No one is indispensable
Some years back I learned one of the biggest lessons of my life, which has also come to be one of the ideals that influence my life and how I see things, and that lesson is that no one is indispensable. In this article, I will share with you how I came to this conclusion and how it has affected how I perceive things.
After my first degree, I got a job with a financial institution and things were going great for me. I am a workaholic, so I gave it my all. Soon I became one of the pillars of my branch and at a point, it felt like without me the branch can’t operate successfully. I got many recognitions and because of my dedication and resourcefulness, I stood out amongst my mates. I hardly go on leave, I worked long hours, I was like the only go-to guy for anything and everything.
However, something happened and the institution had to decide on either to keep me or to satisfy one of her customers who wanted me out. I could have sworn that the customer would have to go. Of course, I was sure I could win a bigger customer for the branch, I was that good and again, I was irreplaceable according to the management. When the verdict came, I was shocked to the marrow, I was asked to leave. I turned to everyone who told me, I was the life of the business but none of them could save me.
Then I said to myself, “they will soon realize they have made a mistake and call me back. I waited and waited but there were no calls. I occasionally pass by the branch just to see if things have started going wrong as a result of my absence but Nah, everything was going just fine, like I was never there, like I left no gap, and like I was just another piece of filing cabinet changed after it has outlived its usefulness. At that point I realized that;
1. No one, absolutely, no one, no matter how anyone has painted your existence or value, is indispensable. I can’t breathe without you, we can’t go on without you, this meeting can’t continue without you, the program can’t start without you, and so on, are just people trying to appreciate your presence and your contribution but if you fail to show up or for some reasons you can’t show up, you will be replaced and everything would still go on fine.
2. The only person that I am or you are, most valuable to is yourself. The only person that can’t exist without you is you. Which means take care of yourself and invest massively in yourself, so that you can be useful to You. Take time off work, take breaks at intervals and relax, watch your health, have alone time, spend time with family, build things for yourself and actually spend time living. Do your best but don’t kill yourself trying to satisfy yours and others’ egos.
3. Don’t get carried away by what people say about you. When people praise us, it tends to fill us with pride and often times arrogance. We start feeling like we can do and undo, we feel like we are the essence for everything, the only subject that matters; these are lies. I have been there and from how it ended, and what I have seen happen to others, that arrogance is the first step to free fall.
4. Don’t take others for granted. Because it seems like you are the life wire of an event, a business or a relationship doesn’t mean others involved don’t matter. Of course, it may seem as if what you are doing is the most important but believe me if any of the others fail to do there part perfectly, it will expose your inadequacies. Everyone is important, don’t take people for granted, don’t look down on them or talk down on them just to show you are the most important one.
5. Try to leave your legacy everywhere you go. The truth is at end of everything what people remember about you is not how hard-working or how self righteous you are but how you treat others. The only legacy that would last long after you are gone is how you made others feel when they are around you, how you impact on their personal lives and how your actions or inactions affect their perceptions.
When someone tells you, “no one is indispensable”, know it is not to ridicule you but it is a fact of life that should set you right and make you rethink how you have been living your life and impacting on others as well.