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Leveraging your Core

It is my belief that what people come with into this world is something unique. Each person has

It is my belief that what people come with into this world is something unique. Each person has at least one core competency to impact the world with. It is those who identify this core and work towards bringing satisfaction to others through that core who really become winners.

It is important to understand the core from the theory of Morph. When a foetus is born in the womb of it’s mother, depending on the part that is formed first the core or the potential of the person is determined. A foetus could be born first with either it’s head, torso or the limbs.

Babies born with the head (nervous system, skin, nails, etc) first are known as ‘Ectomorph’ and are seen as having large heads with broad foreheads. They are essentially born with the propensity to use and deal with their minds when coping with their environment. As such they are very clever in dealing with facts and reason with logic. They are extremely evaluative and measure everything in units and standards. These `thinkers’ are capable of analyzing complex information and infer and arrive at things in a hardheaded and unemotional manner. They grow into such roles and functions that require churning out data and crunching numbers such as in the Finance functions or as a Market Researcher or even a Statistician.

There are babies born with the torso (stomach, intestines and heart) first and who grow up to be broader or rotund around the middle. These are known as ‘Endomorph’ and their uniqueness lies in their emotional intelligence. Unlike the Ectomorph, the Endomorph is an emotions or feelings person. They deal with their environment through the use of their own and other people’s feelings. These endomorphs have great empathy and can relate well to a variety of people. They understand the `logic’ of emotions and can understand the underlying distress of a mob or the significance of the unspoken word or gesture. These people grow up to be actors or playwrights, or Guest Relations Executives or even Human Resource Managers in large establishments. Their ability to solve human issues or respond to human dynamics or conflicts is their main forte.

Similarly, babies born with the limbs first are the Mesomorph and their intelligence is purely physical. They have tremendous abilities of the five senses and are extremely good at coordinating their limbs to get to the end result. These people are often seen in excellent physique, with broad shoulders and lean hips and streamlined legs and hands. They are fast paced in action and are a bundle of energy as they use their five sensors to deal with their environment. They turn out to be good athletes or construction engineers. They may be good at shop floor management, ,calling for daily dispatches and continuous operational decision-making and problem solving of a practical nature. They are good people to have on board for the sheer strength of physical energy expended and the speed with which they perform their tasks.

There is a fourth basic competency called Intuition which is not specific to any one of the above-mentioned morphs and which can very well be a powerful combination of any one as well. This ability is the logic of the `unknown’. Ideas and thoughts or concepts evolve from no specific point and occur to the person as hunches or vague notions. The Intuitor follows the notion to find or discover a whole new world beyond the stated facts or reality. This is the intelligence of James Watt who saw the power of steam in the kettle lid. It is the `hunch’ that Columbus pursued to discover America in a `flat world’. This is the realm of ideation and creativity and it is the fuel on which inventors and entrepreneurs survive.

Each person has a dominant core, which does not mean he lacks in the other competencies. Simply stated, the person prefers the use of a specific competence more than the other competencies.

In this backdrop, you may well ask `WHAT IS YOUR CORE?’

The core is what comes to you easily without an effort. The core is what deeply interests you. Pele was beaten black and blue by his father every time he caught the lad playing football without going to school. Pele took all the beating because `playing football was worth it’.

When dealing with an activity which engages your core, you are not conscious of time, discomfort, hunger and basic urges. In short, your physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual being is collectively involved with that activity. When dealing from your core, people see you at your best and you are happy and involved and look for the intrinsic satisfaction in what you do than what the activity gets in return.

Success profiles the world over talk of their job as the only thing they ever wanted to do. The concept of life was never to separate their economic activity from their personal life goals. Instead, a career was seen as `living one’s values and vision through work’.

Bringing home the bacon was important only after the basic need for ‘self worth’ and ‘social esteem’ was satisfied. There was never a compromise on this fundamental no matter what the compensations were. Today don’t we experience a multitude of managers who put up with a lot and come home de-energized because ‘the home stove needs to burn’? The casual conversations and the cafeteria backbites tell of stories of people who just need to hang on to ‘this stupid job’ until something else comes along. These people would never find ‘that dream job’ as they have not yet touched their core.

They have not experienced their `core’ as they are caught up in the activity called ‘cope’. They are pushing one painful day of drudgery and monotony after another. They are constantly vying to satisfy their ceaselessly demanding superiors. They are, in short, caught up in the act of ‘becoming’ rather than in the `being’.

People who understand their core have terrible bosses – themselves. They set for themselves high standards that only they can surpass. They never work a single day for the money or for any one.

They do so because they like to engage in those activities, which gives them challenging opportunities for innovating on new uncharted territories. They put themselves on an edge where new methods and approaches need to be tried constantly. They are never in despair as they exude self-confidence and take each failure as learning. They are their own critics and never stop at a success. They are normally discontent – constructively.

So how can you realise your core?

Rule 1: Discover your self first before you try and discover the world.

One of the poignant points that I have come across in dealing with managers in their middle age is that: `I don’t know where I am and where I am headed?’. This is because most of them chose careers from out of what was available outside without asking first, ‘What is it that I want in life?’.

Rule 2: Dare to dream.

The problem with most people is that they separate their desire from actions fulfilling a self-proclaimed prophesy saying dreamers don’t get there. There is never an iota of truth in that statement. All major accomplishments had a deep-seated and longing desire within the person who wanted it `like hell’.

Most people want the simple and easy things in life and they end up getting exactly that. But the real winners are those who went beyond their circumstances and thought it possible to achieve what others could never have thought of.

Rule 3: Just do it.

Between your dream and your actions, there are a number of negative voices and influences which will come packaged as words of wisdom, well-meaning advice but will mostly be ‘can’t be done’ comments. This is a moment of truth. Do you believe them or – yourself ? The step of NASA, the Voyage of Columbus and the Flight of the Wright Brothers are a few examples in their times where reason said not. They just went right ahead and did it.

Rule 4: Learn continuously

If you are in the right job, good. But that’s only the beginning. Life is dynamic and jobs change and the competence required of them even more. Yesterday’s success is gone and tomorrow’s success depends on what you learn today. The good old saying is ‘If you think getting to the top is difficult- try staying there’. In order to stay on top and growing, one needs to constantly re-invent oneself.

Just as you peel your clothes off every day to discover a new you, do so too with competencies. It’s called self actualization and the name of the game is to learn how far you could go and what it takes to discover the hidden potential in you. This requires openness and a deep desire to continuously experiment and learn with a child-like curiosity and wonder. Somewhere as people specialise and go deeper, they can see the interconnections between varied disciplines. At that moment of discovery, there is knowledge heightened by wisdom. This transforms the way the Guru perceives and responds to the world.

At this stage, the core is really experienced. At this stage, the spirit takes over, so much so, there is a subconscious response to the external stimuli. There is very little pause between thought and action. Between ought to and will do. This is the stage of `being’ having transcended from the stage of `becoming’. This is the stage when the art cannot be separated from the artist. The stage where the act is more gratifying than the rewards accruing.

At this stage ‘You have definitely arrived’.

In summary, each living being is created for a purpose with a competence to serve society at large. Each person therefore needs to find the core competency of his being whether he is a thinker, feeler, sensor or intuitor. The key is to discover one’s core. Having dared to dream of what you could become, acting on your conviction and learning continuously are the ingredients that will help you realise who you really are.

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