“My problem is that I find everyone inadequate and substandard.” My first-ever conversation with John—a successful leader of a company on the verge of becoming a CEO—started on a note no less bizarre than his unrealistic standards of excellence.
“I haven’t met anyone decent in my life so far, let alone excellent. I don’t find anyone inspiring or motivating.”
What about the bright people you meet regularly?
“No. They are all daft. It takes me enormous self-control to not be judgmental towards them.”
The gentleman had an eerie confidence in his claims.
How may I help you?
“It is hard for me to approach someone for help. But, for once, I am ready to be on the other side of the table to see how I can work on this apparently unresolvable pattern in me.”
No matter whatever is going on inside you, the truth is that you are famous. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, it is fine, isn’t it?
“No. I have ambitions. I want to be the CEO. I want to be on the cover page of magazines like Forbes and Time. I can’t reach there until I sort this mess out and figure out how to overcome this bloody thing going on inside me.”
John was brutally honest about his ambitions and shortcomings. His voice softened as he started talking about his personal life. It turned out that he had a compulsive habit of chasing the unattainable and ignoring what he already had. Though married to a beautiful, successful woman, he was emotionally vulnerable. He made his wife feel intellectually inferior. With time, she was repulsed by him. It is the deprivation of relationships that eventually took a toll on him.
Okay. What is the guarantee that you are teachable, given how talented you are?
“Oh, boy! Don’t underestimate my learning ability. I am a sucker of knowledge. Moreover, my money would be a stake. For me, nothing matters more to me than my money. This is why I tolerate daftness.”
Stop using that word. Daft. Please.
I want to. I also want to win my wife back. And, I want to be a better father.
Let’s hope so.
*John isn’t the real name of the individual.