(Nominated in the category of English Non-Fiction for the REC-VoW Book Awards, 2019)
Excerpts from the interview with Haqiqat Ali:
By Prachi Rana
Many chapters in Walk out of your Head deal with the chaos in the corporate world. Could you please tell us about how this became a theme for you?
I have been a part of corporate culture having worked in Indian companies, MNCs and MNCs outside the country. Into my fifth year of doing a corporate job, I have already switched 4 companies, the current one being the fifth. This adventure of having a rather Questionable CV (due to changing jobs frequently) has however let me analyse these cultures and understand it better. I have seen how in these corporations, management decisions and job profiles lead to nothing but dissatisfaction in many cases. Some can find better opportunities outside and some can’t. What do they do as a result? Become worried, over think, clutter their minds, and develop a dislike for the organisation, manager, job profile or the entire industry. The question here is; can they really find their way out of their misery? Look around you, how many people in the corporate sector are happy with their jobs, decisions taken for them and by them. Can they happily accept these decisions and situations? And if not! What do they do?
The behaviour of an employee’s immediate manager plays a significant role in the mental health of that employee. The Corporate Sector has cut throat competition and there is a line outside to fill your shoes in case you decide to move on. So people end up in a deteriorated mental condition. They cannot find an escape, they can’t change people and their behaviour and they can’t change jobs so easily. So they end up stagnated in an unfavourable, unhealthy environment having no way out and hence worries, sadness, rumination, over thinking would be the easiest things available for the mind, if not serious anxiety, inferiority complex and depression.
A Corporate Job, personally, does not have good mental health prospects unless one knows one’s way around it. This way around was required by me more than anybody at one point of time and I found it. It’s there in my book! And I would recommend you to go and look for it in “Walk out of your head” rather than running away from situations, sad and dead (not literally I mean).
And I am still a part of this corporate work culture and I guess doing way better than before.
How did you conceptualise the “Twenty-one Days Approach”? Can you also tell us about the research, and the inspiration behind this book?
It’s based on a psychological research of 21/90; 21 days to form or un-form a habit and 90 days to make it a lifestyle. I found habits, behaviour and attitude were the core issues that needed to be dealt with if we have to eliminate over thinking and de-clutter the mind. I was looking for research in these aspects and got to know about the 21/90 approach. Amazingly it works. It’s not a static benchmark that you will definitely achieve the results but it will differ for each individual with some variations, depending on their individual focus and discipline.
Mental disorders like depression and anxiety affect one out of four people worldwide. What role according to you does overthinking play in this?
It goes like this – Worrying, more worrying, over-thinking, significant and continuous over-thinking, looped chaos in mind without any solution, then mild depression and then further.
Because there is no solution to the issue!
It’s simply a timeline. My quest was to address the issue of over thinking before it reaches the level of depression as beyond that point I would be the wrong guy to consult.
It’s a simple correlation. Over thinking happens because of some unfavorable issues in the past, present or something potential that might happen in the future. Over thinking happens but one does not stop at after over-thinking for a day. The thoughts keep on coming. It reoccurs and reoccurs again. It gets into a loop and the person starts over thinking more often. The point to note here is, the person is not doing anything and there is no solution given by over-thinking. So there would be no end here.
Now add on to it. Let’s have more than one issue that is rattling a person constantly. Again no action and no solution. This becomes a habit and a negative one that keeps on getting more powerful. It will take you to the threshold where you feel nothing but helpless, lost, unable to perform well and still without a clue as to how to deal with it.
And there is your depression smiling at you like a devil.
For the complete interview, log onto www.valleyofwords.org