At the end of the day, if someone asks you or you ask yourself what you have accomplished, you will sound like a scratched CD — you halt and sputter, unable to give a concise answer.
While rummaging my cupboard, I chanced upon an old compact disc. It had some nice songs that I had burnt onto it years back. Sadly, when I turned the CD over, I realized it was full of scratches. I hardly listen to CDs anymore and even the CD player needs a thorough dusting. Sure enough, once I began playing the CD, it began to sputter like an old engine.
Once upon a time, that CD was new. The songs on it played beautifully, without interruption. Over time, rough and over-usage meant that it got scratches all over, making it useless. The upside is finding and listening to those songs that were on the CD isn’t tough at all. I can listen to them on almost any streaming app. The downside is the CD is now useless as it cannot be used anymore.
The scratched CD syndrome affects all of us.
You begin the day with a clear set of goals and priorities but are faced with countless interruptions and this causes you to lose focus and begin scrolling endlessly and surf mindlessly. At the end of the day, if someone asks you or you ask yourself what you have accomplished, you will sound like a scratched CD — you halt and sputter, unable to give a concise answer.
Few ways in which scratches get inflicted on us:
Your abilities and confidence are constantly undermined, causing you to lose your ability to think clearly and precisely.
How do you think you will perform in such a situation?
A team gets a new leader who leads using fear and divide and rule to keep people in check. What was once a reasonably happy team who looked out for one another is now spending all their time watching their backs.
What kind of atmosphere will that be to work in?
Team members constantly get conflicting feedback from different layers in a hierarchical structure.
How will that impact their ability to produce quality work and work without constantly feeling like punching someone in the face?
It’s impossible to get through life without some bruises and scratches. If we don’t, we’re probably playing it too safe or not learning from mistakes.
Had I looked after the CD and not treated it with disdain, I’m sure it would have served me for a longer period of time.
Somewhere, the same also applies to us.
Allow people and situations to leave too many scratches on us and sure enough, we will end up like scratched CDs, tired and disillusioned, unable to do what we are capable of. Just like the CD, we all have a song, something to offer, but are unable to bring it out because of all the scratches that have been inflicted on us.
What are the scratches that are keeping you from doing what you’re capable of?