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Best Possible Selves 20

Friday, February 3, 2017

I just watched a Ted Talk entitled Are You a Giver or a Taker? by Adam Grant. At the risk of wrongly paraphrasing, I found fascinating his use of the work "pronoia." I believe that this is an invented word, but it certainly sheds positive light on another pathway toward Best Possible Selfhood. According to what I heard, Mr. Grant defines pronoia as "the delusional belief that other people are plotting your well-being." He juxtaposes this to a more familiar term -- paranoia, going so far as to say that "they're going behind your back and saying exceptionally glowing things about you." The context of Mr. Grant's research is in studying organizations and trying to differentiate between the impact of agreeable people as well as disagreeable people, people who are "Givers" as opposed to those who are "Takers." As he concludes at the end of the talk, "In a culture of Givers, this (the presence of pronoia--emphasis mine) is not a delusion but a reality." Happy pronoid thinking to everyone!