Most of you who are reading this note will disagree with the captioned subject. Rightfully so!
The tendency for controlling things, controlling outcome and controlling people is observed as early as one gets out of the womb. Hence it’s easy to learn this, practice this and get habituated to this trait. Unfortunately, recognition of this problem is still not prevalent.
Controlling things and people can really be detrimental for others as well as for oneself.
But before I jump on this discussion, let’s focus on why?
Why do You like to control things?
As for everything in life, answers lie in your past.
Let’s rewind 3,500 years back, which saw the origination of money or currency. It has changed forms over the years but it originally started with IOUs and then took shape of coins made up of various precious metals, etc. With the advent of money, gratification was instant. You did something; you got something instantly in return. That something in turn could be used for purchasing something else instantly. This instant gratification led to focus on outcome rather than focus on input. Humans started thinking and planning to control the outcome. As humans evolved and population increased, the focus on instant outcome also increased. Thus, instead of giving time to other humans to explore, make mistakes, learn and evolve, guided instructions took the lead. Guided instructions further moved towards specific instructions and furthermore controlled and laid out processes. As industrialization happened, humans became so paranoid about processes that they started showing zero tolerance from process deviation.
Money dates back 3,500 years but humans date back 60,000 years. For almost 55,000 years, humans lived and survived on this planet by exploring, learning and improving. You fell ill, you went to the forest, picked various herbs, crushed them and ate them. Some worked, some didn’t. The ones which worked, you tried for other ailments, as well. The same holds true today as well.
Most infants start walking from the age 11 months to 15 months depending on food, nutrition and things they observe. But one common thing which exists with all newly walking infants is that they like to climb. In the modern city environment, most infants have never seen any adult or any parent climbing on the chair, stool or cupboard. But all infants with no exception if put near a chair will try and climb. As their memory dates back so many years where a child had to climb to pluck fruits to survive once he/she is off mother’s milk.
But as technology is progressing, so is restlessness and desire for instant satiation. With social media, you are able to get instant feedback on your work, with online shopping you get things that you seek instantly delivered, with dating apps you find mating partners with a swipe. All this leads to hurry, a sense of losing out, fear and anxiety.
Why is it important to build sustained capability over a longer period of time rather than finding instant solutions?
You all understand that you have a limited number of hours every day. Limited hours to work, limited hours to sleep, limited hours to spend time with family. If you try and direct every job, everything minute detail, you will end up controlling everything and hence find no time for sleep or to spend with family. Also, controlling everything will lead to curtailed growth as you will have no time to plan and think for future or newer projects which you need to undertake.
It’s still ok if it pertains to wok and money. If the same is applicable to offspring, it can lead to severe disability amongst children. Sheltered Children of Protective parents tend to feel the need of acceptance, attention and fulfillment as a given. When they come in terms of the practical world, which is different, they get depressed and mentally difficult to adjust. More and more parents give money instead of time since they end up controlling their juniors / team members and hence are left with no time for their own wards. Children start believing money or instant gratification is supreme rather than skills and building capability and finally sour relationships and mental issues.
The biggest irony in life is that humans try and control things so that life remains unchanged despite knowing that the only thing which is permanent in life is change.
Instead of embracing change and building capability to adapt to changes, we keep controlling or at least keep trying to control things which we know will change.
Thus the Anagogic Banker says, “Control thoughts, control the mind, control your actions and not others to derive the desired outcome, else you will end up with empty hands.”
Siddhartha was born to a learned middle class educated family in Semi Urban India. His father was an extremely honest man who because of his honesty had to pay the price in corporate world. Mother is a determined woman who ensured that children are being well taken care off. After a few years of birth, doctors called Siddhartha, a slow child having flat foot. He would fall more than he could walk. Determined mother ensured all therapies for her son to come out strong to fight the world. Siddhartha joined swimming when he was in 6th standard. Seeing other children of his class, he jumped in 10 feet deep pool and learnt swimming on his own, the very same day.
From that day there was no looking back. He topped his city in 12th and went to score highest in his B school exams. During his profession as banker, he became youngest branch manager of a MNC bank managing their biggest wealth branch in the country. There he found love of his life and got married. His love of his life emerged in the form of his daughter who completely changed him for good.
Siddhartha Rastogi is Director for a boutique Investment bank in India.
Siddhartha is a forward looking thinker & writer who has written a book on decision making. 8 Simple steps to effective decision making.