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Miguel Barba
Miguel Barba

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Caves of Steel

This post was originally posted here.

In Isaac Asimov's "Caves of Steel", the humanity that still inhabits planet Earth, lives in giant cities, covered by gigantic domes from where they never leave. They end up becoming agoraphobic has a consequence of such seclusion. The population levels are alarming everywhere and, as a consequence, the vast majority accepts gladly to live in a context where limitations, social extracts and a very strong sense of hierarchy rule, everything because of the fear of losing everything they have (seen as a privilege) or never be able to reach whatever they might aspire to.

While reading the book I ended up establishing a kind of a parallel, on its own scale and with all the necessary differences (yes, my mind wanders a lot), about something that happens recurrently in our workplaces and that we tolerate and let go, without thinking about the adverse consequences that it might end up having. I'm referring to the fear of making a choice or deciding something, especially when it's hard, difficult and the output may have consequences of some kind. Almost for sure that you've been through that and, very lightly, you were one those persons in some occasions. In those moments, inside our heads, one can often listen to stuff like "leave it to them", "let them decide", "does it have to be me?" or "I'll end up having lots of work", just as an example. It happened to you already, hasn't it? We must be aware of his kind of posture, acknowledge that it exists and, more importantly, we must fight it; in ourselves and in others around us. Taking chances is an essential part of our growth when we want to grow and overcome ourselves on a daily basis and throughout our career. These moments may have the power to inflate us with trust or, at least, we should be able to learn from them. Any risk should be properly weight and calculate so that we can minimise it from the start.

But how can we do it? Why not share the responsibility? Exchange experiences, talk with more experienced people. Try to clearly understand what's at stake. If you can't explain the problem in a simple and clear way, then you haven't understood it clearly. But above everything else, believe in yourselves and don't turn your back to a challenge. To remain in your comfort zone may be a guarantee that you won't be taking a step back but will surely prevent you from taking a step forward. Don't stay inside your cave of steel.

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