What I am

By Eric Bruggeman. Eric, 55, is from Dayton, USA. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

The quote; “I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning,” holds true when what we are is fluid and not content in our approach and thoughts. We continue to do things that challenge us, things that make us grow as a person.  There is a lack of awareness however in not knowing what I am, because how then do I know I am making the right choices and engaging the right thoughts? Am I avoiding environments that can affect my fluidity or am I seeking environments that cultivate the evolution?

To answer that, it is important to be ‘aware’ at the highest level, starting with understanding that ‘life’ is happening to us. Our main interest often leads us to ‘life’ happening because of us. Realize ‘Life’ is happening in us, as well as happening for us in the choices we make. It also means it’s happening through us. And finally, we must recognize that in what we learn and what we do, we are ‘life’. So— what if, what I am is a zombie? Our toxic choices, lack of involvement, thought and contentment turns us into them. As a zombie, we do not evolve and are an obstacle to ourselves becoming someone else. How are we aware of this designation? The answer can be subjective depending on the person. What we can acknowledge is that none of us want to be a zombie.

Look at the quote from the angle of a zombie. It can determine our answerability to obtain positive change into someone else. For one, it’s not difficult to locate zombies roaming the halls where we work. They are the employed dead, who lack commitment and hunger only for a paycheck; drooling profusely for quitting time, unmotivated, and killing productivity with slow uninspired movement. They take up space together and are the ones congregating by the water cooler moaning and groaning loudly about; company policy, the living, or worse the organization! You can hear them chatter their teeth. It is a rotting nature that destroys a culture— an environment we should avoid.

The poor behavior of zombies is disparagingly aggressive— demotivating. It is not the vicious nature in how they slowly attack work or the people that makes it awful. It is a fact that workforce zombies provide no contribution to their lifecycle or the business’s; critical meetings, dialogue, innovation, or ingenuity. They bite into an organization’s bottom line. And before you know it, their negativity and contagious behavior are turning other high performers into zombies too. Part of becoming someone else involves being inspired by the leaders around us. Unfortunately, zombie managers can be the worst for inspiration because they are highly contagious. When they fail to motivate, have poor communication skills, and have unrealistic expectations they become the contagion. Being infected, we contribute to that under-performing culture no matter if we are the supervisor for that manager or the employee. We do become someone else but not into what we aspire.

In our apocalypse to answer what I am, you may be thinking I want to ‘live’. Living is taking control of your development and career path— you make history. You are seen as a contributor and collaborator in the way you build greater successes in yourself and those around you. You don’t moan, groan, or gurgle, your communication. For every goal, you outline a list of objectives that if met mean success. Your objectives are communicated with clear expectations. Expectations are utilized within questions to present a philosophical ‘maybe’ to a goal. That maybe is the potential possibility to develop into someone else. A leader’s healing begins by having realistic expectations for their team. Look around and observe your need to be more aware. Ask yourself, how do I foster excellence or hinder it? You don’t want to discover you need it later after your head literally gets bitten off. Be part of the cure and stop the dead. Be aware and become someone else you were not in the beginning. That never happens if you are aware that what I am, is a zombie.

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