Powerful Compulsions

by Gregg Hake on August 12, 2012

My father-in-law and I were discussing organizational dynamics the other day and one of the ideas he put forth, after decades of observing and working with people, was that self-obsessed people have not yet learned to manage their competitive drive. Rather than channeling their competitive nature and the urge to self-preservation which undergirds it, they are driven by it subconsciously, consumed by its powerful compulsions and urged unwittingly to view their world from the outside in, rather than the inside out.

Rather than focusing on how to assist others to a state of greater capability and fulfillment, they think, talk and even write about themselves obsessively. They may care about others, but their 1) concern for others is eclipsed by and 2) their ability to be of service to others is hampered by their concern for themselves (both how they feel and how they’re being perceived by others).

You must of course work on yourself, push yourself to be better, stronger and more capable of articulating the spirit of life within you, but that is best done quietly and out of view.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 David R

Self-concern fueled by ambition is a consuming and destructive fire. Sometimes an individual’s self-concern is expanded out to “inspire” others to focus their own greed and selfishness more effectively, and almost always such endeavors are portrayed in altruistic terms. All of this adds to the chronic cynicism of the common world view.

Selfless aspiration certainly includes the blessing of others, but it is much more than that. It is a matter of passion for the right thing, not in a great public display but in the consistent care for details of personal expression and relatedness to others. If what is done in this way provides the basis for what is said, then we have those whose words may helpfully be heeded.

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2 Zach

This post is really a game changer for those that want to grow into someone who is a truly effective, mature and whole person. The two part dynamic of service to others and progress of the self is vital to the overall goal of fulfilled living, but to the outside observer it should seem like it is a one part process: service to others. They should only see that. This has many great side effects, and I think the chief one is accelerated progress in both helping others and improving the self. There is no split focus, and therefore improvement is made more quickly. The other thing that comes to mind, especially with the self improvement part of this, is that when you don’t talk about it there is no need for stalling in the name of drama. Either make the change you need for yourself or don’t, it is much less unlikely for a big production to be made about a life change when you are your only audience.

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3 Kolya

What an astute observation!

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4 Teryl Worster

Great thoughts !! Helpful information for some type A’s and those who have great intentions but are caught in the net of self activity.

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5 Steve Ventola

Thank you to you and your father-in-law for putting things in perspective. It is good to uncover those subconscious compulsions filtering out the the truth of them and making conscious choices based on our highest integrity. Here is the way to become stronger in our life expression and in our service to others.

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6 MMc

It’s a trend that seems to be socially acceptable as well as politically correct! Do I like it? Will it please me? Do others see my value? It seems to be an endless quest to feel complete when the solution is from the eternal and available the moment I open my heart, thoughts and trust to His power. Anything else I’ve found has been a deeper slide into dissatisfaction and emptiness. It seems that a basic reversal of inclination is the ticket. Thanks for sharing your conversation!

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7 DeeDee

These are great points. Thanks, Gregg!

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8 Joshua

Seeking to provide assistance to others, immediately pulls us away from personal concerns.
In the light of Truth, this could be seen as the greatest opportunity for self-preservation, for it is written….”As you give, so also shall you receive”
…NOT “fix yourself first, that you might be of service to others” – or – worse “As you get so also can you give” in absolute disregard for others…
Be yourself, your true self, which is concerned for others first, FACTUALLY, and foremost.
Let that shine through and change the world!

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9 Ricardo B.

So well put, done out of sight and in quiet. If there is a need to make a spectacle of yourself, you’ve already shot yourself in the foot. Self-obsession has been given a new stage with the Internet of today, and how much our capacity of self-expression is aimed in commercial and egotistical ways who knows. Excuse me, how many followers do you have?
What about the far more humble approach? The one that demands no attention, just seeks to unfold naturally without much fanfare and never seeking to crush opponents for that person knows if there even is an opponent, it’s themselves. We would be able to freely celebrate and congratulate the victories of others, being inspired and inspiring at the same time instead of seeing others as competitors needing to be crushed.

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