? What should we try to manifest? Here’s a novel idea: Satisfaction. Really? That’s not sexy. True. And I’m not sure the human ego can ever be completely satisfied. It’s not how we’re built. That’s for the other side of the veil. That said, we’ve been given imagination, haven’t we? Imagine it viscerally. What is its texture, taste, smell, sound, and look? Your imagination can relax or excite you.

Now I’m going to go take my own advice. Thanks for listening, Lowcountry.