The mine of darkness
Motivation and the Bruges Group

What we want

There is in all of us basic needs and drives that work at all times but which we are mostly completely unaware of. We are so conditioned to thinking that our conscious mind represents what we are ‘thinking’ that we fail to see how what we are doing can often bear little relationship to our thoughts. This, of course, is why it is so difficult to manage people - heck!- so difficult to have relationships at all. One of the highest pieces of praise we can bestow upon anybody is to say that they ‘walk the talk’. Their actions are consistent, in other words, what with their words say they think.

 One of the primary needs of being human is the need to be loved - really loved. To be accepted for being oneself unconditionally. All children who do not receive this love, especially in the first years of their life, will experience problems, sometimes insoluble problems, later. The search for love goes on all our life.

 But what happens when we don’t get love - when love is not part of our reality? When, as happens, we don’t really believe in it or its possibility for us, and so it does become impossible? What then?

 In my experience I would say those who do not receive love, then require admiration. We see this in an infantile way with little children who in a too much kind of way keep on insisting that their parent or guardian watches them: look at me, look at me, as the parent reluctantly pulls away from reading the paper, staring at the the TV, or hushes them as they are yapping on their mobile.

 Of course, this doesn’t go away at work. It becomes the peacock syndrome: notice me, my talents, my skills, my knowledge - the exercise of which is no longer about getting the job done, but in being the centre of attention. All of this is mildly irritating, although prolonged exposure to it is debilitating. Worst, is a gaggle of such people - all in competition with each other to be noticed.

But what happens when that same person who has not had love, also receives no attention? Then, I think, the person craves to be important. Attention gives way to dominance - you thought you could discount me, didn’t you? But now you see - you hear - you feel - my power and so my importance. People need to talk to me, need my permission, my OK, my validation I have arrived and the world must always know about it. Can we recall managers and directors like this? I sure can.

 This unhealthy need to be important, and so powerful, is always in your face. It always invades your space - it has to. It has to bully you into acknowledging the truth: they are important - they must be - you have had to move aside for them.

But what if the child or person who has not had love, and had not had attention, has also not had importance? Oh, what then? Then we are down in the depths, then we are down in the bottom quadrant of human existence. Without love, without attention, without importance - what do they want? They want revenge; pure and simply, they want revenge - they will destroy the world and themselves with it rather than leave without it.



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