Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Independence and True Freedom: 7 Things to Avoid to Have Freedom From Self-Centerdness and Selfishness

By:  Gilbert M. Forbes

Many of us are constantly searching from some sort of freedom.  It is a type of freedom from enslavement of self which is considered as the true essence of freedom.

This is usually attained true self actualization which according to Maslow is the topmost in the pyramid of needs. Basically, most of us are gifted with this ability because of being an spiritual creature.  However, this is overshadowed by our own weaknesses usually as a result of un-contained pride and prejudice to others. We tend to believe that we know ourselves but the truth is, we are not.  

This happens when we don’t recognize apart from knowing our weaknesses, how other people look at us and perceive our personalities.  This is the so called dark side or shadowed part of our self.  Psychology experts commonly call it the gray area.  These are the things that we know but people around us don’t know or things they know but we ourselves don’t know.

In knowing ourselves, the most difficult or challenging task is to accept how other people perceive our character.  Commonly this could be considered as the greatest blunder towards changes for the better. These types of people may listen but later reject what they are advised to do because they couldn’t simply accept the difference in personality or character they know and what others perceive.

Having some or even a few of this kind of personality in the workplace or team could be a great blunder particularly when urgent reforms are needed.  It’s because, people who couldn’t recognize or accept their gray areas find it difficult to do the following:
  • Get out of their comfort zones.  They are good at defending their turf in the guise of the common good.  They are good to seek and have the support of others in their immediate circles so their leaders who don’t want friction have to resort to win-win solution jeopardizing the fast speed of reforms that need to be achieved.  At the outset, sectors of the organization who are expecting for immediate changes are either disillusioned or have to wait and be patient.  The worst, if they succeeded in their bullying strategy and as a result just choose a let it be stand.
  • Adjust to the increasing demands of work.  They tend to do the same thing over and over again even when the same result comes out.  Innovations are difficult to implement even learn a new tool such as the use of current available technologies.
  • They possess natural gift on the art of demolition.  Peers or leaders who are considered threats are either to be tamed or silence.  Those who can’t be because of their principles and idealism are the targets of demolition jobs in the nature of false accusations, assumptions, etc., usually aimed at tarnishing their untarnished names.  They are good at pretending.  To an unsuspecting individual, they thought that they are being treated well but once turn their backs, they are the ones spreading lies.
  •  Generosity and selflessness.  They are easy to complain on the kind of losses that may arise on something but find it difficult to give more in the name of service.  They used to ask more but give less.  Once they have done a favor or ask to do some over time work, they are expecting for something in return or they themselves will find ways to recover what they have given in different ways either obvious or not. 
  • Trust,, responsibility and accountability.  They find it easy to circulate gossips undermining the integrity of their fellow workers and most importantly their leaders.  They commonly distrust fellow workers who are trying their best to do the right thing always.  They usually distrust their immediate authority even in the presence of transparency.  They forget the fact that they are responsible and accountable to all the things they do.  They might be unaware about possible consequences of their actions but the truth is once leadership of any institution is weaken, its credibility challenge, if the institution falls, they themselves fall.  Hence they would not trust others, they themselves aren't trustworthy.  To test this fact, one may check the accuracy of your company or institutions log books.
  • Adjust to the lifestyle their incomes can support.  Most of the time, our gray areas falls on our inability to adjust the life style that our respective pay checks can afford.  Ordinarily, these are the people who before experienced some forms of let’s say bounty.  So to support and continue this life style, they learn to engage in other income generating activities- which the worst form would be to become corrupt.  Others who don’t have the position may do some extra income activities banking on their positions.  It is no surprising at all to know personnel who are selling this and that either in offices or in academic institutions.  There would be no wrong at it at first glance but once conflicting interest exists, apart from considering guidelines relative to it, delicadeza should apply.  On the other hand, others resort to borrowing finding out later that they are already indebted to the neck.
  • Punctuality.  This couldn't be considered a gray area of our personality but once it is done habitually, it becomes part of our character.  As it becomes part of our character, we tend to defend and elaborately reason out though there's no amount of excuse that could make it acceptable.
Is there something to hope for with this type of people or personalities?  We people are naturally ambivalent. So, it is an inherent trait that we are usually unaware of our respective gray areas.  But what is important is after we become aware of it, we could easily adjust- for the better.  Not only for the good of the organization where we belong, but most importantly for our self growth towards self actualization.  This ability is what separates us from ordinary living creature.

What about you, how are you separated and different from ordinary creature?

(Mr. Gilbert M. Forbes had his Bachelors Degree and MA in Educational Management (CAR) from the Philippine Normal University.  A campus paper adviser and trainer for 13 years.  Currently, he is a school principal in one of the central schools in the Division of Quezon.) 
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