Makarand Utpat

Life is About Possibilities, Not Problems

A cleaning lady has been coming to our house. Even though uneducated in English, she fills that void with great work ethic, hard-work, and her affectionate attitude. In addition, she has been quite reliable where we do not have to worry about stealing or theft issues. Overall, we have been quite content with her services for the past few years.

Earlier this week, she delivered the news that she is quitting all of her existing clients and will start working with the health-care facility. Even though she will earn far less than what she is making, she took this decision with a heavy-heart because the health-care facility will be taking care of her and her family’s insurance. Indeed, a big dilemma!

She herself was very sad about conveying the news since many of the clients she has been serving have lasted for the past 15 years or more.

This was certainly a heartbreaking news to us since we can’t imagine her not coming due to all the reasons mentioned above. In the past, we have gone through a quite a bit of hassles to find a person who is not only reliable but also provides the services at economical costs. It is difficult to find a person who fills both ends.

I inquired her about her work schedule and she said that she will be working Mon-Fri from 7am to 3pm. She cleans the houses in the morning time only and for some reason, she had a big mental block that she will be losing her clients.

I told her that I will be happy to work with her schedules and that it will be completely fine with us if she wants to come in the evenings or weekends. The shock on her face was totally perplexing! She asked “Can I do that? Won’t you have any issues?”. I said, “Of course, you can! and Yes, I absolutely don’t foresee any issues!”. She said “Thank you for accommodating!”.

It gave her renewed sense of hope and optimism. She has reached out to few clients already. Couple of them are not ready to accommodate her since they want her to come only in the morning times but couple of others are ready to cope up with her new schedule changes because they like her and because she has been working with them for such a long time. She is now happy that not only her health-insurance needs will get covered but she may not have to lose as much in terms of earning income.

Above story may exhibit a trivial example of a minor adversity. But this brings me to the point that every problem presents itself with few possibilities, different approaches, and different solutions.

Many-a-times, we shackle ourselves when faced with small difficulties or large setbacks. Our brains, sometimes, are wired for the negative biases (towards peers, superiors, subordinates or just looking at the situation as a whole) or store depressed stories in our heads (picturing ourselves as victims) where we take the comfort in consoling ourselves but not necessarily changing the narratives.

We, sometimes, forget to look beyond in terms of giving others enough latitude for their actions/ behavior and/or miss out on the real opportunities that are lying nearby us or are hidden waiting for us to take actions on. This is true in corporate situations or personal lives. We forget to reorient ourselves where, in fact, we are in a position to drive better outcomes or in some cases, we forget to recreate different story line by taking charge of it, which is completely in our control. This is one of the important aspects of the leadership!

To your Success!