Be self reliant

No one can build her security upon the nobleness of another person. Willa Cather

Some of us are fortunate to be working for or being closely associated with people with a large heart and even larger purse strings. We not only enjoy the experience of working with them but we become extremely comfortable in our relationship with them.  It is logical that the other party is also very comfortable and pleased with the arrangement and so there is an apparent win win situation with both parties feeling secure with the arrangement.

Unfortunately, life is never a smooth flow and there would be times of disagreements, disappointments and disillusionment. At these times, the relationship comes under severe strain and occasionally either or both parties are prone to re-evaluate the arrangement and the relationship. At these times many a time the subordinate party seriously questions his/ her own long term security since no alternative plan has ever been considered.  It therefore become imperative for people in such a gung-ho relationship to be pragmatic and realistic about the future and to ensure that they have a fall back mechanism for extreme eventualities.

It is foolish to let another person take charge of your life, simply because you are the master of your fate. Even assuming that you share a wonderful rapport with another person, the arrangement cannot exist in perpetuity for apart from the risk of irreconcilable differences, there is also the possibility of the other person losing power, growing senile or passing away. The successors need not share the same feelings or consider the relationship in the same way as their predecessor. This leaves the other party extremely vulnerable and exposed when it comes to their future and security.  A very pragmatic lesson can be got from our own personal life. Do we really spend as much time with our parents as we should especially when they get old and sick? Is it practically for us to expect our children to put our needs first in their scheme of things just as we did when they were growing up?

We are then haunted by the question of how to be independent and yet secure. The answer lies in planning for the future. This involves a mix of judicious investment in learning, earning and saving and having self belief which is the crux of a free spirit and an independent soul. You will have to bank on your core strengths of ability, hard work, patience and above all a clean reputation to garner the security that you seek in life.

Remember: “The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.”  Henry Ford

Try these:

  1. If you lose your job or your business goes bust, what are the alternatives you will pursue in order to regain your pride and secure your future? Why is it that you are not pursuing those plans today?
  2. Can you identify one or two subordinates who have the ability to rise to much greater heights but lack a support or direction? How can you help him/ her realize their full potential?  Would you feel hurt if later on in life they achieve unprecedented success and they never acknowledge your support?

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