Over the years I have seen people who live liberated and fulfilled lives and people who feel bound by circumstances and other people, and feel that a fulfilled life is just a distant dream.
I knew a person who had six children, he would always be upset with at least one of them, on some pretext or the other, by doing this he kept the other five on their toes, and this was the game that he had mastered. Sadly the pressure of such negativity had such a toll, that three of the children developed extremes complexes, and became dysfunctional. They either ended up divorced, or had bad marriages, and were either addicted to alcohol, anger or depression.
The person in question lived a philosophy of either perform or perish, and for him performance meant catering to his needs. Over the years as his own children became dysfunctional, he became more and more bitter and in the end died in misery, but sadly on his death bed, little did he realize that it was he who had wronged.
By contrast I am reminded of a lady, who lived literally the exact opposite. Her philosophy was to be happy with her children, even if they were not always up to the mark. She always would have a thought to be self-reliant. She would smile and seldom frown. She would be happy and cherish her children. Whenever she was around her children, there would be a mild celebration. Be it a simple meal or having the evening tea, it was an occasion to relish and enjoy being with each other.
People were never on their toes around this wonderful lady. She practiced the philosophy that it was ones behavior that effected one`s happiness the most, not how others behave. While she is no more, many people remember her with great fondness.
Lincoln`s famous lines `I destroy my enemies, by making them my friends.` What a thought to liberate and live fulfilling lives. When we trust others, the other person becomes trust worthy. But to trust others, one has to be strong ourselves. Often we weaken our self when we blame others for letting us down. I remember a liberated lady once having a conversation with the person whom she had invited for a small get together and the other person didn`t come. The lady smiled and shared with person the good times they had, and how others were wishing that the missing person would have been there. I could feel that the person was inspired to attend next time. Where as in a similar situation the grumpy man would have expressed his grudge in a manner that would have killed any desire in the person to attend any future occasions that the grumpy man would host.
`Similarly, the great places to work now-a-days are places where people working feel liberated and seek fulfillment while working. Gone are the days when an employee can be bound by rulers, threats or coercion and get him or her to contribute freely. Gone are the days when organizations can function with a bunch of reluctant contributors.` Now for organizations to function, they need to have committed contributors.
The leader plays a vital role to ensure that employees are in the commitment, and fulfillment loop. The leader needs to function in ways that allows employees to be `engaged, empowered and enabled to perform. In an environment where members feel used, misused and in some cases abused, the organization will fail to function.