Judge yourself at your best, not at your worst
2 May 2017 - By Francesco Granati, alumnus: 'I often think of how astronauts might feel. Imagine yourself up there, looking at planet earth. Doesn’t everything seem so petty in front of such of a majestic view?'
Everyone can say: I had no time. The truth however is that everyone on this planet has the same 24 hours a day. So, the question for me would rather be: It’s not that you didn’t have time. You used it for something else. What kept you busy instead of this?
I had a few very challenging months at work, both in terms of how busy it was but also in terms of how unhappy I was. It seems that the worse the mood, the less you want to blog, write and take time for things that would normally make you a bit happier (and isn’t this ironic, that exactly when we need these things most, we just shut down).
Work is such a big part of our lives. I’ll make a bold statement and say that work represents a good 85-90% of our life. If that isn’t going too well, it’s easy to see why it would affect our lives.
Whilst I am trying to make this article about a bit more than my petty, and really, trivial office dramas, it’s vital for me to own up to what I know by now that I could have done better. Do you want to take it as advice? If so, please be my guests; I do indeed think that it could come in handy one day along your path.
- Point 1: I have been too honest. When has that ever been a problem? Well, to all you sincere souls out there who have to bite their tongue before speaking out everything that goes through their minds; it can and will be a problem. Your opinion is not always requested and appreciated. And whilst every fibre of your being wants to fight back and tell the world what really is on your mind, your real personal version of the truth: don’t. Relax, sit back. Some employers prefer so called yes-men over people who will stand by what they believe is just and true. Basically, before being very passionate about your opinions, try to ask yourself if anyone wants to hear them. If not, it’s counterproductive. As harsh as it might sound, no matter how enticing a job spec might be, a company is paying you to do a job the way they want you to do it, period.
- Point 2: I haven’t been diplomatic enough. This nicely ties in with point 1. Whilst it might be dramatic, it might feel cool, it might feel right to say what everyone is thinking but nobody has the courage to speak up about – it will blow up in your face. Diplomacy, even if it means denying every single thought that is going through your head right there at that exact moment, is the way forward. More or less every job has a hierarchical approach (and trust me, even the ones where it seems like there isn’t); when push comes to shove, you are one of the foot soldiers, and they are generals. And you need to do what is required of you, even if you don’t like it. Please, please, beware of the places that make you think this is not the case.
- Point 3: Repetition and lack of acknowledgement creates boredom. Boredom in turn creates laziness and I imagine that disillusionment and frustration fit in there nicely somewhere. And to continue on this train of thoughts: laziness might also increase the risk of mistakes. The only thing I can tell you is that when you feel boredom is slowly creeping up behind your shoulders, be vigilant and acknowledge it. Why are you bored? Try to identify the root of this challenge and act accordingly: change the conditions of the situation, or change the situation completely.
Oh boy. Cry me a river right? Things move on. Everything is relative. I often think of how astronauts might feel. Imagine yourself up there, looking at planet earth. Doesn’t everything seem so petty in front of such of a majestic view? How pathetic and ridiculous does mankind become when you look from up there and think of terrorism, the war in Syria, North Korea and last but not least, each one’s personal office drama? I always find that thought soothing.
In a recent book I read by Ethan Hawke (yes the actor, and yes he is a really good writer) called ‘Rules for a Knight’ he writes: You should always judge yourself at your best, not at your worst. It was just one of those perfect sentences that I re-read several times. I am putting a conscious effort to always remember to judge myself when I am on top, not when I am at the bottom. I invite you guys to do the same in tough times.
Francesco Granati (31) completed the Master’s programme in Communication Science (track Persuasive Communication) in 2014.