There is a huge resistance to ‘be’ but a greater desire to ‘become’. However, we are okay with the disappointment that follows when we can’t become. Paradoxical isn’t ? I see this analogy resonating in all walks of my life. Not sure why, perhaps, sign of ageing ? ;-), The ‘Adaptive Leadership’ coaching session I attended, intrigued me to dive deep into certain interference’s & biases, I am carrying in my life.
Personal Life : Growing up in a economically weaker section is fine, because it gives motivation and will power to come out of the situation. Upbringing in these situations help define person’s character & builds his mettle at an early age. However, growing up in fear is something, which cannot be forgotten that easily. It’s not about forgetting the past experience and emotions, but a view developed at early age is deep.
I have seen my father working very hard, with ethics and discipline, yet, not be able to have a normal life. Many of his needs were unmet. His family betrayed him and was only relying on me for love and caring. Many a times, he had singlehandedly brought his family out of scarcity. These situations gave me a perspective that I have to work hard. Only hard work can get me success and move my family out of impoverishment & debt. My father often said, a man with a regular job & income can only get respect in the society. It had a profound impact in me as a person, whilst growing as a boy and it has shaped up my beliefs & behaviors.
We learn the skills of emotional balance and regulation from those who raise us
The human brain seems like a social organ that is shaped by experience, and that is shaped in order to respond to the experience that you’re having. So particularly earlier in life, if you’re in a constant state of fear; your brain is shaped to be on alert for fear, and to try to make those terrible feelings go away. The brain is formed by feedback from the environment. It’s a profoundly relational part of our body.
- What are my dysfunctional behavior ?
- What are my beliefs ?
- What are my fears ? Fear of unemployability , rejection, fear of not be able to achieve success.
- What are my needs ? Love & Respect
Prithvi & his reflections about himself ?
Responsible, and conscientious. Has an ability to understand people. Remembers specifics about people who are important & concerned about how others feel. Understands what motivates people and insightful about others. Seeks meaning and connection in ideas & relationships. Quickly sees patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance(for self and others). Dislike disagreements and conflicts, do not enforce opinions or values on others. Yearns for a life that is congruent with his values. Agnostic, but yearns to be a theist 😉
I am a person who finds meaning & purpose in life than adventure & success. I may not appear commercial, however, my actions are enterprising (if not entertaining ;-)). As the adage goes, one need not shout/talk elaborate to be heard !!!
In the last 4-6 years ), I don’t know where did I learn, that I have been thinking a lot and missed to observe certain simple truths. The ‘only thinking’ attitude is good to certain extent, but not going to help in the coming days of my life and career. I need to think only where it matters, required and essential. This habit of mine is not yielding anything as it suspends me in time for eternity. This too much of thinking attitude also made me develop a cluttered mind and thoughts, which are mostly random, resulting in pretty much nihilistic thoughts.
I was after the mystical thoughts of finding our calling, true passion etc. I was beleiving that finding right work is the best thing for in life. However I fail to notice that, working right trumps finding the right work. It is a simple idea isn’t ? Yet an incredibly subversive one , as its overturns decades of career advice, all focused on the mystical value of passion, true calling etc. It wrenches us away from our daydreams of an overnight transformation into instant job bliss and provides instead a more methodical way toward fulfillment.
View about Success :
Success to me is less about being perfect than knowing what you’ve best at and being properly aligned with your context. I don’t need to be literally insane, sometimes an ugly duckling can be a beautiful swan if it finds the right pond. The thing that sets me apart from the habits, I may have tried to banish, things I was taunted for in school, may ultimately grant me an unbeatable advantage. In this context, knowing about oneself isn’t just alone, but also knowing/aware of our operating context. Some wise men said, ” Knowing Yourself Is Enlightenment, Aligning With Yourself Is Freedom” .
I was highly successful during my stint at RBS, because I happened to be in an environment where my biases, predispositions, talents and abilities all happened to align neatly with those things that would produce success in that environment. Just because I am successful at RBS , it doesn’t guarantee consistent results in other operating context (in this case, Barclays & my current role in Nomura). I have learnt this through my experience.
What stops me in aligning my predispositions, abilities, beliefs and my biases ?
The Gospel of Thomas says, “If you bring forth what is within you , what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you”.
My Leadership Strengths (In the chronological order):
- Long Term view (Patience)
- Idea Centric (Growth Mindset)
- Interpersonal Sensitivity/Relationship focussed
My Interference(s) :
- Interference # 1 Big Picture Thinker Vs Detail-Oriented: They say that there are 2 types of people – the ‘Big picture people’ and the ‘Details people.’ The big picture people tend to be creative, strategic, and visionary… but they can also be messy, disorganized, and forgetful. On the other hand, the ‘details mindset’ is conscientious, planful, and exacting… but can lack perspective or fail to prioritize. The interesting thing in my job (as a risk manager, catalyst), requires both the qualities. I have an innate nature to be a big picture thinker, however lack the ability to be both at all times. I am working on “Zoom in – Zoom out” approach to develop this combination of being a big picture thinker & also being good at detail oriented.
- Interference # 2: Self- Critical : Due to some reason/effects of my upbringing, I have always been self critical and kept high targets, which are not practical in achieving. Due to which, I was doubtful & self – critical.
- Interference # 3: Too much of cluttered thoughts resulting in shallow work & procastination: Besides, I have been doing a lot of shallow work, instead of deep work ( a term coined by the author, Cal Newport). What I mean by deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. I believe it’s a skill that allows me to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time, this is an essential part of a risk manager’s job. Doing multitasking is good, however, too much random things actually confuses the mind and does not provide continuity of thoughts.
- Interference # 4: Confirmation Bias : I believe what I want to
When I have a belief or hypothesis in my mind that I think it’s true, consciously or unconsciously, I am more likely to seek more evidence to prove it right.I open my eyes to more positive examples that strengthen the belief but tend to ignore everything else that disprove and violate it. I miss to perceive the circumstances objectively and I pick only a part of the data that makes me feel good because it supports my prejudices. I am aware of this bias and I am working on it.
- Interference # 5: Highly Sensitive : Many people confuse the understanding between being sensitive and emotional . Many would say both are the same. I would say, both are very different. To me sensitive persons are those, who have deep emotions within them. Emotional persons are those, who express their emotions irrespective of the situation, I am aware that I am a highly sensitive person. Many self help books and authors focus on what happens when our emotions cloud our judgement. But what I have not seen is how not taking actions and lacking decisiveness can also build up to ones pent up frustration. This is one of my weakness. Many a times, I have been on the other side. e.g. The thought of criticism is terrible to me. I often go to great lengths to avoid it. This leads to people-pleasing as well, and trying my hardest to always make sure everyone likes me and happy with me. I’m afraid that people will think I am annoying, I go out of my way to make sure they don’t feel that way. Because of this highly sensitive nature. I guess it’s with more awareness, time and effort I can come out of this trait.
My Yearnings :
- To bridge the chasm between me and my aspirations
- Achieving Mastery in my profession ( Expand & Deepen)
- Something to look up to
- Something to look forward to
Benjamin Franklin once wrote an article called “The Morals of Chess.” The insights in the article were amazing and some of then virtues can be applied to real life situation, I believe and thus summarize.
- Foresight – Doing my best to consider the consequences of my actions
- Circumspection – Considering all of my options
- Caution – Not making moves hastily
- Avoiding Discouragement – There is usually something, I can do to make my situation better even if the situation looks hopeless.