We Are Automated

Cindy is a hard working person, who set up own business as a designer. She worked alone in the business. Later, the business expanded and she need to two or three more people to support. Now she has five people working for her. Yet she was always frustrated. She will be angry on them for not doing the work properly; and will do herself.

Finally, the staff left one by one. The Reason?

Cindy never allowed anyone to do the job. She did everything herself. She developed a belief that no one can do the job like her. Her trigger was when an employee asked to explain a task. Her reaction was it is easier to do herself than to explain.

We are little robotic at times, as humans.
We do something so often that we no longer have to think about how we do it (default mindset). Once we learn how to drive a car, we just do it every day without even thinking. We are automated.

Same thing happens in other areas of our life. We get up at the same time, we get ready and go to office in the same way; and work on our desk in the same way. We create routine in our life.

Routine is important in our life, and we start depending on it. It helps us to move with certainty. (Success trap – because we have succeeded in past in certain way, we think that’s the only way).

So when our routine is altered, we get stressed. We cannot accept or bear the change in routine. It happens in our family life also.

The routine is part of us and it is us. We forget that the world around us is changing. So we need to check in with our routine to see that the same pattern is still working the best for us.

This is same for the way we communicate with other people – set pattern of language, tone, or style of communicating. Some of these patterns are effective and therefore, we have succeeded.

However, we need to check whether these aspect of communication are still working the best for us.

REACTING is like an automated response. Something triggers a reaction. Deep within each of us, we store triggers and reactions. We react the way we have programmed ourselves to react. The concern is that it’s difficult to observe what our triggers are. Some our triggers and reactions we have developed over time, no longer work for us and can be actually be destructive.


Cindy’s story is not uncommon. She had set this belief. She had a set trigger to this belief. She would react in a set way. This pattern had been there for long time and mastered by Cindy.

Everyone has these patterns; everyone reacts to certain triggers that are built on certain beliefs. However, it is a choice – to react in this way. You learnt the behavior; you can change it as well.

Now think, if Cindy took a breadth and had four seconds of silence before reacting to her staff. That would change her pattern of behavior from one of reacting to one of responding. She would choose how she wished to respond, rather than falling back on her automated reaction.

One breadth could change the entire situation. Four seconds! Sounds too easy. It is easy. However, it is a choice.


Our pattern of beliefs fuels our triggers and our reactions. These patterns can be good. You may train yourself to get straight up when your alarm clock goes off in the morning and to put your running shoes on and go for a run. Running makes you feel fantastic. This pattern, the triggers, and your reaction, is working for you. It is helping you stick to a routine that makes you feel good.

But Cindy’s pattern is not working for her. She needs to be reprogrammed. She needs to respond to a situation.

Life is complex and there are many situations in every day where are confronted by something we have never done or thought before.

We need to respond in the moment. We cannot train ourselves to react to everything; this would mean that we are not living in the present moment. Being in the moment means you cannot bring the past into that moment.

A reaction is from your past. If we strive to be present when we are communicating with someone, then we won’t react to what they say.

The first step is to uncover what we are reacting to (negative feeling). Sometimes we suppress our feelings and cover up with another feeling. When we feel tired or stressed, we try to change what we are doing – say we go for shopping, eat something, watch television. But this way, emotion will be growing stronger inside and an even bigger reaction will occur anytime. Denying ourselves the time to feel our emotions means that we store them up. We live in the storage department of our life, taking stock, feeling how angry tired or stressed we are.

And, convincing ourselves that the person sitting opposite us is totally to blame.

Enjoying life, having a fulfilling life, is about experiencing life and responding to it as it comes along.

Reacting to our triggers is not living in the moment.

Suresh Shah, Managing Director, Pathfinders Enterprise

One response to “We Are Automated”

  1. Shirish M Kamdar says:

    Good one!

    Cindy needs some one like you to guide.

    I have experienced myself such situation, but thank God, came out of it in time and could manage big staff of 150 located at seven different places in India.

    Change is always different and one must accept the fat that people are not difficult, they are just different…. once you accept this fact, everything will be fine… may be life at home, job OR business.

    Thanks for sharing this