Getting off the tread mill


This is a piece I wrote some years ago , 27th August 2004 to be precise. I wrote this as I was waiting for a business associate at the Grand Hotel in Vasant Kunj , New Delhi.I reached way ahead of time as I missed his message rescheduling the meeting and thereafter he got further delayed as he often does. But eventually I didnt know how time passed as I got completely engrossed in jotting down these thoughts on tiny pieces of paper.Hence most of what I wrote was sketchy and in bullet form , much like the way Corporate folks like to present their ideas or read others presentations. I’ll reproduce the thoughts just as they have been captured that evening with minimal editing.The thoughts here represent a fairly pervassive Corporate behavioural pattern ,the constant thump thumping on the tread mill and the inability to get off it as much as one desires .Here’s a point of view that helps one get off the dreaded  tread mill.
 
At the lounge of Grand Hotel , Vasant Kunj :
 
The Problem : Motivation solely on " brownie" points earned from Power Centres .. life principally focused on these brownie points.Need to broad base  life .. more importantly to shift from self centred , egoistic, hypocritical life patterns to a life of compassion & un swevering desire to do good for others .
 
Why Change : Not truely happy .. anxiety ridden , constantly under pressure , arrogant denial of others.
                      Anxiety … Fear of failure .. insecurity , need for brownie points all the time , poor assertiveness behaviour
                      Pressure .. Same as above
                      Arrogance .. Perceived interference , too impatient to debate / discuss, intolerant of others point of view.
 
How does one change ? Most often there is no need for a reasonably successful professional to feel insecure.More often than not he has several options both within the company he currently works in ,and in other companies looking out for talented and experienced professionals.The answer lies in changing ones BEHAVIOURAL PATTERN with all authority figures , big or small.
                      Assertiveness … Practice issue centric behaviour –face all situations objectively; accept what’s right & wrong in ones position; accept ones strength & weaknesses ; take put downs in ones stride — no need to be hurt or arrogant ; react with finesse.. welcome put downs and learn the art of cool headed behaviour … compassion is the key .
                     Arrogance …. In-appropriate assertiveness behaviour ; flip side of  anxiety and avoidance behaviour.Both states act on perceived power equations.
                                          Others perceived power seen as higher leads on to anxiety and avoidance .. inability to engage in adult to adult dialogue.
                                          Others perceived power seen as low leads to intolerance of others views and feelings and consequent irritability and dysfunctional behaviour when faced with dissent or perceived threats to brownie points.
                                          Both these situations and the responses reflect extensive need for assertiveness or behavioural training for the concerned .A governing principle in such cases would be to check or investigate for the presence of "acceptance of self "and "love for one self" .. there is no need for anxiety / denial or fear of acceptance  of oneself by others ,and the inabilty tolove one self. Being self satisfied and at peace with ones self should be the final frontier of ones striving and desire for self improvement. I have always believed that ones spiritual growth and ones professional growth, grow on parallel paths and professional growth will be hampered in the absence of spiritual growth .From spiritual growth comes the ability to see the God within ones self and  the ability to be at peace internally and to be able to "love" ones self. 
                    Assertiveness .. Accept the right to hold ones own views ; accept the right to dissent .Dissent / argue/debate from a platform of adult to adult exchanges .. stay clear of child to parent / parent to child interactions.Encourage a fair mix of child to child patterns of interactions ( spontaneous / fun loving & forgiveness )  and the adult to adult interactions ( reason/ debate / co-operation/ accomodation / agree to disagree & forgiveness ). I would advocate to all aspiring professionals to take every opportunity of human interactions to learn the spontanious child and adult behaviour states and un learn any vestige of the crippled child behaviour. Carry no fear or anxiety in any transaction — carry "LOVE" , COMPASSION & an wavering desire to do good for others. Consistent behaviour in perceived high /low ;low/high transaction is essential. 
 
The root of the malaise : In summary the constant striving for brownie points and seeking satisfaction outside of ones self is the symptom; and a mal adjusted child is the root of the problem.Appropriate behaviour , acceptance of self and attachment to the God within will make all the difference. Fear /anxiety/pressure .. rewards/ recognition/ honours … has become an addictive cycle and the prime motivator for most corporate professionals .Many ask the question " Do I need to be on the thread mill all the time ? Can I walk at leiasure?? Is this consistent with Corporate behaviour ?? If every one is on the tread mill can I get off it ???" The key attitude here is to get away from a striving for " brownie " points and short term or relative happiness baserd on relative positioning with ones colleagues and focus instead on making a difference in achieving ones company’s goals , in building lasting institutions for ones company and in creating value ( helping others realise their potential) .
 
Let us start where we stand .. with good intentions the will of God will prevail.  
 
I wrote the above piece as I was planning to speak to several of my team members and to share with them some perspectives I carry . I have since shared these thoughts, not in the form of a lecture to a group in one session, but rather bits and pieces spread over time . At times to a group of team members and at times to one or the other individual.Dont know if I could make much difference to the way they thought about and went about the long tough journey of coming to terms with one self and in the long hard climb to professional fulfillment. I did however personally gain from putting these thoughts together and sharing them with others and I can say with a lot of assurance that I have changed for the better over the last few years.
  
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Author: hari008

Business Leader , Mentor and Executive Coach with a long track record of achievement , developing high performance teams and mentoring team members who now hold responsible positions in several leading companies

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