Carving Out a Place In the Work World, Part – 2
Carving Out a Place In the Work World, Part – 2

Carving Out a Place In the Work World, Part – 2

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Laboring Under A Misconception


Noah had decided to become an entrepreneur and lead a life that would offer him the fulfillment he needed, but he was still not ready for action. At this juncture, his big dream for autonomy and personal prosperity independent from the organizational tribe felt like a threat. It’s very likely to cost him everything he considered secure, convenient, and familiar. It will cost him relationships, many of which in his busy world were friendships of utility. He could imagine less than a handful of them surviving a reboot of his life. “THE HIGHER OUR SELF-ESTEEM, THE MORE AMBITIOUS WE TEND TO BE, NOT NECESSARILY IN A CAREER OR FINANCIAL SENSE, but in terms of what we hope to experience in life —emotionally, intellectually, creatively, spiritually.”

For as long as he can remember, his need for security dictated all of his choices and actions. What he imagined to be The Good Life. He was not blind to the fact that at some point in time, he had drifted into an alternate reality where the “I have” surpassed the “I am” in priority, detached from the values of his childhood. Whenever the need arose to assert the “I am,” he suppressed it. He was spoon-fed what success needed to look like and he gulped it down without further examination whether it was what he truly desired. He was now unsure if he could afford the price tag attached to his fulfillment. Was he even capable of walking away from the business he built for his Company, year after year, win after win? In his 30s, he frequently slept in his car. When he didn’t have time for sleep, he took that opportunity while in transit. When he arrived home early hours of the following day, he’d realize he was having the first meal from his earlier day.

Although he didn’t grow up believing he was smart. To compensate, he worked his hardest stringing day and night together. He remained adaptable, eager to learn, and had unlimited curiosity to know and understand everything about his clients’ needs, even the ones they didn’t know existed. He offered solutions that were highly innovative and technical. Until he finally made it, taking the business from EBITDA USD300K to USD18 million over a period of 18 years. “Educational psychologist E. Paul Torrance, commenting on the accumulating scientific evidence that our implicit assumptions about the future powerfully affect motivation, writes, “IN FACT, A PERSON’S IMAGE OF THE FUTURE MAY BE A BETTER PREDICTOR OF FUTURE ATTAINMENT than his past performances.”

What He Lost….
Being able to afford an excellent education for his children gave him a sense of pride. He thought it was excellent until his son came home with a bloodied and torn shirt one day. He was getting bullied at school for over a year, and he’d kept it from his dad. It had escalated, and the bully had pushed him down the stairs. Noah found out only because the housekeeper told him. The teachers knew about it and did nothing. He stormed into the principal’s office the next day, roaring in anger, and transferred both kids to another school. They seemed to be happier there. His daughter is no longer in black all the time. But they now seem to have adopted a culture entirely alien to his own. The kids invested in their relationships with their peers, who seemed to fill in all the blanks created by his absence. He felt he was losing all his power and influence over them. His parents were also busy, living two separate lives, but his grandparents picked up those pieces. His grandparents were his values. Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, Hold On To Your Kids THE POWER TO PARENT WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO WHOMEVER THE CHILD DEPENDS ON, WHETHER OR NOT THAT PERSON IS TRULY DEPENDABLE, APPROPRIATE, RESPONSIBLE, OR COMPASSIONATE—whether or not, in fact, that person is even an adult.

The Point of No Return

His big achievements became the norm, uncelebrated. He felt invisible most of the time to the Absent Omnipresent, his CEO. His CEO was visible everywhere except to his key people and high performers. He invested in and nurtured favorites in the Company with whom he enjoyed good relationships socially. Noah had already gone through 10 of those as bosses. He knew it was not within his span of control, so he focused on the things that he could control. He was glad it appeared his CEO now had no favorites left within his division globally.

Until he was summoned by him one day to a meeting at his hotel, Noah was surprised but was extremely pleased. He is probably going to congratulate him on the recent achievements of his team. As he drove, he imagined how satisfying that promotion would feel. It took all his patience to drive within the speed limit. That day, he so wished he could fly. Finally, recognition…He now felt terrible that he’d misjudged the situation. He walked into the room with a big smile on his face. Two chairs faced each other, and he was invited to sit.

There was a sinking feeling in his all-knowing gut as he sat down. He suspected before, but he knew now what was coming. It was happening again. His CEO started speaking about how impressed he was with the high credentials, performance and capabilities of…. STEVE!!! Noah’s mind immediately shut down after the words: “I want you to report to Steve. This is what I want, so you should do it”.

The CEO’s mistake that day was that he had misjudged both the situation and the man. He had invited a point of no return. He was putting a loyal Company man in a position where he had no other choice but to assert himself beyond any cost imaginable to both sides. “THE STABILITY WE CANNOT FIND IN THE WORLD we must create within our own persons.


  1. Such a beautiful read. This article series hits me so hard, there was a time when ill give high priority to my work only, just to carve out a place for myself in this work world.

    Keep inspiring all the amazing souls out there, Muriel.

    Thank you.

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