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Exploring Possibilities: Human Evolution-From Independence To Inter-dependence
If you visit a bookstore you can find a lot of books on self-help, rather an entire section is dedicated to it, but perhaps there is no section in the bookshop on how to help others. How can I lose 15 kilograms, how can I find a girl of my dreams, or how can I find a dream job, and so on and so forth. Still to see a book that reads, how can I help my friend lead a healthy lifestyle or how can I help a person to live a life of fulfilment.
To be human is all about service to others. We are designed that way. Everything about our make up our biology, our anthropology, is to, work with and for each other. That’s why an in-person event, where we get to sit next to each other excites us more than the online event. We all have been brought up with, with the learning that human beings are a social animal. This excessive inclination towards self-help, perhaps explains the reason behind the fading emotion of empathy.
Leaders around the world actually become in charge of people, whereas they should take care of the people in their charge. When we start our careers, we all are good at our jobs. Some of us develop skill sets to do it better. Our organizations also put us to intensive training for our functional skill development. When we perform well, we get the promotion.
Now once we are promoted, we are responsible not for the job, but we are responsible for the people who are responsible to do the job. Since we know how to do the job better than others we start doing micro management, and here we lose the plot. The plot of evolution through empathy, which is only possible by helping others to develop. We always want to get most out of the people. This is like squeezing them. Empathy is when we help people in being their natural best.
Our ability to help others to grow, makes our influence infinite. Here if I ask someone, what kind of abilities do they want to acquire, finite or infinite. Most people will say infinite. When it comes to work culture, members of a finite team work for the salary day, whereas members of the infinite teams work for the vision, mission and cause. Remember America vs Vietnam war. American soldiers fought for promotions, Vietnamese fought for their lives. In the movie Lagaan, British played for their arrogance, but the villagers played for their lives.
Those who have infinite perspective put potential as a benchmark. An organization like apple will think of creating a better experience for its customers (helping others), whereas its competitors will be worried about how to beat apple(helping self). It’s easy to guess which one will lose its gas faster.
So the goal of the person who helps others to grow is not to be the best, but to help others to be the best version of themselves. This person is not insecure, but self-confident. Such people strive to be better than themselves.
For them their salary is not the purpose of their employment, for them it’s an outcome of the efforts they put in for their organization. This gives them the joy, as we all know joy comes not from comparison, but from advancement. Comparison is a depressing way to live a life.
I urge you all to look at the infiniteness of the game of life, have some empathy for the people around you, develop social skills more than the technical skills, help others to grow. Self-help will automatically fall in place. Self-help makes us independent, but when we help others we establish the relationship of interdependence …..and yes we will again explore possibilities…
(The author is a Certified Designed Thinking Master practitioner and Clifton Certified Strength Finder Coach, Corporate Trainer and a Leadership coach. He is based in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, India.)