We have been told many a time that in order to rise to the top, we might want to be jerks. There is no data to support this theory, however. People do rise to the top not because they were jerks but, despite being jerks. Even then it’s not worth it because we have spent our days being jerks while we could have practiced being better people.
Lately, I have been seeing a rise in an interest in the area of cognitive psychology. Organizations want to know how our brain works so they could develop products and services to steal more of our time, energy, and attention. Case in point is the social media platforms such as Facebook.
In that context, who is an intelligent person? It is someone who knows the loopholes of his intelligence.
Many of us have a daily routine to optimize our time and energy to make the most out of our days. However, having a daily routine can have drawbacks if we are not conscious of it.
With a newborn at home, my daily routine has turned upside down in the last few weeks and this made me wonder about the topic even more. Instead of having a daily routine, a better strategy would be to have daily “routines”. When things go wrong, we have an alternate routine to fall back into and it can keep us sane. This way, instead of our routine owning us we can own our routine. This also makes us more conscious of our day-to-day activities instead of doing things in an autopilot mode. We will hence be able to handle change in a better manner.
Discipline is a form of freedom, but left unchecked becomes a form of tyranny.
I came across this brilliant quote on Seth Godin’s blog on how to do better work over and over again and it actually made sense to me. “Relentlessly give credit, and take more responsibility.” The reason this works is that when we take more responsibility we are embracing blame when something doesn’t work and giving credit to someone else when it works. When we give credit to someone else over and over again, that person would come back to us to do more of that thing that worked. It’s the work that matters and the fact that we are getting to do more great work is what matters more than getting the credit for the work we have done. Enjoy the doing part without inflating our egos.
I came across this interesting video that describes a yogic perspective on work. Any work that we do with full involvement can be used as a process of our growth. However, there is a significant difference between using an external activity and using an internal method for our growth or ‘sadhana.’ Since our external activities are subjected to a certain level of performance, rewards, and results, our internal process becomes even more important on a day-to-day basis. Many people start on to do many things with passion at first but, eventually, this passion has burnt them down. That’s why it is important to do at least one thing every day for ourselves as an end in itself as not as a means to an end. The process is more important than the goal. In other words, it’s always important to do our work right instead of looking for the right job.
Therefore, we need to establish ourselves first and then, act. Otherwise, we will use our external activities to make ourselves who we are. If we are using our external action to make ourselves into something, anything that comes the way that doesn’t allow us to become who we want to grow as it can destroy us.
Don’t try to be a yogi by teaching yoga. You become a yogi first and when people are interested to learn from you, then teach. Otherwise, simply close your eyes and sit and just be a yogi.
I came across this article that introduced me to the concept of extreme careerism. The thing about extreme careerism is that we may suffer from it but, we may not be aware of it yet. Hence, it’s important to be mindful of it even to recognize the symptoms. The below excerpt from the article explains this concept well.
Marketing and trying to manage other people’s impression of one’s work becomes much more important than the work itself once few people can tell the difference between work that is good enough and work that is better. It happens when people begin to tell you how to manage your appearance rather than your work, e.g. what to wear, what to say, who to talk to, and where to be seen.
This question is called Kant’s categorical imperative. We use this theory for things that are convenient for us and not for everything. When it comes to saving money for the future, we usually do not ask this question – what if everyone saved their earnings and not spend at all? We usually take it as a given that everyone spends their money to live in the present and be a consumer.