A SPICE personality is someone who strives to excel in all the prominent roles that he plays in his/her life, as a partner (to the spouse/friends/peers), as a parent (to children and one’s parents), as a professional and as a person.
A SPICE personality doesn’t focus on one role while underplaying or ignoring or cheating in other roles. He/She strives to strike a balance in his/her life by playing to the potential as a parent, partner, professional, as well as a person.
What do you lose when you are not a SPICE personality?
- You become a linear thinker who focusses on riding only the parental wave or the professional wave. You get obsessed with being the super boss or the supermom (super dads?). While believing that you have no time for other roles. You compartmentalize and box yourself and that leads to resentment and feeling of loss later. Many Indian women friends of mine gave up their careers because they were expected to focus only on their families. Society and parents judge women harshly when they think about a work deadline and the husband wants hot breakfast. A young dad recently told me, ‘Recently, I massaged my two-month-old son. My wife was surprised yet happy but my mother did not approve of it.’ I gave him a high five to start giving a bath too to his baby.
- If you focus on your profession only, you become a peak professional but a reluctant parent or an absent partner. You will get the professional spotlight on you while your close ones get relegated to dark corners or feel neglected. Steve Jobs followed Zen which means attention while designing life-changing products for Apple but could never pay attention to empathy in relationships. It has caused a lot of pain to his children and friends.
- You lose touch with authenticity. There might be a team of associates and subordinates who agree with your views and decisions owing to your authoritative position, not the genuine respect.
But think about your partner or your children. Do they love you and respect you for who you are or because that is conditioned and convenient? Mahatma Gandhi was respected by all Indians while their family suffered a lot due to his ideologies that gave his wife and children no freedom.
A one-dimensional success puts you on an inauthentic road where you feel you have arrived while your close ones might not be sharing the same idea.
This success gives euphoria but fulfillment remains far away.
If you give all your time and energy in raising children and building a family while ignoring your own self, that again makes you feel incomplete and used. Your children might be the most adorable and accomplished and you would try to take solace in thinking that it was worth it, your own interests and dreams will haunt you and cause bitterness. A retired teacher once told me,’Being a parent is a thankless job. My students valued me more.’
- Focusing on only one part of your persona is akin to putting all your money in one bag. Rather than having a balanced portfolio, a skewed portfolio spikes danger. If your professional success, for which you sacrifice all the remaining roles, takes a beating for whatever reason, you will be completely crestfallen. You will not get any cushion to ease the blow.
If you focus excessively on the words of a song and not the melody and music arrangement, expect a dud.