- a kind of virtual social intelligence, a reaching out on Group Dynamics and Human Processes at the Workplace ( http://www.workplacecatalysts.com ) .
- Foster a discretionary Presence in Groups, to enable human capability.
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Recently, I got a call – out of the blue, “Joseph, I want a
conversation, when can I call you?” It was a request for a longer conversation
time with someone I knew for over 25 years. This college classmate was looking for
some friendly advice on next steps in her career. She was not exactly directionless,
nor was she without ambition. She was dexterously managing work-life balance as
they say from a very gender-specific perspective. Just listening to her was
impressive. She keeps her passion for a stamp on career even as she rears two children,
and tends to her ageing parents in another city.
A day job at an organisation for over a decade, and yet, the
search for near ultimate expression of a more accomplished capability was
calling her. In the mid-40s, such a calling is often planning for the real life,
after apprenticeship with the world’s ways. What she wanted was information on
zoning in to home base – the launch-pad for career expression in contemporary
India! It took me a while, and this event triggered a flashback into several of
my classmates lives. What may they have been thinking around now? Such could be
active imagination for the most part. But when it came to – there was a more
essential reflection for me. I lay it out as below.
1.Those who were academically frontrunners in the
rat-race are not keeping up as much in social-media terms. They are either
stuck in their clock rhythms of meritorious achievement in professional
circuits or are being numbed by emerging trends for which no school prepared
2.Meritorious rank-holders do not figure in the
social ladder as much, irrespective of gender or profession. A few stalwarts senior
to me in school have notched up positions of repute in the Big 5 consulting
3.A batch junior to me from school is more worldly
connected with causes that partake of their near-anonymous generosity in
education and employment generation in rural India. Few social networks break
away from the occasional loafing from nuclear family to creating a worldwide
community of elevated purpose.
4.Bachelors got lonelier by their mid-40s not
knowing whether their choices were worth their youthly bravado against the
5.Substance abuse like alcohol and cigarettes were
more likely if the conjugal bond were under strain for a while; and the habit
kicked in in the early 20s itself.
6.Divorces were more among the marriages which were
consummated in the early 20s of life.
7.The entrepreneurial among my classmates seem
more emotionally mature too. Responsibility, self-dependence, and requisite
networking are fair words of description. They are outwardly modest, humble and
make for role models for me too. SIMON SINEK ON PURPOSE or the WHY of LIFE
8.Classmates, whose parents had marital
discomfort, have chronic issues in understanding themselves. They struggle to
be free from parental tensions even late in adult life, and are lonelier than
they may admit to the few they are in touch with.
9.Classmates, who married early, tend to have more
marital discord and career adjustments to make than those who married later.
Having integrated merely in the shallow regions of either gender, the journey
to the deep end of the opposite gender is a lifetime in the making. The
humility and honesty to self-reflect eludes those who set themselves up in teen-age
romantic imaginations. Their facades are apparent to me as they project their
anxieties and unmet aspirations through their children.
10.Female Classmates who married early include a minority
whose male spouses dominate their choices so blatantly, that they unconsciously
introject the unreasonable male aggression as part of their persona. This has
robbed us of their original grace and beauty of character. Their children
suffer from low self-esteem and side with their ill-supported and hapless mothers.
Their male spouses fantasise dominance and face scant censure or correction
from family or therapy.
11.Those who were academically dull, are also doing
well at life, some of them thriving better than the most brilliant in class. They
seem to be more complete in their equipment for a fuller life than the
academically forward ones.
12.Like in most analyses, there are outliers and
outliers. One such lives a relatively hermit life, growing organic produce on
agricultural land, without a care for material oomph or prestige symbols of the
rat-race he fell out of. To me he is a
stoic reminder of human grit. And choice!
TONY D'MELLO ON De-addiction from DEPENDENCE
A school Principal who passed
away earlier this year once told me “Life without ideals impoverishes practice.
It robs you of meaning in life”. As products of our time, I reflect and realize
that most of my generation wound their time-clocks to the reductionary ideals
of a job. Irrespective of how high-paying a job was, few have struck a life of
purpose, beyond the contours of a job.
However, I must admit hearing
from CEO classmates of an itch that tells them that something is missing. One
of them came close to calling it quits, but hangs on not as much for dear life,
as much as for certitude that his family may want. Pushing beyond that point
has been a challenge for most in my generation, and time leaves its imprint on
us in cohorts as it were.
As I write this, I also admit to
a realisation that generations that succeeded us strike their Purpose questions
in their mid-30s. Whether this has meant more stress and strain of coping or
the early arrival of life’s opportunities is unclear to me. Has the Purpose
question hit you deep? Taking a leaf from Master
John Scherer, I ask as below :
1.What inside you calls out to be expressed into
2.What in you must be manifest in whatever
work you do?
3.What would you be willing to do, even if you did
not get paid for it?
4.What does your being alive and on earth make
5.What do you feel? Does it not score over what you
To my classmates, a special mention –
you let go of, that you will open up to yourself now?