“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” ― Lao Tzu
Suppose you have two rooms in front of you.
The first room is fully lit and full of people elder to you. The second room is gloomy and empty.
Both the rooms have a pen and a piece of paper that you can use to write your life’s story.
You have to choose between wise socialization in daylight, and solitude in darkness.
Which room would you enter to write your story?
If someone would’ve asked me this question two years ago, when I had graduated from college, I would’ve gone for the first room. Every single time.
By then, I had not inculcated a habit of thinking freely on my own. I liked listening to others before giving myself a chance. Usually, I would answer the question “What do you like?” with another question — “What do you think I like?”
A college friend had made me aware of my indecisiveness, but I couldn’t decide how to fix it (hence proved). In fact, the decision to join Niswey was the first decision I had taken for myself, on my own.
Fortunately, the life at Niswey transformed me into a person who could confidently decide what’s best for himself. In hindsight, I feel there was a very important trait that had enabled this kind of transformation — it was the ability to be open to change. Every single time.
Authenticity does enable us to give our best at everything, in our own special style. But what helps our authenticity to get across various fields of work (and aspects of life) is the ability to change into a better version of ourself.
Remember Shifu from KFP3?
“If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be more than you are now.”
Some of us at Niswey have a hard time setting our goals (or following them), some of us are aware of our fears but are not able to overcome them, and some of us just cannot get into the habit of reading.
But that’s where most of the people stop.
At Niswey, we seek people who start at this point, or are even ready to learn how to do that. How to face your fears, overcome the odds, and not be uncomfortable with the unknown. When we do this, we might surprise even ourselves.
Twelve months ago, an introvert girl joined us as a Reporter. She was brilliant at writing, and still is. In fact, she has grown more than ever, but that’s not the point. Today, she’s an introvert who hosts wonderful webinars and shoots marketing videos.
There are many more examples of self-discovery journeys at Niswey.
A software engineer who breathes web design today (and also drives the Niswatch series), a CEO who writes inbound marketing blogs on the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, and even an ex-entrepreneur who was enabled to start his own venture once again.
By the way, we love intrapreneurs and ex-entrepreneurs.
As children, when we’re asked what we want to be when we grow up, we come up with all kinds of crazy answers. But when we grow up, most of us don’t know what we want to be even after a year. Or if we even want to be more than who we are today.
Many of us lose the will to push ourselves further, every day. We usually blame it on the lack of time, lack of energy, lack of motivation, or all of them.
At Niswey, though, the only parameter that works is your intent.
- Do you have the intent to take out the time?
- Do you have the intent to change the way you channel your energies
- Do you have the intent to keep yourself motivated?
Remember the motivational quote by Zig Ziglar?
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily. “
Having the intent to change for the better can get really addictive once you get into the habit. It empowers you to do everything you ever wanted to. You get to transform the way you think, day after day, thanks to the Shifu and Oogway of Niswey.
With this, your active intent starts replacing your passive acceptance, and you are able to broaden your comfort zone, one step at a time.
This doesn’t mean you say Yes to everything that comes your way. Saying No is as much important, especially when you’re working in a flat organization.
Sometimes, it’s neither a Yes nor a No. For example: It’s the day when you’re busy with a pending client deliverable, and an intern comes up to you with a query because you’re the best person to help with it.
What do you do?
Do you keep your deadline in mind? Do you keep her learning curve in mind? Do you ask her to take help from the next most favourable person?
These small instances don’t just improve your decision-making skills, but also build your character.
You would have many such moments to look forward to, especially during your first year at Niswey.
Ultimately, it’s all about making people more responsible, in their professional as well as personal lives. And one day, you would finally wake up to the realization that you don’t want to fit into the culture, but also contribute to the culture.
A crucial aspect of cultural contribution is being a multipotentialite. And it’s a delight to be one!
Multipotentiality at Niswey can include scenarios such as:
- A digital marketer designing graphics for her blog post (you don’t always need Photoshop or Illustrator)
- A graphic designer crafting content for the monthly newsletter
- A content writer exploring the nuances of a marketing automation software
And guess what? This way of working makes you capable of handling your own client, even at age 22.
The secret ingredient: The ability to be open to change, in order to change the way you think about everything, even yourself. Ultimately, it is our thought process that defines us.
- Your thoughts become your actions.
- Your actions become your habits.
- Your habits make you who you are.
Just think of it: You are learning how to think about what you think!
Coming back to the question on the two rooms.
If it’s about writing your life’s story, then you ought to listen to yourself first.
This can usually never happen in a room full of people, given everyone’s point of view and your desire to listen to their stories first.
You have to take the responsibility to write your story on your own, before you think of becoming a part of someone else’s story.
So, why not go for the dark room and believe that you’ll be able to switch on the lights, and enlighten yourself?