Do you know the no.1 anxiety that British millennials have? It is Avocado Anxiety. A terror of the fruit not being ripe!
Waiting all day for online deliveries and forgetting passwords are the worst other “first-world” problems faced by millennial Britons, a survey has found. We can laugh but are we immune from such needless anxieties?
That day I had to reach office in 1 hour. It was an internal meeting, not urgent but I wanted to be there on time. I set out the task of making this demand to Prakash, my driver for the day. He is one of the best in this business, knows all the routes and can give a London cab driver a run for their money when it comes to maps in his brain. On a Friday morning rainy day, Prakash is the man Friday to get you to your destination. I told him to take the best possible and optimized route to reach the destination.
Once I told him, I started getting into my tasks of completing some writing journals, reading books and seeing that day’s newspaper. I was growing impatient with the long line of traffic and I enquired whether we have taken up the right path to reach the destination in time. There were moments when I wasn’t happy with his choice of routes. I was getting more and more anxious by the moment, let us call it avocado anxiety. Anxiety about not reaching on time but judging him on the choices he had and decisions he had taken. The only thing I did was that I did not venture into a dialogue questioning his decisions. I had to pull myself outside of that mood. I turned to the 3 books lying on the back seat. I read a chapter from each one.
I knew his capability and yet in that crunch time why did I start doubting him?
In my view I was so much focused inwardly on the decision which he took of the routes which I have never taken that made me started doubting him and his actions. This to me was a very common occurrence of getting outside the comfort zone and trying something new. I would have been comfortable and not doubted if he had taken the same path and still we had faced equal amount of traffic. In fact, that was the case a day before. I was not at all disturbed and I was in a nice mood, chit chatting and generally occupied with my office activities. In this case when he took the decision based on google data and he decided to take a new path I became suspicious. This in my way lead to the realization that you can be heavily motivated but when it comes to crunch situations you are still not able to get the mind under control. I had to get into a “Radical candor” with myself to get back on track with the right narrative.
An interesting input from “Mind Hacking” helped me to move away from that thinking box: “Work on your mind, not just in your mind”
I have always valued Prakash’s depth of routes and even yesterday I had complimented his skills in understanding all the routes. I appreciated his preparation-how he used to make graphical notes of landmarks for each associate’s home routes and how he used to guide new drivers to such destination.
So why I did I get impatient with him when we were in the middle of traffic in a small lane. I was convinced that he was pursuing a mistaken or misguided line of thought or course of action. In other words, I was “barking up the wrong tree.”
When I read those books, I reflected “Does being judgmental about him serve me positively?” The answer was a resounding NO, and that was the flip I needed to change my state.
This is the first time I went into this “random reading” of these 3 books. The effect was very good. I knew I was “barking up the wrong tree” by casting doubts. I found “mind hacking” to be a way of getting out my avocado anxiety and moving to a state of positivity. Finally, with “radical candor” I had to ask myself some tough questions.
We reached office at 11.03 AM and he told me that we are late by 3 minutes and Google had accurately predicted this much time. I felt so happy for him and thanked him. During that journey I doubted his judgement several times, Prakash never doubted his decision and he believed in it soulfully.
That day I learnt “never judge a person without understanding what beliefs he is holding himself up to.” I could have just enjoyed the journey. Here I met a leader who did not go by his internal fortitude but had the courage to tap into the environment and took continuous decisions to reach the destination on time. Also, he knew for sure that he had my back. That is a great leadership skill, knowing that there are people supporting you and you take decisions with that in mind.
Next day same traffic, same time, same destination, we left and we reached on time. There was no anxiety as I had em’bark‘ed on a ‘mind‘ful ride by ‘candid‘ly accepting my mistake from my previous day.
What a way to dictate your emotions Vinod. I loved the post.
Thanks Mukesh for your comments and validation
Good write up Vinod. This is excellent realization that we should not lose cool when things go wrong. Its easy to be at your best when things are right. Its only when you maintain your cool and calm when things go wrong that makes you a really positive or rather remain in a positive state of mind.
Thanks Peter and you are bang on. Becoming super aware.