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Recently at work I have begun to notice the competition between colleagues and how they will compete for prestige over a job they manage, commenting “I built that” or “that was my job”. This for me prompted the question – do we really build or do things all by ourselves? Is the pride in what we have achieved something that is lasting and fulfilling or even true?

Now on some level this is true; one person can claim that a finished product or task is theirs when only one person’s input is considered, but when you look at the steps and input required to complete a job or product, there is more often than not more than one person needed to complete it.

For example, when we look at the process behind producing a specific product to get it to the point where it is to be installed, there is the team that manufacture the product, the team who pack and distribute the product, the team who install the product and finally the end users of the product. Also, in between all these people there are many others that support this process along the way.

We can explore this much more widely … there are many other people who support a factory worker as they manufacture a product. For a start, this person must have food and water to sustain themselves, clothes to wear, a house to live in, a car, furniture and the list goes on…

The point here is that this one person is supported by a network of others. We are all supported to live our lives by many other people.

If we were to piece together how much of a co-operative contribution is needed to produce one product the results would be astounding, proving that we cannot do something in isolation to anyone else.

When we look closely at all the contributions needed from many others to provide a product or service, it proves that no one man or woman is an island on their own as there is always a form of inter-dependency and connection between each other.

Therefore, no one or no-thing can operate independent of itself. Just as there are many parts needed to make a machine run there are also many people needed working in harmony and congruency with each other to successfully complete a project or get a job done.

We each have our own role to play in contributing in our homes, communities and workplaces, and we each have our own unique way of expressing what we bring to share with the world. So when we step back and take a look at the way these things are made or produced, we can see that no one can honestly say that this is “My Job” or truly say “I did it” and take ownership over anything.

Furthermore, the end product or service has a different feel if the process is completed in the quality where we are all working together, compared to one person striving to achieve something for themselves. When we work on things together there is a certain quality of harmony that allows all to shine equally and the work or product itself is with the same quality that it was originally made in.

This leads to the question about pride and prestige. Do these qualities have any benefit at all for the greater good of humanity? Or are they nothing more than falsely constructed values that give us the illusion that we gain status from what we have created?

There is such an impermanence to all of this, as the shine of the pride wears off quickly and the next round of searching for the next big thing to provide the recognition begins.

The fact is that we live in communities and develop relationships with others. We form a network of connections through family, work, school and all who we are in contact with daily in our sphere of life and, in fact, all we share this planet with. This is a great indication that we have a natural pull to be with each other and work together.

So, the question is not so much, "are we working together?", as just by living and sharing this planet with more than 7.5 billion people we are inevitably working, living and breathing together; but the question to ask is really – "how do we work together?"?

Do we recognise that it is inescapable that we are all in connection with each other, all of the time, therefore seeing beyond this world being just about our own little bubble and what we can make for ourselves in it?

Or do we consider that in every interaction we have the potential to make these connections with each other about love, dispelling the need to act in isolation for our own gain and making our intention to develop a more harmonious way of living for us all.

If we could realise there was a way where we lived less for just ourselves and more for all of us, would we nurture all our relationships deeply with the knowing that through our interactions with each other we are in fact nurturing a relationship with everyone else? Therefore, there is no need to take credit for an achievement if our intention lies not with what is done for ourselves but in the quality of how we are working together for the benefit of all.

Filed under

Work stressWork life balanceTeamwork

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    By Chris Vale

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    Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.