In his infamous letter, Founder of Satyam Computers, Ramalinga Raju said, “What started as a marginal gap between actual operating profit and the one reflected in the books of accounts continued to grow over the years. It has attained unmanageable proportions as the size of the company’s operations grew over the years” . Raju described how an initial cover-up for a poor quarterly performance escalated: “It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten” .
Ramalinga Raju was arrested for one of the worst accounting scandals in the history of corporate India.
This story is not about Satyam Computers or Ramalinga Raju. This story is about how we as humans, tend to project a false image and thus building a travesty of ourselves until the bubble bursts and leave us in tragedy.
When we project an inflated image much bigger than our real self, life will throw challenges that will match the inflated image in puissance, leaving the weight of the inflated image crushing our real image to dust.
The real self gets cringed under the inflated image.
Fake it till you make it may sound true in some situations. But may not be working when it comes to your real strengths and capabilities. You cannot fake weightlifting till you become a weightlifting champion. You have to work your way through.
Each of us have our own limitations. However, we can enhance our capabilities to break the limit. First step — “Know your limit”
Knowing your strengths, knowing your limits, knowing the real you.
Knowing your real self helps you to understand your strengths and weaknesses better.
Knowing what really makes you happy and what makes you to fake your happiness differentiates between living happy and looking happy.
We can see this kind of behaviour gap among the college graduates. Most of them know that drugs or alcohol are injurious to health. However, that knowledge may not transpire into their behavior. They may chose to take drugs just to maintain their “cool” image amongst peers. They may want to project an image which is not congruent to their real self.
However, the habit which started as an image builder consumes the person completely, takes control of the mind and body before they could realise what is happening and become addicts. Gudberg Johnson, a Psychologist from Reykjavik found out that in reality most of the students were unhappy about drinking/smoking yet to get the social preference they still did drugs. Most of them were faking their happiness just to get identified with the group.
When you try to project a different self than the real self, you break yourself completely, sometimes to a point of no return.
It is imperative to realise our true self and match it with our behaviour. This can rudder us to discover more hidden potential that can eventually catapult us to build an image that can consistently grow in size.
How can we bridge the gap between thoughts and behavior. How can we depict the real self in every situation rather than the fake self.
By being “Authentic”.
Authenticity is the congruence of behavior with the thoughts. Authenticity is the alignment of action with our inner self.
When we align our behavior with thoughts, we live to what is our capacity. The scandalous misrepresentation does not happen. This is the point where we get the power to challenge our limits. If we don’t exhibit our true self ever, we get no opportunity to grow further.
When the Satyam Computers situation was openly accepted, the opportunity to align the thoughts and behavior took a new shape. This allowed the new team to start the rehabilitation process and re-establish Satyam’s position.
Being Authentic is the base from where we can challenge our limitations and can proudly proclaim “No Limits”
Being Authentic is the place where we can co-exist comfortably with our strengths and weaknesses.
Being Authentic is the congruent point of past, present and future all encapsulated in that one moment of glory. There is no guilt feeling of the past or anxiety of the future, just the pure bliss of the present moment.