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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Dispensable vs Indispensable

      The other day I was reading an article from Forbes magazine on ways to make yourself less dispensable at work.
      With emphasis on Dispensable meaning replaceable, this Forbes article provided necessary information for habits you can make to become less ‘replaceable'. An analogy came up in the article which arose again in my personal reflection time on Sunday. It went as follows:

The Indispensable Person
(by Saxon White Kessinger)
Sometime when you're feeling important;
Sometime when your ego 's in bloom; Sometime when you take it for granted,
You're the best qualified in the room: Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an unfillable hole, Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.  
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,Pull it out and the hole that's remaining,
Is a measure of how much you'll be missed. You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore, But stop, and you'll find that in no time,
It looks quite the same as before.  

The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can, Be proud of yourself but remember,
There's no indispensable man.

     After reflecting on this, I have realized two things: First, I realized that everyone is dispensable. As much as you can go to work early, leave late, bring your boss latte's, etc. One way or another we can all be replaced. Find me a person who is literally indispensable and I will hand you over my next pay check.
      Second, I have learned that people can destroy their personal lives living in fear of being dispensable. You may be thinking, "Ryan, what do you mean by this!?. The fundamental roots of human nature anchor on feelings such as success and hope. With those innate feelings we also have the opposite; failure and fear. With those feelings always in the balancing act we can destroy our personal lives when living out of fear of failure through being dispensable. This could come in the form of longer work weeks, tacking on extra hours and 'burning the midnight oil'. It can cause you to put the other important pieces of your life, such as your beliefs, family and your friends, on a dusty shelf. Can you see what I mean by the consummation of work through fear of dispensability? You probably know or have known someone who battled or continues to battle with this...
     With all of this in mind, please do not start showing up to work late, start leaving work early and drag your feet all day long with no apparent care for your working responsibilities. Practicing good 'less dispensable' habits at work and during working opportunities are important for the over all success of your job, your business and/or your career. Just be mindful of the amount of time you are working at how you approach the real concept of dispensability....
     Being a recent University graduate who has entered the metropolitan workforce, I am beginning to wrap my head around these realities. I consistently need to remind myself of how important it is to practice indispensable habits while allowing myself plenty of reflection/down time for growth, professional development and personal learning. I hope that you all can find that balance as well! After all, shifting your mindset to success through hope and balancing your work life with your personal life is what wellness is really all about!

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