Don’t have yourself fooled

I have recently read for the second time the book “Linchpin” from Seth Godin.
I do sometimes read a book twice; it is when I would like to check how much of its insights I have really absorbed and produced a change in my behavior and in the way I perceive the world around me.

This book thought me a Tibetan word, “Prajna“, which stands for “clear seeing”.
It refers to the ability to “see things as they truly are, to use Godin’s words “the ability to untangle the objective truth of a situation”.

“The ability to see the world as it is begins with an understanding that perhaps it’s not your job to change what can’t be changed. Particularly if the act of working on that change harms you and your goals in the process.”

“Successful people are able to see the threads of the past and the threads of the future and untangle them into something manageable.”

I have experienced on my skin how decades of habit have not just got me falling into old routines, but drastically altered the way I perceive the world.
The more I tended to conformity, the more pain I received from the ever changing world, because of my resistance.

Sometimes we lose the ability to analyze situations because of the fact we got used to see life (work, people) trough the lens of our conformity.
Loosing the ability to discern real situations and problems, means losing the possibility to see opportunities.
And we volountarily get used to a comfortable repeatable path because it make us feel more safe.

Even if market, business, competitors are clearly telling you the opposite, you stick with your vision. And you lose.

You tend to search for reassurances, so it’s a relief when you see your budget numbers staying stable. You can tell yourself “then I can refuse seeing the fact that my competitors are working hard to adapt to a changing world, I can stick with the good old path”.
I am allowed to do it as so far I see business from the lens of revenues numbers, and revenues numbers haven’t kicked my ass yet.

But for how long?

When I interview people for recruiting, several times I find candidates searching for a change which is not a change at all. Their company has changed, and changed their relationships with management. They did not make any effort to understand the reasons behind, and they started searching for a company with processes they can regognize again as familiar, consoildated, safe.
Because consolidated, means no change, no change means no effort, and no effort means no pain.

This is true at any level, from the last of employees up to management.
If a new kind of cross-business is coming up, or barriers between industry branches are melting down, it’s hard to reorganize business division.
It requires taking risks. So, no matter what business is yelling at you, we tend to watch other parameters. Are people leaving our company? Are we still receiving resumes? Are we still on budget plans?
The more “yes” we find, the less we worry about the rest.
It’s a pain to look carefully at competitors, having the courage to ask questions to players you consider smaller, or “right behind you”.

This is why it’s sometimes good to feel as “strangers”, even where you expect to feel comfortably familiar, even in the company you work for.
Accept that maybe something as changed around you.  Just wonder why. And find opportunities.
If your group has changed from 5 people to 50, and your manager has not been calling you in the past 3 months, then you have several options.

You can get angry, rush, and pretending things get back as they were, back as “they should be”.
Or maybe you can decide to make your move. Maybe these absences are creating a “scarcity”, a “need”, and maybe you can fill it.

But the only way not to miss changes is keeping your eyes open, and this practically means talking with others, asking questions, meeting new people. Manage your energy according to your needs, to your projects, your dreams.  Don’t use them to resist.

Forcing reality to “Roll-back” to a previous version you preferred can be extremely hard and tiring.

Look for the awesome in the people around you. It will inspire you. Look at people who are still feeling good in the new “environment”.

Are there any? If not, why can’t it be you?

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