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The Ladder to Scrutiny

It is embedded in the lifestyle of humans everywhere to produce their best work. In doing that, we arrive at being the frontrunners in our respective fields. Each aspiring individual has great accomplishments in which they strive to achieve everyday; this encompasses educational, personal, and professional endeavors. Among achieving accomplishments comes the tender luxury of scrutiny. Some argue that making it to the top is only purchasing a ticket to place oneself under a microscopic lens that hundreds or even millions of people are focused on. You will always find people questioning the validity of your qualification for a certain accomplishment or set of accomplishments. This prize of scrutiny at the end of the tunnel does not, in general, hinder our will to succeed. Once we are prospering, questions about our character and credentials will surface. As the critics begin to chime in, our job is not to provide them with an explanation, but to continue the same character and quality of work that delivered us to the doorsteps of success.

Once we are soaring past average boundaries our character and our attitude begin to be subjected to criticism. The people who are not performing well begin to compare your success with that of those before you. This scrutiny may not appear to be detrimental at first, but it generally stems from the emotional region of our brain where schadenfreude, the ability to find joy from this misfortune of others, can be found. Although, in many instances this scrutiny tremendously deteriorates morale, pride, and on a larger scale communities, it can also prove that the achiever in question is indeed qualified to receive respect and praise. This scrutiny may unveil some of the most genuine character traits that many aspiring individuals possess, which will open doors for other entrepreneurs.

In our aspiration of achieving prestigious heights, we are climbing the ladder to scrutiny. There will be critics to question the authenticity of your hard earned success. The will to scrutinize with the intent to dismantle is virtually inscribed in human nature, as explicated by science. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, connected to entropy, states that all things go from a state of order to disorder. We were taught in school to expose flaws in that lack even a bit of perfection. We must understand that our success will never be left alone and that there will be attempts by others to expose our flaws. With our culture at this fast pace, it has the audacity to challenge and attempt to exploit the lack of credibility that a succeeding individual possesses.

A desire to berate someone that is at the pinnacle of their career is a challenge that countless Americans face. Many people see such great individuals and aspire only to bring them down below commonality. This causes those people to place high-performing individuals into a more tangible category; one they are more familiar with and one that most can secure. This coheres with our willingness to scrutinize public figures, politicians, celebrities, and athletes with the intent to ruin or seldomly better careers. It appears that the urgency of scrutiny is not a requirement when the achievements of our peers are equal to our own. Only when we are greatly surpassed do we feel inclined to challenge credentials.

Scrutiny surfaces not solely as a matter of curiosity from inquiring individuals, but as a matter of human-inherited societal spite. The traditions that we formulate our morals around can often be just as damaging as it is blissful; stressful as it is therapeutic. We can concur that the capacity to produce our best work is innate as it is amid our most historical endeavors to bring things from a state of order to disorder. We understand the importance of striving to achieve great heights no matter the excruciating obstacles that we have to endure in the process, according to my studies. To the same extent, many conform to the societal norms placed before them, which requires them to scrutinize great achievers. They seem to have an alliance with the socially enforced norms of the world. This alliance entails that they ought to hold those norms to standards of imperative traditions, so much that they are obligated to protect them, as if it were a life necessity.

Scrutiny is not something that should evoke a large reluctance to our pursuit of success. As we stay true to our fundamental morals and produce work with integrity, we can enjoy a more sustainable success. Aristotle says, “If activities are, as we said, what determines the character of life, no blessed man can become miserable; for he will never do acts that are hateful and mean”. As we write our story, our duty is not to protect the content against the defective misinterpretation of others, but to ensure that the story we are writing correlates with the facts. If we plan to achieve great heights, then we must do it with integrity. No matter how high we fly at some point, how and what we achieved will be under the microscope. This ladder to scrutiny exists within communities, families, and companies; the obstacle that our culture faces excludes no one. In the face of criticism, stand your ground and continue to produce quality work. Believe that the effort that you put into your vision has value that no one can take from you. In the face of criticism, firmly stand your ground and continue to produce quality work. Success entails scrutiny, which in the end some will emerge, but others will fall to those allied with the social traditions of our culture.


This piece was inspired by David F. D’Alessandro, the author of Career Warfare gives 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand and Fighting to Keep it. Rule 9 by D’ Alessandro: The higher you fly, the more you will be shot at.

Illustrator Information:

The illustrator, Cleyrissa G. Robinson, is employed as a Certified Phlebotomist and is a student at The University of Arizona, where she studies Physiology at the College of Medicine. Outside of her passion for the medical field, Robinson enjoys expanding her artistic interests as much as her occupations allow. After working with multiple photographers and illustrators on a business level, she was inspired to draw out the visions of her creative mind, and practice her artistic abilities.

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