Intent Blog

How to Stay in Control at Work

When people ask me how they can regain some sense of control over their lives, or stay in control at work, particularly when events become too complicated and difficult to manage, I try to remind them to turn their attention to that which they will always be able to manage.

The difference between you and what is other than you.

All that is not You is the Other. If you imagine the totality of the Other, it would encapsulate you. The rest of the universe, the absolute other completely surrounds you and you are at its center.

Where does your power sit?

When you get something, the thing that you are getting moves from the other to you. On the other hand, when you give something, what you are giving moves from the self to the other. Clearly, your hands symbolize your power or your capacity to control, and, your hands sit with you, not the other.

This implies that you not only have power over what you are giving or what’s leaving you. You have no power over what you are getting or what is coming toward you because what you are getting is in the hands of the other.

When you put attention to what you should be contributing, you become strong. On the other hand, when you put attention to what you want to get, you become powerless/weak. It makes you powerless precisely because it delivers you into the hands of the other. Because you are at the mercy of the other you identify the other as the one to blame for your misfortune. You account for what happens to you on the basis of what they are doing to you, rather than what you are doing to them. You feel yourself to be the victim. You are at their mercy. They are in charge and you are innocent. You feel swept away by events and forces that are uncontrollable.

The degree to which one acts on the basis of expectation is the degree to which one becomes manipulable. As the word manipulable implies, one has handholds. You have places where the other can get a grip on you. However, to get rid of your expectation means to become unassailable. The other cannot get a hold on you. So, fulfillment, schuitema, etsko schuitema, consultancy, excellence

Assad holds a Masters in Philosophy from the University of the Witwatersrand and is currently a PhD candidate. He is the editor of the Schuitema blog and is a regular facilitator of the company's Care and Growth and Mentoring for Mastery programs. He also has 5 years experience lecturing and tutoring Philosophy at Wits.