The threeactivate personal moods and social atmospheres, which affect energy levels and personal involvement with specific decisions and useful activities:
The impact for-centred & -centred (upper-left quadrant) falls on society, while the impact for -centred (lower-right quadrant) falls on individuals.
It can be a thin line between criticism (positive) and cynicism (negative), & between confidence (positive) and complacency (negative).
Moving down the diagonal, the positive mood produces increasingly visible results.
centred individuals thrive in an atmosphere of unfettered criticism and rational, precise argument. Any and every matter (even or especially «sacred cows») is dispassionately subjected to scrutiny.
centred individuals need to become passionately engaged with society. This requires criticism of the status quo in media polemics, pamphleteering, public demonstrations, open debates, campaigns and crusades.
focused individuals require a confident approach to find a job or seek promotion.
focused individuals need confidence to invest effectively.
Moving down the diagonal, the negative mood produces increasingly visible arrogance.
centred individuals can find disillusionment setting in. They note the self-centredness, biased thinking and unreflective attitudes of many in politics and in business, and use it as an excuse for cynicism.
At intellectual extremes the result is a philosophy of nihilism, in which positive efforts to deal with social problems are discounted as futile.
centred individuals may fail to see that «the best is the enemy of the good». Feeling that their ideals and efforts are being ignored, they become frustrated and even enraged.
At fundamentalist extremes personal commitment becomes paradoxical and violent: the adherent kills to promote life; or tortures to show compassion.
-focused individuals who become complacent, present themselves as lazy, smug and insensitive. They do not strive to produce or serve the market, and are liable to alienate bosses, subordinates, suppliers and customers alike.
Complacency is a natural precursor to losing your job.
-focused individuals are prone to become arrogant and generate corporate complacency. The complacent company rests on its laurels, lets debt accumulate, allows competitors to take its best customers, takes community support for granted, ignores complaints and product failures, refuses to heed warnings or seize opportunities, and pays its top executives phenomenal salaries.
Complacency is a natural precursor to collapse of the company into either bankruptcy or a competitor’s embrace.
Originally posted: July 2009