The Corporate World Today
Well-disciplined, immaculate, stylish, time bound, go-getters and achievers- such is the structure and foundation of any corporate. All this and more sums up to be a culture all by itself. Nothing wrong with this, in fact it is best for an individual to be the above. So what next? Scanning and recruiting begins. Recruits begin and so do trainings and procedural formalities as well as protocols to follow, all in favour of the organization and in turn a hefty packet to the individual. And life changes! As an individual Jayant spoke about his journey…….
He was excited the day he received the confirmation letter and had to join on the coming Monday. From day one to the month end, he was trained and interacted with the colleagues of his department. The initial work phase was full of excitement as he jelled very well with his colleagues and was like a small family away from home. Six months went by and he was in the system enjoying his corporate job and the pattern that included travel and a good lifestyle, which he always longed for. Happily married with 2 children ,a furnished house, a mid-segment four wheeler and a secured job was his life for he did not need to look elsewhere as he had a new bunch of friends from the corporate world in that process. Life was amazing for two years.
It was a gradual change he said. Work pressure high that he was good to take on. Post work as a ritual once a week, all the colleagues used to socialize over drinks and dinner mostly without families. Ritual began with once a week progressing to twice and gradually to 4 times a week. Work pressure kept mounting leading to long working hours. Life was good even then, until there came a time where he needed to upgrade himself up to the level of his colleagues. He needed to change his car and switch to a segment where he urged to match the expectation of few colleagues driving upper segment cars. He could manage that too by stretching a bit and financially planning all his EMI s etc. Pressure not just at work but also to be at par with the lifestyle of the colleagues that were now his social circle led him to book a new apartment and take a hefty loan. Work and social circles grew bigger as many a times work related travel added on. Now in this process came a time where frictions in the family developed. He had the funds to provide ration, fulfil their needs and provide a few luxuries to his family but time that he could spend with his family as constrained as his work demanded more of him.
"Corporate Politics"- A world that he was still unintroduced to came to hit him hard with time when the Hire and Fire began. The same colleagues who used to socialize together had developed hidden agendas as to how to pull the other down to showcase their work to the immediate bosses. He realised the hierarchy all the way to the top from the bottom. Work demanded even longer hours than before, demands from the seniors mounted, targets increased as the team grew bigger and so did his responsibilities; and time spent with family shrunk to 3 hours a week. 'Rest' time included travelling time from to office and so on. Keeping at par with others became a necessity by then and socialising became a daily affair where drinking alcohol became a ritual. Time was spent in travel, work, evening parties, closing deals and coming back home to sleep. This eventually led to restless moments as there was a heap of expectations to meet and alas, health took a beating. The last straw in the bottle fell when his family complained of him never being there for them. Stress, addiction and unfulfilled expectations made him succumb to what we know as DEPRESSION.
Now there were three things to be approached: - STRESS, ADDICTION & DEPRESSION, and each was looked and dealt individually!
Stress is something that adds on with time. Begins as a tiny concern that we tend to ignore, as we feel that it does not harm us in our routine life. The word EXPECTATION is the spark that starts the fire. In the case stated above, it all started without him realizing it, which is indeed the case with most people. The demands of the culture and matching up to the expectations of the society we live in has made us BRAND ourselves. Stress keeps mounting slowly and steadily until we take a leap of faith towards the expectation to cope with it and stretch ourselves too far but in that bargain we tend to loose on health and happiness in anticipation of happiness in monetary things. Jayant identified his stress and realised that it was getting huge, so he found his escape in Alcohol. Socializing became so inevitable that he would find excuses to stay away from home many a times and followed the ritual of meeting his friends/acquaintances (whom he did not even care for much) and spend evenings out. In short, Alcohol became his escape from reality, which he could identify but could not face it and fight it!
Frictions at home front, work, addiction to alcohol, societal expectations, own wants and desires to make it big and the competitive lifestyles of others suffocated him many times when he ran down the slope of DEPRESSION. Depression occurs due to low confidence and suppression in many. The chemical release of dopamine in our brain is clogged due to the smog of our thoughts that we get entangled in it.
The second layer was Addiction. Addiction is something that cannot be dealt with alone, it requires support from family, immediate and important social groups. Deviation from the thought of opening the bottle is the thin line he walked on. Music therapy did wonders in this. It helped him pave way from the challenging thoughts and that was the strength he gained. It was a gradual process beginning with 5 days without alcohol, to 7 days without it, to a month and further lowered to two months without it. Gradual decease along with music therapy helped in completing preventing his escape to reality.
STRESS was the third layer that was dealt with. Music as a therapy and counselling cannot make it go way overnight, but works as a tool to cope up with stress. A simpler way to put it would be to UNWIND and REBOOT. Music therapy along with counselling gave Jayant clarity of thought about his work, family and his friend circle. Most importantly, he understood the importance of saying NO when need be. Counselling sessions helped him prioritize his working patterns and lifestyle.
Yes, Holistic treatments do take time, but the wonder with Music as a structured therapy and counselling together is that it cleans our all the abstract garbage stored within us and starts working from ground zero. Active participation of the person through the exercises with music and counselling can help in clearing away the smog created due to cluttered accumulation of negative thoughts and gets us good to go!
Today Jayant is back with his family who have been supportive, has made positive amends in his work pattern and has learnt to create a balance between his personal and professional life. A lot of Counselling along with Music as his therapy helped him find that lost confidence with in him with clarity of prioritize things in his life.
Music, as we all know is loved by all. It changes our mood, gets us in the happy zone, uplifts us and motivates us. 95% of people love music and they accept it. The rest 5% are either indecisive or say they dislike music which is a white lie! Let us picture this, if you erase the vocals from your speech and you shall get music/sound. That is how music is embedded in us. Your laughter or cry or even a sob has some music in it.
A lady was once asked about the kind of music that she listens to……. She said that when she is happy, she loves listening to house music or even some rock and when she is sad, she listens to some instrumental or some blues or slow tracks. Now here is the catch; 'when you are sad, you listen to slow tracks or instrumental in anticipation to keep you calm but once done you come back to the same mind-set that you were in'. We like to hear music that plays congruent with the mind-set and that is where we go wrong.
Music Therapy is an adaptation of all the genres of music in the form of an exercise, which is blended and structured as a concept that teaches one to accept it all. Hand in hand goes the counselling where relations between music and life of that person is formed. Music as a therapy works wonders on every cell in our brain and the feeling of happiness is witnessed, which reveals the release of Dopamine required. In this search for happiness many individuals succumb to habits that are harmful. One does not have control over the release of the chemicals in the brain but can monitor it by the activities one involves himself in, thus when activities like substance abuse, gambling and many others which eventually increases the release of the “feel good hormone”, it is then that the individual gets addicted. In that search for happiness, one succumbs to external factors and latches onto it until years go by in vain which leads to loss of health and stability.
“Life is Simple, it is us who complicate it”!