Most of us seek more happiness, more growth, more acknowledgement, more fame and of course, more money than what we have at present. Most of us have many reasons like situations, lack of opportunities, use of unethical means or misfortune as impediments that block our road to glory.
Ronald .A. Heifetz talks about ‘getting on the balcony.’ It refers to separating oneself from the thick of action while action is on and move to a balcony upwards to have a macro view of the situation. If I am playing a match, when I get on the balcony, I can see my whole life in the playground, without a bias. I can see myself playing with respect to other players. I can see others making a pass and calibrating a move. I can feel the reactions of the audience and see my own actions.
When I get on the balcony, I realize three major mistakes on my part:
I love stereotypes
Life is not a puzzle for us as we remember all the pieces and place them in the same way, again and again. ‘Men are from mars and love maps’, ‘Praying everyday makes us calm’, ‘Sharing the laundry makes me a good husband’ – are only the tip of our mental iceberg of stereotypes.
When I live my life by nursing some stereotypes, I don’t challenge anyone including myself and I contribute to maintaining the status quo. Symbolic breaking of stereotypes through government plans and advertising is the biggest stereotype which creates 2 minutes iconoclasts and whistle blowers.
I love stereotypes because I love my comfort zone. I think of adaptive change, I hear about altering my perception and then, I chew eucalyptus leaves like a Kuala and enjoy my sleep.
I love everyone around
I think about many successful friends and acquaintances. I like and comment on different social media platforms about various issues and happenings because I love my network. When I consume my time and energy in thinking and analyzing all these people, I ignore my very self. I don’t dwell deep into my own dreams and aspirations because I benchmark, myself against my set of friends, colleagues and influencers.
This pseudo closeness to plethora of people takes me away from myself but close to shadows of others.
I love hero worship
I love to gaze at all these super achievers who have made it big in sports, entertainment, business or academics. I am in awe of ace performers who top their lists. We show respect to heads of institutions, stoop in front of leaders with formal authority. We worship charisma and power.
When we clap for heroes whose fame/power/formal authority wields control over us, we behave like fanatic fans. We ignore the unsung heroes who bring silent revolutions each day to make the heroic acts of the charismatic heroes possible.
When I am on the balcony, I realize that I love to make these mistakes over and over again because I resist change. I resist change because I resist loss. If I start rejecting stereotypes, I will lose comfort of my comfort zone. If I stop thinking about people and start focusing on adaptive change for myself, I will fear the loss of approving acquaintances and supportive friends. If I will start valuing real unsung heroes, I will lose the larger than life feel that keeps my eyes wide open with admiration.
Do you resist change because you are scared of losing yourself with whom you have been living comfortably without getting on the balcony?