Competency. It’s what humans crave. Ever since Early Man was pulling the first poorly-crafted sabertooth dagger out of some proto-mammal protein dose, humans have sought to be competent at whatever task at hand. And good on us, or else we might have died out.
These days, competency takes on a variety of connotations, but most still associate it with task-oriented activities. To this end, there are many modern people who devote their lives to the pursuit of efficiency and order. Occasionally, this happens through enlightened altruism or a genuine desire to improve conditions for humanity, but more often it’s to mask a deep insecurity or personality disorder. Competents of this variety are prone to martyrdom, yet still pride themselves on retaining composure while burning at whatever stake they’ve fashioned for themselves.
Fun Fact: competency in no way confers success or anything approaching happiness. But control is its own reward!
Spotting a Competent isn’t always easy. Contrary to what you might think, Competents aren’t necessarily the Type-A adrenaline mutants you encounter at the gym or your mom’s house. In fact, many Competent individuals look, for all intents and purposes, to be laid-back. You may even come across some that actually appear compassionate. But make no mistake: Competents are merely here to get the job done. Through this they are revealed.
But how to become a Competent? And who would even want to be? It’s a relentless slog with little reward besides the inner satisfaction one gets from knowing that you managed to drive your demons back into that dark, scary place for some short stretch of time. But they’ll return. They always return.
To truly achieve competency, you’ll need to master a few basic skills. First, remove all pretense to wit. Trust me, it’ll just get in the way. Second, ignore everything outside the immediate or practical (or immediately practical). Third, ensnare and mollify those most in need of your competency. This is extremely important: the only way to ultimately verify competency is through co-dependency. This can be interpersonal or professional. Your desire to excel at every task, coupled with the desperate needs of all those flaky people out there, is all that matters.
To be Competent is to join a long line of humans who have sought to bring order not only to the world, but the roiling chaos within. Are you up to the task? The rest of us desperately needy bastards sure hope so.