Thursday, 16 May 2013

It Must Be Thursday: The Total Perspective Vortex In Practice


 The ongoing saga of a weekly That-Was-The-Week-That-Was posting.

Commenting on things that caught my attention for better or for worse and left me shaking my fist at the sky and shouting "Whyyyy!!!" 
After all: until science brings us a better use for Thursdays - what else is there to do?

 



There's always that temptation to believe that we are the exact centre of the universe, isn't there?


When you think about it being human is a weird thing - we live in a world entirely of our own making, where we can never have any perception of how the others around us see and experience things and, in fact, as far as we know other people could be little more than robots that go back into their boxes for storage when we are not there.  How much better the world might be then if we could only see and experience things that others do - maybe then we'd be more tolerant.

Anyway: have you ever found yourself in a situation, maybe at work or in some social group, perhaps at your local church or speakers club, where you find yourself becoming the "reliable one": the one that everyone turns to in order to get something done, feeling under more and more pressure to be there and unable to turn away feeling that if you step down then no one will offer themselves to take your place?

Or perhaps you've known someone at work who either you or they were convinced without whom the whole thing would fall apart?  Someone who marched into the manager's office believing themselves indispensable and demanding more salary, only to walk out again without a job?

Well: I'm going to let you into a little secret and that is that one of the hardest lessons in life is that no one, and I do mean no one, is indespensible

In one of the Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy Douglas Adams talked about a machine called the Total Perspective Vortex into which subjects would be put so they could finally see their place in the universe - the effect of which was insanity or death.  Sometimes working for a big company can be like that too - you can feel like a grain of sand on a never ending beach.

But here's the thing: it's ok to be dispensable.  It's perfectly fine to let go and to walk away.  The weight of the world does not sit on your shoulders and nor should it have to.

If you want to take on more responsibilities at work, at leisure or at home then do so - but you should never feel that you HAVE to do so and nor should you feel under pressure to keep on doing something when those around you just shrug their shoulders and say "ah but you do it so well" - because ultimately the world will keep on turning and there will always be someone, somewhere who can do it too.

3 comments:

The Bug said...

I don't think I'm indispensible, exactly, but I do think that when I get back from vacation I'll have a mess to clean up :)

I have had cases in the past where people that I thought were indispensible went away (changed jobs, were out sick for a long time) & we actually did survive. It was eye opening!

Stephen Hayes said...

I learned just how dispensable I was when I opened my own business and no one rang my bell or was interested in me or the products I was selling.

Michael Burrows said...

This is a healthy attitude. Avoid attachment. But with what shall we fill this emptiness?