Why I think I should be laid off

Why I think I should be laid off

Be transparent to reality
Published July 17, 2022
The view of this post is largely based upon the beliefs I have
  • I define my goal of life as doing meaningful work and having meaningful relationships, shamelessly stole from Ray Dalio.
  • Committing to truth is more important than merely feeling good

It’s been a while since I’ve adopted Naval’s mindset that you can’t be rich by renting out your time. And rich, as different people may project very different meaning to it, I define it as having the necessary freedom that I want in order to make me happy.
This mindset shift is kinda huge for me, since I can’t convince myself with any compelling reason to work for others besides a steady paycheck (i.e. a harmful addiction according to N N Taleb 🫠) to feed my stomach. As a result, a series of unexpected behavioral changes took place subconsciously without I even realize them. A few examples are that I am more prone to be late for meetings as I take meetings as productivity killers, I unintentionally missed lots of DMs or email threads as I muted notifications for time blocking, even worse I can’t help getting distracted from the regular work as I’m thinking about my own priorities all the time. There’s a lot more, but the idea is the same. None of those behaviors are necessary if you put “being professional” on a higher priority and tilt the mirror accordingly.
Obviously any manager will notice that you’re late for meetings when it happens often enough, so I actually got lots of polite DMs from my manager indicating my poor attendance for meetings. However, the conversation always revolves around an “that’s alright, don’t worry” style. Since I start practicing meditation about mindfulness and gratitude, I gradually become more self aware and it literally becomes a ritual of mine to appreciate the luck of having a “lenient” manager that tolerates my misbehaviors with generosity.
However, being grateful doesn’t necessarily make you more rational. The fact is that if you want to do meaningful work, you can’t set the bar very low, we’re far more often failing not because of aiming too high, but because of aiming too low. I took a step back to observe my behaviors more closely and realized that it’s all caused by the misalignments between personal goals and what the job expects from me. But a more interesting and practical question arises as should I really appreciate my manager’s tolerance? Without thinking I can tell that the tolerance does no straight harm to me, that’s why I felt that I’m lucky. But trying to root cause it naturally leads me to ask why the tolerance could even happen? Throwing away the common nonsense answer that my manager might think that I have great potentials, let’s just focus on the facts.
Thinking inversely seems a bit easier, if choose not to tolerate, typically by issuing warnings or punishments, or letting go the wrong person, the manager had to admit that the previous hiring decision could be wrong and painfully reassess a hire’s actual value that can be incentivized. What’s even harder is to have the gut to make tough decisions after weighing out all the potential consequences. None of these actions is as simple as doing nothing. And doing nothing creates the strongest incentive for the other side to continue doing what they’re doing. So should I appreciate all this kindness? Maybe, or maybe not?