What's in it For Me?

Man is a part of the Animal Kingdom as we all know and it is the superior brain that we possess that has made us rule the world, brought about its glory and in the bargain brought it closer to destruction.

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The basic instinct of an animal is survival. For the human being too it was always a question of “roti, kapda aur makaan” (food, clothing and shelter) and the shelter led to propagation of the species. Our merits have brought us this far and the knowledge we have mastered is immense but the basic instinct, no matter how well clothed, comes out. This happens to the best of men and women. “What’s in it for me?” This drives all our actions. Is survival wrong, you would ask? Of course there is nothing more precious than life- ours and those dearest to us-higher thinking and spirituality can take a walk for now!!


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I have pondered about this for a long, long while, over years in fact. I think of what my parents have taught me- the joy of giving without expecting anything in return and all things altruistic. There are times I wonder why other parents didn’t teach their children that! I am wrong. Every parent teaches their children all the right things and great ideals but in their own lives they are constantly first attending to their children and families and taking care of those around them only after their needs are met. We see that and we imbibe those behavior patterns. In other words, it is only when your basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are met can you talk of higher ideals.  So, next time you come across a selfish person just know that he/she is a bit more insecure about his/her own survival. We are just a notch less selfish but selfish we all are. Altruism is a learnt trait and this learnt trait keeps a family together at a basic level and communities, states, countries and the world together on a larger level. One crunch situation is enough for us to forget it. 


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Yet, in recent times our basic needs are no longer basic. There is a certain amount of greed for more and more and more. Teachers leave schools for better schools if the pay is more or they are treated better irrespective of the fact that mid-session the child might suffer; people switch jobs only thinking about their comfort and a hope for a better life. On a larger scale, humans as a whole have depleted the planet of its natural resources by only catering to their own needs.

What is the solution to this natural but ever increasing problem?  Recently, I read an article by Rodger Dean Duncan in which he talked about how a leader could affect a smooth transition only by taking care to satisfy the employee’s basic focus. Interestingly, he mentions that the minute a change is announced, all the workers tune into their most powerful internal FM station WIIFM (What’s in it For Me?!). How can we satisfy our needs as the human race without encroaching upon one another’s needs or the needs of other species or that of the Earth in general?

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One of my previous Commanding officers used to tell us very often to always look at the larger picture. This was drilled into us. We did not use it much then but the thought remained. Today, I bring this very suggestion before us as the only possible solution to the “What’s in it For Me” vs. the organizational woes or dwindling resources and impending disaster of our planet. When faced with a WIIFM signal, all we need to do is to calm down and zoom out. Taking the broader picture into view we are able to see far ahead; we can see that we don’t really need to be all that greedy and insecure; we can see that while we take a decision that is pro us, we can also make sure that the organisation we work for or the resources we use don’t suffer a setback because of our step forward.

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Just living a bit more conscientiously, and by understanding that if we work for a larger good our interests will be naturally met, we can keep the “What’s in it For Me?” syndrome to a bearable and friendly level. 



I’d love to hear your suggestions on this one, dear reader so do type into the comments section.



Comments

  1. I remember a song from the school days.... "Give a little more, larger than before.... Make this world a little better... Only if we try". Our talents don't make us, it's always our choices which define us. The WIIFM syndrome is quite predominant these days but every now and then we come across people who selflessly keep giving and make the right choices.

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  2. WIIFM may not remain a problem if we can behave less selfishly, when we want something.... And seeing the larger picture always helps. Been trying to use it for the past few years now. A well written piece....

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  3. Beautifully written post, and something none of us ever want to admit to - being selfish and always wanting something in return for every decision we make, for ourselves or for another. The most organic behavioral pattern for us as humans is to immediately zone into the WIIFM frame of mind. Being just a tiny bit selfless, giving just a little more than we take and just once in a while going that extra mile for nothing in return or for the greater good is a life lesson we ought to learn. So impressed with your ideology. Great way to begin the year. Deep, out-of-the-box, thoughtful post.

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    1. Thank you Beautiful...it matches your ideology Ms Large Heart :)

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  4. Simply loved it....WIIFM....beautiful.It is a fact...we don't like to admit it.Beautifully written....thoughtful post.

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  5. PPC!!!! Pertinent... Precise... Concise!!!! Love it... Awaiting the next :)

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    1. Reminds me of ABC-accuracy, brevity, clarity ;) Thank you Jiji :) :)

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  6. We all have to consistently work on this aspect.

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