Life is more than an individual…

We sometimes fantasise that life is all about ourselves as an individual. This is truly a fantasy. The earlier we realise , the better it may be for our lives. Let us start from our personal lives including our family, friends and society.

Imagine how life would be without being part of a family. We may be born alone when we arrive at earth but there can be no life without being a member of a family and a community. It is rightly said that man is a social animal. We cannot imagine leading life all alone. We need siblings and friends all the time to enrich our lives.

This is the reality of life from childhood to senescence. Imagine a child growing up all alone with nobody around to play with. Imagine a youth without friends around her. Can we imagine a senior citizen living all alone at home and staring at the four walls ? Life would not only be boring but may be difficult to live through.

We need support from everyone around us in our family and social circle to grow up and succeed. We need guidance and direction from more experienced people than us. We need recognition and support when we slip along the way. We need someone to lift us up when our morale is at an all time low.

The situation is no different when we are at work. Some employees dream that the organisation exists only because of them. This is again a dream till they realise that they exist, learn and grow only because of the organisation. Organisation again is a social enterprise. It is not the building or the machines, which makes an organisation. It is the people working in them. No individual can succeed without enabling peers at work, a motivating manager and supportive customers and suppliers.

Even the best performing employees realise that they can never be successful without their team. How can one imagine of doing everything alone in life ? It is neither practical nor possible. The earlier we realise this reality in our career, the more successful we are likely to be.

Let us examine a football team. Even the best player in the world cannot score a goal unless he is supported by other forwards in the team. We see this in action. Many outstanding players lose out in the long run because in spite of great talent they fail to realise the value of team work.

Sometimes by looking at the mirror as in the photo above, we tend to believe that that life is all about ourselves till we come out and see the world.

Life is no different. As we have seen whether in the family, work, community or society, our success lies in our ability to grow beyond our individualism. We need to realise this early and learn the art of working in teams. It is the give and take in life, which will make us successful.

We need to realise that no individual is larger than the team she represents. If individuals excel in team work, they may be more successful than others. So, life is all about working in groups and enabling each other to succeed.

Let’s transcend from individual to team thinking today.

S Ramesh Shankar

16th November 2018

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