Saturday, September 30, 2006

Impression - expression - depression

"Impression with expression causes depression."

This appeared in Rick Warren's nice book "Purpose Driven Life". This is a motivational book where priest Warren gives 40 sermons, one for each day, with a promise to turn your life for better. Whatever the claim may be, excellent book. Especially the above mentioned quotation is a gem. First of all for its beauty of the arrangement of words. So well rhymed not to just sound beautifully but also to sound so meaningful. Rick explained the meaning from his sermon point of you. He says that if you are impressed by what God has done for you, then you must express such profound impression by sharing your experiences with non-believers so that they become believers. If we do not express the things that we have been impressed with, it will lead to depression.

I came up with a new personal insight to this. It happens to many of us who spend a lot of time in reading, acquiring knowledge in our respective fields.Many times we do not make enough effort to share and advocate what we have been impressed with. For example, say, I have read a book in my field (software engineering) and been very impressed with some new technique or process or whatever. If I do not make any attempt to share this knowledge with others in my field, it has often led to disappointment and disillusion. It's not easy. Try telling your people in your workplace that you think you have found a better way to run your group or company or business. First look you get is "what the hell you are talking about?". Then, you still manage to muster some courage and try to say few good things about your new discovery. Then, most often than not, you will hear "it won't work here" and so on. Only discouraging words. You very soon give up and fall in line with doing the way things are done. But you will certainly feel depressed having been unable to express what you have been thoroughly impressed with.

Even more frustrating thing happens when you see someone who probably has spent a fraction of time and energy in learning the same thing you have mastered but making his best effort to convince and persuade people of something he has been impressed with. He has passion. He ignores negative comments coming from non-believers. Even if he can not change the minds of his coworkers, he tries something on his own and then slowly but surely influences the rest of the group towards change. You feel depressed even more now. First for the reason that if you were to get such an opportunity, with your much more knowledge you would have been able to change things for much more better. But, you lacked initiatives.

If you look at most influencing personalities in any place, they are not the most knowledgeable or the smartest. They are dogged and determined. They overcome first and foremost the worst enemy of all - self doubt. Then they overcome the doubts of others. They persist and they win. We high powered intellectuals cram our brains with information about the same subject much more but are inflicted with self doubt and do not purse to spread the knowledge of what we have been impressed with.

If something impressed you to arouse your passion, do not sit back, go for it and change the world to embrace what you believe in. It's not easy but is rewarding. If you do that in your work place, people take notice and that's what leads people to positions of leadership.


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