Thursday, May 26, 2011

Do we really know best??

"One can only know one's strengths when one is dead and people get chances to write obituaries", a senior HR manager said in the course of a get together arranged today, addressing all the junior managers working for the Bosch group in India. 

This got me thinking... In life, many a time, we tend to think that, when we decide, we decide best. It is borne out of the desire within each one of us to exercise control over our destinies in some small measure or the other. But, the moot point is, do we really know what is best for us? If yes, why do we think that something that is decided for us by others won't be good in the long term? 

This senior manager also alluded to the Johari Window, seeming to suggest that there is a "blind spot" in all of us. Its only that in some of us, this window is small and the "arena" is large. In this case, there is a concurrence of sorts -We seem to appreciate the decisions of others since we think, we would have taken the same decisions! When the "blind spot" is large, alas, we get deceived by believeing that, since we only know ourselves best, we alone are entitled to chart our future. 

Now comes the larger question of identity! When we ask ourselves who we are, what is the answer that we get. Depending on every individuals Johari mapping, the answer might be slightly different. Most of us would agree however with the fact that what we are is more often nothing but what we are perceived to be. It is from others' perceptions that we infer our own identities. If others perceive me to be a good listener, then I stand vindicated by thinking high of my own listening abilities. Vice versa, there is cognitive dissonance! 

By crediting ourselves with superior abilities of discernment, we hinder our own prospects of being open to accept negative feedback.  So, when somebody else appears even remotely to chart our careers, we instinctively revolt. The first thought is, how can he/she do that? What right does he/she have to do that? It is revolt, resistance and loss of control that we feel. We desire putting our feet down and respond in a stubborn manner. 

Every step that we take in life, can be looked at, from two perspectives. The first perspective is that if we are in a position, where we can exercise control over our steps, instead of just blindly believeing that we know best, it is prudent to consult others (relatives, friends and well wishers) whether they concur with what we think. The other perspective comes in, when we are not in control of these steps. In such a case, it is important to look at the long term - if, in the long term, there is a possibility of things working out to our satisfaction, it is better to suppress the rebel in us and learn to love the direction in which the steps lead us! As they say, one might as well enjoy sitting through a traffic jam if it is eventually going to lead us to our destinations!! The journey might be arduous, but it might well be worth it!!



Siva Awesome post dude :) :) To be frank i too think as y we are thinking we are the best( Even i have tat aspect) :):) but if we can control and listen our life will be good than ever :) :) Listening is an important asset for everyone :) :) Good one dude :) Awesome read !!

Shiva said...

@Ravi: Thanks dude...Agree when you say we ought to you see, we delude ourselves by wondering, why we should listen, when we "know best" what is good for us :)