Be Discontent

Puzzled? What we are discontent with are the ‘end results’, it is an effect only and not the cause.  Effect is proportionate to its cause, “We are what we choose to be and get only what we have worked for”. Being discontent is one of the 7 steps which may help you to discover the power you carry within. 

Do we know enough of what we want? We face something and then decide this is not what we want! This goes on.  Worst is we are only discontent with the result, and not with the effort that we put behind to achieve that result.    

For instance, we desire for at least 50% hike this year and we get only 10%, we are discontent.  Put this question to yourself – ‘Why should you get 50% hike at all?  Did you ever plan and align your actions to demand 50% hike?  Did you ever go to your supervisor and asked, “what does it take for me to get at least 50% hike?” and if your supervisor said no matter what you achieve, 50% hike is impossible, what action did you take? If you stayed on, why you did so?   

Once I came across a senior executive whom company had recently denied promotion to ‘section manager’.  He decided to quit his job and put his paper down.  I met him when he was serving his notice period.   

I asked “why did you quit your job?  Is it because your company didn’t recognize you as ‘Manager’?  

He said “Yes”.  

I asked, ‘what makes you think you should be a ‘Manager’?  He got struck and couldn’t answer!  After a long pause he said “I have served for five long years in this company now, so I think I deserve this tag.’ 

I said, “How if I get another person from outside, and put him in your job, who has seven year of experience, willing to achieve better results than you ever achieved?” “Good to know you are discontent, but imagine if you ask your supervisor, ‘what does it take to get ‘section manager’ tag?  Tell me the numbers and time-frame?  

“Set a goal, plan the battle and fight it out” don’t seek anyone’s help; self-help is the best way, and fight to finish.   

If you are not recognized at the end, brace to change the battlefield, promote yourself and choose worthy opponents to fight with.    

Here is a list which covers most areas of discontentment, if not all. 

  • Pay package 

  • Work location 

  • Designation  

  • Appraisal  

  • Bonus 

  • Relocation policy 

  • Insurance coverage 

  • Fringe benefits 

  • Team size 

  • Sponsorship policies 

  • Company culture 

  • Performance goals 

  • Work pressure 

  • Peer pressure 

  • People and their ways which includes, boss 

The list above is only end results of our perceptions, thoughts and actions.  We are what we chose to be, and get only what we have worked for.  

If you think of becoming a CEO one day, you will become one; it is just a matter of time.  But thought alone doesn’t help.  To become a CEO, you must be ‘discontent’ with what you are today, what you have today, and put up what it takes to become a CEO one fine day.  There are no accidents in any journey, everything is by design.  

A dream remains a dream till a thought remains a thought, when a thought produces action laced with perseverance and commitment, dream transforms into destiny.  

Let me now bring two perspectives to discuss:  

  • Accountability 

  • Accomplishments 

How often do you take accountability for the failures? How often you admit to the lack of accomplishment in assigned work area? To others and to yourself? 

It is not uncommon to see, when results are fine many come forward to take accountability, when results prove disaster, there are no takers.  One who comes forward to take accountability for failures, he/she has begun to make a difference, ending to be a ‘common guy’, with common traits.  However don’t take accountability for everything that went right or that went wrong, take accountability that aligns with nurturing strength.    

Taking accountability when you shouldn’t have and not taking accountability when you should’ve nurtures weakness.  By doing so, you perhaps managed to survive the current round, but remember there are many more rounds to come.  To fight several rounds in the ring you need strength and endurance. 

Worst is when we try to convince ourselves that what happened was fine! This way we make a fool of ourselves and knock at the door of degradation.  

How you handle accountability and accomplishments decide what you receive in long-term, if not short-term.   When you are discontent with assigned work, you ask for more.  When you are discontent with current accomplishments you seek more.  When you dare to take accountability, you deserve more.   

Discontent is the ‘starting point’ of any journey. 

If your Key Result Area is to complete 100 transactions a day, you focus on achieving 100.  Why not 200? It is because ‘Foe mind’ at work suggests – ’why risk failure? Why commit something you don’t even know how to achieve! Even if you do, you will set an expectation’ and you will have to achieve it every time.  ‘Why get into trouble at all?’  Your pay check is intact, you are somehow achieving given targets, so why get into hassles? Let the need arise then decide… and the Foe Mind succeeds.  

The seed sown this way bears the fruits of: 

  • Complacency 

  • Lack of conviction 

  • Low confidence level 

  • Lack of experiential knowledge to achieve breakthrough results 

  • Fear of failure 

  • Fear to start 

  • Failure to learn  

Your contentment level lays foundation for your accomplishments; what you hold yourself accountable for, lays foundation for your position. 

Rest, pay package, work location, designation, etc are only the result or effect.  

Though you may be the commander in chief, but in warfare you will have to win over trust, belongingness, respect and care of fellow soldiers or even generals.    

Trust others and others will trust you, include others you will feel belonging, respect others and others will respect you, and care for others so that others will care for you and do all of these in professional context. 

However, use your maturity levels to draw a line between under or overdoing any of the above, lest you will be distracted from your course.   

If you are discontent when: 

  • your role is not clear,  

  • you don’t have a measurable goal,  

  • you are unable to achieve measurable goals consistently, 

  • you can achieve measurable goals ‘somehow’ and not sure if you or someone else can reproduce them,  

  • your goals seem too easy to achieve, 

  • you hide your failures and look for ‘what to hook’ during calamity,   

  • you don’t take accountability when you should have taken, and  

  • you don’t volunteer to take additional responsibilities, 

You have made the right beginning! It is a matter of time; you will reach your dream destiny.  Focus on the journey, believe in yourself and tread the path.  Have patience and commitment, journey will take care of your other needs.  

About the Author

Sreedher Kadambi serves as the Principal Consultant and Managing Director at Skil Global Business Solutions Private Limited. With over two decades of experience, he specializes in consulting for Operations Excellence practices within the industry. Kadambi has collaborated with over 20 diverse business segments across India, the USA, and the Middle East, catering to small, medium, large-scale enterprises, as well as multinational companies. Additionally, he holds a position as a visiting faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur. 

Kadambi has contributed to the field by authoring numerous articles and case studies focused on the implementation of world-class operational excellence practices, available, under blog section, on He is also the author of "Cracking the Six Sigma Black Belt Exam," a publication by McGraw Hill, which is currently out of print.

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