The greatest fear in my professional life, I realised today, could be failing and appearing like a loser in front of someone you don’t admire much at your workplace. Today, I bet my life if I couldn’t figure the problem’s solution with all the expertise of my team and help at my disposal, there is not an iota of chance that he would be able to do it. Perhaps, I miscalculated something. Most nagging of all was the fact that we couldn’t even identify the real problem itself. So, finding a solution was out of question. I knew deep inside that this particular problem which kept defying me and my hard-working team’s all the possible trials to beat it for so long, may be a cakewalk for him. If not the solution, at least figuring the actual problem could be. After all, the problem belonged to his specialisation of education. He must have studied, read, seen it somewhere in college or elsewhere, who knows. But, my pride and inflated ego, blended with a disturbing truth of my constant failure at this clouded my rationale. I openly declared in front of him and my team that we needed a third-party help there. It killed me from inside to learn from my team that they wanted to seek his help as he could probably do it for the above reasons. And, he being a part of the other team never really tried his hands to find the problem. May be that reinforced my assertions internally in my mind that he is really incapable to do it, and that my team is uselessly paranoid to get his help simply because he studied that specialisation in college.
Unfortunately, I am alloted a department which needs some knowledge in that kind of specialisation to work comfortably. Here was the miscalculation. I thought him to be equally incompetent as myself in the problem area and thus never sought his help. But, he gave it a try after several requests from my team. He figured the problem in seconds, rectified it in minutes. I don’t know if he was always sure he would be figure it with such ease and that he had just let us suffer in our own incompetence for sometime unless he was short of pity to throw on us, but it doesn’t matter anyway.
What mattered then was this: I was seen as an incompetent person to handle my department and he became the star for years to come, an all-rounder of who could lead both the teams. Not that he was any less a hero in the eyes of the people around already, but, it kind of burst ‘my’ bubble. My own mental world where I was the hero of everything I did and had always felt complacent enough assuming that everyone happily subscribed to my work and thought process and appreciated it silently. That world came crumbling down. I felt weak, literally. I felt like escaping somewhere, may be through deep sleep, so that when I wake up, all the events that just transpired gets erased and disappear like images in a bad dream.
What matters now, as I am writing this piece has nothing to do with failures and success. Just one thing, one lesson, one takeaway for today. Do not let a bubble of complacency, self obsession, haughtiness etc. form around you. Let go of your false ego. The more the ego, the bigger the bubble, and the greater the damage when it bursts. Everyone can do everything or may be not, do not bother. Not withstanding that, remember everyone is important and no one deserves to be demeaned.
Once the mind transcends from hatred to love or respect or even indifference, the greatest fear will cease to exist.