I wonder if being in the Singapore education system was somehow damaging to my ego. I never think anything I do is amazing or exceptional but apparently, I'm beginning to realize that sometimes the people who work with me do.
To begin with a disclaimer, I'm one of the fastest readers I know. What that essentially means, is that I'm really good at reading through things fast and gaining an understanding of them. For some strange reason I'm also good at pulling them up again when somebody needs a certain point found in one of those documents. But useful as it may be in the working world, reading fast is not a skill that anyone really needs in the school system. Certainly it helps, but there are no exams that test you on how fast you read.
There are other things that I do well at work at and as a result am appreciated at work which is somewhat of an ego boost. For 12 years of my life, no matter how well I did, there was always someone better or something better that I could be acheiving and in many ways we were all brainwashed to think that way. Do well in school? There could be a better school that you should be aiming for. Even in the 4 years of college here, some of that brainwashing hung over, with a GPA of 3.9 something, there is this faint nagging feeling of why was it not a 4? And no matter how effortlessly it all comes by, there are always the geniuses who go drinking all night and whiz through the exams with 100% to compare yourself to.
At work though, there are so many immeasurable things. Intelligence alone doesn't get you anywhere, neither does social skills. I like that there's no proper way to quantify how well you do any longer, because there is no pressure. I do the best that I can do and that's that. Which is why praise comes as an unexpected surprise and ego boost.