Human Nature #1-5

Zahirah ‘ZZ’ Zulkifly, our guest writer, spends a lot of time working in and out of student organisations.Currently MASS's sitting president, ZZ mines her experience to share with us some of her observations on ‘Human Nature’.

Human nature #1: Where you come from can have a positive or negative effect on your personality. But usually, it's negative.
We all have friends who come from rural and city areas. Have you noticed that there can be significant differences between the two? Like it or not, location and surroundings influences the way we act and behave a lot.  An old Malay saying says, “masuk kandang kambing mengembek, masuk kandang kerbau, menguak” which simply means that you have to adapt yourself to the surroundings where you are. This might be the main reason people change as they move to a new location. How good or bad the changes are? It is up to the person’s tolerance to peer pressure as well as his or her principles. All you have to do is just remember, who you are, your roots and your purpose of being there.

Human nature #2: when you are at the top, you tend to forget who helped you on your way up to the TOP.
Power. Authority. With power comes authority and with authority comes greed. It may be unfair for me to stereotype people but this is always the case. Power can make people turn into a selfish and greedy person, if he or she does not know how to ‘use’ it well.  It is almost impossible for someone to get to the top without networks, relationships and friendships. Hence, when you’re there at the TOP, please remember all the relationships that you made along the way to make who you are today and thank them for all they had done for you. Getting from A to B is important but how you get there is even more important; it is not about the destination, it is about the journey (including relationships built, networks and experiences gained) towards achieving the destination.
Whatever it is, if you are put in a situation or position where you have power and are responsible to make decisions, remember, do NOT be selfish, do NOT put your own intentions and motives above others’. And remember the people who helped your way up to the TOP.
Human nature #3: we tend to dwell in the PAST when we should concentrate on the present and focus to succeed in the future
We humans tend to ALWAYS look back at our past and think about the ‘what ifs’…. what if I did not say that, what if I appreciated her earlier, what if I spend more time on my assignment, etc. etc
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not wrong to look back at the past to reflect on ourselves; how we did and where we went wrong BUT it is totally NOT okay to dwell in our past and not learn anything from there to improve ourselves.
We must learn that life goes on, no matter what happens. Doesn’t mean if you failed in the past, it is the end of the world for you. Mistakes are a blessing, believe it or not; because they help you identify your weaknesses and gives you a chance to ‘fix’ yourself before the next go. Given and provided with the right opportunities, resources and the right mental state, we will be able to succeed!
Human nature #4: when things don't go our way, we often put the blame on others.
Have you had moments when you were late for meetings and the first thing you said when you arrive at the meeting is:
“Sorry I’m late, the train was delayed.” Or
“Sorry I’m late; my friend took so long to get ready”.
It is always the train, your friend, your brother, your car, your cat, your dog, the keys etc. but  neverYOU. (In most cases – exceptional for those who use METRO as it is REALLY usually their fault for being late).
Why is this always the situation? Simply because it is just human nature to blame others when things don’t go their way, rather than admitting it is our fault. Shameful, yes I know. But that’s the reality.
Tips: I like to use what my dad taught me - backward planning. I’ve found this ‘method’ effective and has helped me become more organized and punctual. I don’t mean to brag, but I am 90% punctual ALL the time! ;)
1.    Identify the destination or desired outcome (can be a location or personal goals)
2.    Identify the resources (time needed, skills) that you have now
3.    Identify the resources that you need and what needs to be done to get to the destination or desired outcome
4.    Have specific dateline to achieve location or desired outcome. Make sure to give yourself a time allowance
5.    Keep to the plan and evaluate where went good or where went wrong
How to implement this method? Simple.
If you have a meeting at Melbourne Central @ 10.30 am (destination/goal), log on to www.metlinkmelbourne.com to find out the train schedule (resources). Estimate how long the journey will take from your home to Melbourne Central. (Note: If your appointment is at 10.30 am, the golden rule is to be there by at least 15-30 minutes earlier). So work your time backwards, choose the most suitable time for you to leave your house. You will never have to blame others again.
Human nature #5: Different people have different motivations. Understanding their motivations is a must to get them to do what they don't enjoy.
If you have been in any organizations or associations at all you would be able to understand this very well. How often you have to deal with people who are just not motivated to carry out their responsibilities or to do what they were told to do? Sometimes people are forced into doing what they don’t want to do and because of that give no commitment to their duties and cannot deliver on their promises. But that does not mean you should totally give up and not work with them in the future.
Understanding their motivations may be the solution. As we all know, according to the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (I studied management as a major where this is mentioned in each and EVERY subject, hence I MUST use this!), people are motivated differently and they will only move on to the next hierarchy when the previous hierarchy is satisfied. Some may be part of organizations or associations because they want to make new friends and get the Bbq girl’s number (belonging) or to gain respect of others and post on facebook pictures of themselves with personalities (esteem) or it could even be for morality purposes – you know the type (self-actualization). Therefore, if we understand their motives and motivation, we may be able to better ‘cater’ the tasks and responsibilities accordingly, and make everyone happy. When everyone’s happy the world will be a better place. (Yeah right, as if it’s that easy).

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