You only have yourself to blame if you have stupid employees
Yes, the headline is provocative – and nevertheless correct! Let me explain: in my coachings and lectures a central topic is that of desires. Now many people think that wishes would make you unhappy. This is either based on a distorted picture of supposed “Buddhist equanimity,” or it is a so-called “disappointment prophylaxis” according to the motto: “If you don’t want anything, you can’t be disappointed either”. Both are wrong!
True equanimity and serenity do not mean that you no longer have any wishes. Because wishes are the expression of a living heart. If your heart is no longer beating, then you are either dead or stone-still. And the disappointment prophylaxis protects against disappointments, but makes life monotonous and gray.
Consequently: make yourself a wish! And by all means be ambitious! Today we know that people who have a vision of their future are much happier and more successful in their lives. Those who do not have wishes cannot develop such a vision at all. Allow yourself to wish: the dreamlike time on the lonely Caribbean beach, the great success with the customer presentation, the career step during the next promotion round. Without wishes, all this becomes nothing!
Wishing for your own misfortune
Wishes are therefore good and important. However, desires become problematic when we identify ourselves with them, and above all with their fulfilment, to such an extent that, as a result, we reject the current reality. Then suffering is inevitable!
“If I were now on the Caribbean beach, I could be happy.” – that’s the sure way to disaster. You sit in the office, you wish for the Caribbean beach. Both belong to your reality now. And the acceptance of the current reality is a basic prerequisite for happiness and success. Happiness is always only possible here and now in the current moment. Change also presupposes that you accept reality. Only then can you begin to plan the steps to change this reality.
We create our reality
To get back to the headline of the blog post: I often hear the following statement from managers: “I wish I had good employees at last! Then I wouldn’t have to do so much myself! This too is a wish and – in all clarity – an extremely fatal one as well! Because as with other wishes, our mind is pretending something to us. It results in a negative assumption: reality is not the way our mind would like it to be. Automatically a thought process is set in motion in us which ends with the fact that the “now”, the present moment, the reality in which we live, is evaluated. And evaluated as bad. What is really critical is what happens next: our mind creates this more negative reality. Let me illustrate this with an example.
In the 1960s, sociologists Robert Rosenthal and K.L. Fode at Harvard University conducted an experiment with a group of students. The students were presented with two groups of rats together with the following information: one group had been bred for special intelligence in the laboratory, the comparison group of rats was particularly stupid. That was of course a lie. Both animal groups came from the same laboratory strain and were similarly intelligent. The students were now required to teach the animals to walk through a labyrinth. The really amazing thing about the results is not that the students subsequently unanimously stated that working with the supposedly more intelligent animals was easier, more fun and showed better results. The amazing thing is that this statement was indeed true. The animals, previously declared stupid, found no way through the labyrinth, most of them did not even start running. They had indeed become “dumber”. Unconsciously, the students had treated the supposedly smarter animals better, encouraged them, stroked them, and thus motivated them to perform better.
Make your employees smart!
Is it true that what happened to the rats cannot be transferred to humans? Far from it. A similar experiment was conducted with students in San Francisco. Rosenthal “examined” the pupils in detail and then, under the seal of utmost secrecy, predicted to the teachers which pupils could be expected to make a great leap in performance in the next school year. And lo and behold: at the end of the year, it was precisely these students who had the better grades, the greater knowledge, who showed the better performance.
Those who persuade themselves and others that their own employees are lazy, stupid, incompetent or unmotivated will be “punished” by the fact that they also get exactly these employees.
What is known today as the Rosenthal Effect or experimental artefact has been firmly anchored in meditation teachings for centuries: our mind creates reality and our mind also creates suffering: precisely when we are incapable of letting go of a wish and accepting the only reality that exists: the present moment!