If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, at home, and in your position as a leader, it is time to dig a little deeper into the topic of being a benevolent dictator. Last week we talked about how a business is not a democracy and that being a benevolent dictator in a position of power takes great responsibility. We also discussed how real independence includes the ability to surrender (in one’s own self-interest) to an authority who is smarter and more conscious than you are. Real independence means that you can lean into another whom you recognize aims to serve your highest good.
As long as people are more concerned with their comfort, security, and happiness rather than their personal growth and highest good as human beings, their choices will be based in self-stagnation rather than the pursuit and embodiment of human thrival. It takes a “philosopher king” to compassionately hold an individual’s feet to the fire and lovingly urge them to do what is uncomfortable in the short-term but will in the long term serve their highest good.
Happiness and comfort are sought so avidly not because they are the ultimate heights for human beings to achieve, but because the vast majority on our planet are struggling in some form of survival mode and so seek respite from their difficulty. This is, of course, understandable and to deeply feel the pain every moment of every day in our world takes a strong heart indeed.
But it is also tragic.
The tragedy is that individuals in survival mode are too often trapped in a negative feedback loop. A struggling survivalist has no space to step back and look at how they make decisions and express behaviors that are causing them to stay struggling. So, their overwhelm and difficulty justifies their inability to work ON their lives contextually, keeps them blended with the content that they swim in, and keeps them infinitely spinning in the painful life they do not realize they recreate for themselves every day. This is why they are overwhelmed at work and beyond.
This applies to the many people on our planet who spend most of their time each day taking care of basic needs like food, shelter, and water, obviously. What is not appreciated is how this loop also traps very successful looking, first world, business owners.
Owners who struggle to make payroll, to complete their to-do lists, to put out fires, to meet deadlines…this is the survival mode of the business world and it is called overwhelm. However, in the same way, a poverty-stricken person might likely assess their situation, business owners too often hold this as “just the way it is”—as if they have no choice in the matter.
You are not a victim of being overwhelmed at work, home, or anywhere else. You create it through your choices every day, probably without realizing it.
Being overwhelmed at work is a symptom, not a root cause.
Got it? Good. Next week, we’ll talk about being a leader—whether it is in your business, at home, or elsewhere in the world.