Monday, 30 March 2015

How can we regain our self-respect and confidence?

In our careers, mental health, stress, burn out, and suppression of our talents or fearmongering by others and being in a job that is not consistent to our values in my view is fast becoming a disguised major problem in our work place that is not talked about enough nor acted upon by a likely fear of losing one's job.  I had only just recently met a financial institution that was under so much pressure to perform with its relentless pursuit of profit driven by its shareholder a venture capital firm and as a consequence burn out was common place. Something I come across more frequently in other firms. This has the potential of fast becoming a legitimate human rights issue.
When human nature is stretched to its inner limits and lacking understanding or purpose, we can become deeply unhappy. We can trap ourselve into losing our self-respect, whereby potentially losing our self-esteem and confidence. These different states of being yet inter-twined can affect our productivity or potential not just in ourselves but in our business too. In worse case scenarios this can lead to dark thoughts, aggressiveness and possible vengefulness. By this I mean that the more we become more engrossed in ourselves by losing sight of ourselves we become unaware of what mistakes or self harm we are capable of doing. This would undoubtedly prompt the wider deeper questions not just in us but in how, the way in which, and for what purpose we conduct business.

Not that I may be privy to suggest a link, it may come as no surprise that the highest selling pharmaceutical drug is an anti-depressant by the name of Aripiprazol. It might be worth mentioning that this is clearly not helped by our young who will one day follow, having traumatic experiences when a member of a pop group by the name of One Direction leaves that said in his own direction. (Note my generation were brought up never to idolise pop culture as I recall being pretty undeterred when Supertramp split)

Before I digress, all this begs the questions? Are we doing something wrong? What are our very own beliefs and what do we stand for?  What is wrong with our leaders in our peculiar age? Is it really so difficult to be inspired? Do we read the right books? How does the future bode for us all?

Be it what it may we must never despair. There are on occasion the great stories that capture us. A part Belgian sponsored Swiss manufactured solar powered aeroplane is flying across the globe. I believe this to be one of the greatest innovations of our current generation that I have encountered. The Netherlands has set up the first solar powered bicycle path for its cyclists. Something our cities may soon simply adapt. The Secretary General of Europa Bio had informed me that in the Biotech industry washing powders containing biotech enzymes can save up to 30% energy consumption in our homes because the enzymes allow us to have great results washing at just 30 degrees. By using industrial Biotech products too we can reduce chemical steps with biological steps and also allows to transform raw materials (either plants, plant waste or household waste) into added value products thus helping us to move away from a fossil fuel based society to a renewable material based society whereby dramatically reducing CO2 levels.
The Rockefeller Foundation and the UK Wellcome Trust have announced their divestment from fossil fuels and oil. Is all this paving the way for others and our financial institutions to follow suit seeking real change in energy, infrastructure, manufacturing and our environment toward a bright and very interesting future with new meaning?  Could this also deter Shell or Exxon Mobil to think twice and change their business strategy, before exploring any further oil exploration from our last few vital untouched wonders such as the North Pole?


In short to replicate ancient Chinese proverb when a crisis occurs it is a time for great change and opportunity. To really be part of the now and to make way for a bright and hopeful future, as humans we will need to re-adapt, come to terms with our past, pull out of our comfort zones, understand our real needs, open our hearts and change the way we think. Furthermore it is only by discretely regaining an inner self-respect, having a proper sense of ones own dignity that we can begin to see and respect others and the beauty around us. By this we can learn to accept that we make mistakes know our limitations, live by our values and as a result our self-esteem and confidence may be lifted. Simply through our sense of curiosity we can seek the good and not the pleasure, search for compassion and not indifference.  We can gently challenge others whilst accepting to be challenged. And in being coherent, solid and firm in ourselves we can begin to understand the suffering of others. That is one thing that we Europeans have going for ourselves. We are a resilient bunch. We have the ability to fly the flag into battle with full confidence, renewed hope and purpose in our very challenging, eventful and ever changing world.



Become what you are…

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