Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Conflict Situations

Just the other day, for instance, one of Land's first programmers, Jamshed, had flown to Mumbai from Zurich for a visit. He'd been twenty-two when we bid him farewell. Now he's a happy, prosperous green technology entrepreneur in his fifties, with two lovely kids and a warm-hearted, elegant wife. Time rushes by. Our families are on the same train. We could make the short time we have together difficult, with obstacles and fights, or we could make their voyage in our life's train compartment as beautiful as we can. Because we can! Why waste the years? The night sky was soft, and a cool breeze played around us as I heard Nabeel sharing what he'd learnt with Arpita. As he focused on the size of the square, he recalled a bad experience. He spontaneously shared a memory of his older brother helping him with his math homework. As Carlos sat with me now, tears streamed down his face as his head slumped over and his torso collapsed in utter shame. After Carlos released his tears and we sat together through this painful experience, I reassured him that it was not his fault; I assured him that he was certainly not stupid. This was the first time Carlos had recalled from conscious memory (what had been stored in his implicit body memory) as the beginning of his trouble with math and his mind going blank (a typical nervous system shame/freeze response symptom). When he was ready, Carlos focused once again on the square until it almost disappeared by becoming a tiny grain of sand. I asked him to imagine working on a hard math problem in his fifth-grade class. Again, the wall came up. This time when he looked at the wall, he saw black. Give yourself a timeline to complete your goals, so that there is always a specific date to get something achieved;

I also suggest that you write your goals down, keep track of your progress, and reward yourself when you complete something. This will give you encouragement during those hard times when you feel like giving up, quitting or starting something new without finishing what you are currently working on. When you are writing goals down, be very clear and specific, this way you are not just writing words on paper to fill up the empty space, you are very serious and determined to complete each thing on that sheet. This is another reason you want to make sure that your goals are something that you truly love or desire because you are going to need that love for whatever it is to keep you going during the times when you are not inspired or motivated to keep going. If it is not something that you really love or want to do, then you will be more likely to give up when things are not going the way that you think they should be going. Make sure that it is something that you can actually achieve, do not set a goal that you will have to go to Mars in order to get done, be certain that you will actually be able to take the necessary steps that you need in order to complete it. Lastly, you want your goals to be directly related to the direction you want your life and career to go, this will make things go just a little smoother for you and you will develop the focus that you need in order to achieve your dreams. The last thing that you want to do is, to waste your precious time on goals that do not mean anything to you or goals that do not matter if they get achieved in the long run. Making sure that your goals are important and relevant will make sure to help keep you motivated to finish what you have started and complete things. What is happening here is a defense mechanism. You have been feeling a high range of emotions for an extended period of time, which your body knows is not good for you in any aspect of your health. As a response to this realization, your emotions shut down. In a way, it is your brain's means of forcing relaxation onto you because it does not see stress relief happening in the foreseeable future. In times where you do not know what is going to happen next in your life, you need to take special care to keep a level head and stay calm. I know that this is especially difficult during the most frightening eras of your life, but if you do not do this, you will suffer from an overload of stress, which is a slippery slope to fall into. During times where our conventional ideas of social interactions cannot be done, try to broaden your definition of that. Contact your friends and loved ones through messaging and texts. It may not be the same as seeing them in person, but it will be interacting with another human being, which is what you will need during this time more than ever. In the management of both anxiety and depression, you must keep one important thing in mind- whatever is going on, no matter how troubling it is, it is not going to last forever. On the individual level, it's encapsulated in the simple advice I hear all the time to focus on maximizing your strengths rather than working on your weaknesses.

In a constrained and highly competitive environment, these are entirely reasonable plans! And yet that doesn't stop the low-priority problems and unaddressed weaknesses from piling up, merging, growing new limbs, and returning all the stronger. Choosing to avoid the conflict by not participating doesn't address problems directly at all, even though it does buy a short-term respite from the anxiety of conflict. These three strategies have driven human decision making for several millennia now, and the side effects and low-priority problems have had a long time to pile up and become even more difficult to address. In addition, our world seems to be getting into more and more trouble every day. The climate is changing, technology is fragmenting and selling our attention bit by bit, jobs are paying less even as mortgages, tuition, and health care costs climb and climb. Our physical and online spaces seem to be getting less polite, more anxious, and angrier by the day. On top of it all, we've lost the ability to enjoy a raucous debate about important issues with people who have different opinions, experiences, and value systems than our own. There's a great migration happening as we abandon addressing conflict altogether. Guilt is perhaps the most painful - Coco Chanel , fashion designer I am pretty sure that my mom secretly thought that I could not cook. Which is a fair, and kind of semi-accurate, assumption since she never really showed me how to cook (insert kiddie pout). I can do the basics of any Cooking 101 class. My mom not teaching me how to cook really wasn't her fault. She just couldn't. She adored doing things for us. Her goal was to spoil my dad, my brother and me. Family was her first priority. They noticed a quality shift in their conversation.

It was much more different than in the times of Patriarchilia. While board members were excited about their vision for a greener future for the organization, after long talks with the executive committee and CFO they had to accept that this vision was implementable in 20 years at best, not five. Yet they consulted regularly about what they can do today to reach the desired company structure and culture in 20 years. This deliberate and conscious planning to serve a higher purpose is the sign of a mindful board. Working on a shared, common goal strengthened the bond between the board and the executive committee. Both became more committed to the organization and each other as they were bound by a shared value and goal. When the institution has a vision and shared values, the members can start discussing what they need to do to act as stewards for the organization. This is where shared mental models come into the picture. The organization as a collective consciousness starts to discuss past experiences, possible threats, problems that need fixing, and puts them into a mental model in order to have clarity on what they need to change to get to the desired future. I spent four years of my life in the city, where the 1984 Winter Olympics were held - Sarajevo. It is known for the Olympics, however it is also notorious for being the city where World War I was ignited by the assassination of the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. I was lucky to live there at the end of the seventies and the beginning of the eighties when it was the most beautiful city in the world, a city of harmony and peace between non-believers and believers of different religions. Islam, Catholic, Serb Orthodox and Jewish, in fact it was the city of only one religion. There, I had friends from all religions. For many of them I didn't even know which religion, because I knew only their nicknames. Although, the city wasn't one of the safest in Europe, due to the presence of so much love and acceptance, we lived a life without fear. As an example, I would only give my experience when one day I went out to buy some food for my flat-mates and returned 48 hours later. I had a wonderful time socializing with friends, with people I met for the first time, going from one venue to the other. Now, when I remember those years I realize how remarkable and extraordinary they were. People will come, people will go.

Some will teach you what to do. Others will teach you what bloody not to. Maybe we should love them all! He was right. Whoever comes by, for however short or long the period, invest your time to make them happy in the present. Don't waste your time trying to change the past. The past is the destination that has passed. Our life's train only moves forward. Once we understand that, we have everything we need to build a truly beautiful life. I asked him for an opposite image, and Carlos saw himself punching (an active self-protective response against meanness and humiliation) through the wall to get to the other side. Within thirty seconds he was able to see himself on the other side! The reason Carlos was still affected after so many years is that unless the charge held within the flashbulb shaming traumatic memory is released, it remains locked in the body memory, coloring and shaping the way we perceive our image and experiences. Carlos's painful forgotten experiences lost their powerful grip once the unconsciously held memories were made conscious and subsequently released through this process of pendulating between a resource (in this case a successful math moment as helper) and the block (difficult math problems). Noted researcher Bessel van der Kolk has stated, Traumatic memories need to become like memories of everyday experience, that is, they need to be modified and transformed by being placed in their proper context and restructured into a meaningful narrative. At the 2001 Cutting-Edge Conference on Healing Trauma: Attachment, Trauma, the Brain, and the Mind, Daniel Siegel, MD, stated that we know a person has healed from early experiences when they weave their experiences into a coherent narrative without collapsing into feeling overwhelmed. Pleasant memories are interwoven with the unpleasant. As more pleasant experiences shape us, we realize that life is textured with varying degrees of success and failure, victory and defeat--namely, life is neither all good nor all bad. And, it is a universally known fact that overcoming failure by achieving success after a challenge strengthens both character and resilience. When a child is shamed about schoolwork, the humiliation etches a deeply dreaded physical (implicit) memory of their collapse and defeat. Since you are now working on your goals, dreams, and desires, you should be planning and preparing for your future, so the next step is to start making the necessary moves in order to complete and accomplish those things.

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