My Observations at Work

by Nico van Haastrecht, Warnsveld, The Netherlands

After more than 25 years of working in the profession of electrical engineer I finally became conscious and aware of what I had felt for a long time in my work. This slowly was revealed to me when I had become a student of Universal Medicine.

What I had felt all the time was unpleasant and made me over time dislike my job and profession more and more. Now I look at it with different eyes and am able to more observe what is happening and to not get that much involved in it. Now I am in the process of re-evaluating my job and am starting to appreciate what I do because there is still that much to learn for me – and for humanity as a whole. Below I will describe some of my observations that annoyed me in the past ­– but now I can see what is behind it and that it is not about me, but about systems and patterns that play out. The most beautiful thing is that we can change these patterns by being present and trusting that our feelings are true.

In my profession as electrical engineer I work in engineering offices on projects for the development of industrial plants. There we work in multidisciplinary project teams in which different disciplines – like civil, mechanical, structural, instrumentation, electrical, procurement, construction, etc. – work together to materialise the project, with each of them bringing in their specialisation, and at the end all parts must work together as one installation. What appears to be the most challenging in these projects is that we have to work together as people, with each other’s personalities, lifestyles, characters and moods, in order to get the job done, getting the plant built. The technical part, thus far in my career, has never been the difficult part for me.

So it is not the technical part that makes it difficult but the interaction with other people that brings the issues on the shop floor. The interaction of people’s characters, moods and emotions are not based on meeting each other in essence – the part of us which is always expressing towards love and harmony with others in the world – but on meeting with what is built around this essence. This can be represented in our bodies as being hard or defensive, in our communication as being blunt and aggressive to timid and condoning, and almost always as competition, all with the focus on being right and getting validation.

As I realised, what we build around our essence is for protection against getting hurt, and lets us avoid meeting each other in truth. I understood that every time we meet not from our essence, we harm each other. So we build a way of being that is all about protection and how we think the world wants us to be. It hurts to not be our true selves and it hurts to relate to others from this place also. From deep within we know that we are all the same and we crave being met for who we truly are. Simple things like truly meeting my colleagues, before providing a service or a product to them, does make the difference. This meeting may be as simple as having eye contact, a hand on the shoulder, or a considered handshake. When I come from my essence, simply my voice and my body invite the other person to feel their own essence.

Engineers in general, including myself, are educated to provide complex solutions and improvements for apparent problems found in society. Whilst there is tremendous mental skill and ability in this, I have also observed that we bring in complexity because we are disconnected from ourselves and from humanity, and therefore look only to the latest technical marvels available, searching for a way to impose them onto humanity (this is the complexity), thinking that we are improving the world and doing good. When we truly connect to humanity however, we can only provide the simple solutions that will serve all in equality, nothing more and nothing less.

The scope of work is not always clearly understood between the client and the contractor at the start of the project. Before we make an offer on the ‘invitation to bid’ we must get a clear picture of what the client needs, otherwise the client can have a different understanding of what has to be delivered compared with what has been offered. Most of the time this misunderstanding becomes apparent in a stage of the project when a change has a big impact on the budget, the planning, and on the relations with the client. This causes stress on the project that the employees at the other end have to suffer. I have found that such simple things as meeting the client in truth, without the arrogance of “we know what you want and this is what you get”, we explore the needs of the client, resulting in a mutual understanding of what has to be delivered, coming to the conclusion of “we know what you want and this is what we can offer you.”

They say that it is the budget and the time schedule that put projects under pressure, but are these schedules and budgets realistic? Most are based on targets that are set because some people want to have that outcome for any reason, without envisaging if they are realistic and feasible (that is, if all is in harmony). Some clients enforce the schedules to be adopted by the contractor, and the contractor accepts because they want to have the order – out of need, and the belief of scarcity in the market, amongst others. Once this has settled in the project, it is very difficult to challenge it; in practice, the budgets and schedules most of the time cannot be met and they overrun significantly. In my experience a certain quality, with a given quantity and budget, has its own schedule regardless of whatever we want of it. We must be truthful to clients about this fact and not compromise from a neediness to have the job or project executed. We have to tell the client if a schedule or budget is not feasible; it is part of the role of an engineering office to present this.

The above-described observations do help me in how I do my job, where I place my way of living against what is presented in my daily work. I know that I do not have the direct influence to change them all, and it may take some time to get them changed, but up to the point where I have a say I am standing up and bringing into practice what I have summed up above. This brings back a joy I had missed for a long time.

419 thoughts on “My Observations at Work

    1. And that is the way we have to go Shelly, as that is why we are here on earth, to work together with one purpose, to one unified truth. Our workplace will transform into a place where we can evolve back to who we actually are. We will work in brotherhood together as we have done building the pyramids, and how we have built and held the library of Alexandria, serving humanity in their return to the universal way of life.

      1. What a wonderfully inspiring blog Nico.
        l feel your passion and vision. The quality of your presence and your love is changing the configuration of your workplace. As you hold you l feel the possibility of great healing for all who work there and beyond.

  1. Nico what you share here is powerfull and very inspiring, to transform our workplaces to support us to evolve and I know this all begins with me and the choices I make which will bring this consistency and love more and more each day.

    1. That is actually all what it is about Anna. It begins with us and how it feels for me is that it is about the quality of my everyday living that I will equally bring into the workplace in everything I am. So actually it is about consistently building my livingness in every aspect of my life and by doing so I equally bring this into my the places where I work. I cannot otherwise show people from my livingness another way of interacting and working with each other and when organisations are ready for it, they will slowly begin to understand that this is the way to go as they are in desperation looking out for new ways in order to cope with the ever growing demands from their clients and customers.

  2. It’s a strange foible of the human race that although many people miss being connected with themselves and each other, they put up walls of protection to keep everyone out. It doesn’t make sense. It is time to show another more connected way.

    1. Lets go for that Amanda, and show that there is another way, a way of living without the walls of protection but instead with all the protection down and letting people in to the deepest of our being. Showing them the truth and love that we all equally hold within and that we all want to naturally connect to as we come from there.

  3. Nico the need to build relationship so that client needs can be clearly established is not always understood in many business situations, but as you say, is fundamental to creating simple and satisfying outcomes, even in less complex situations such as in retail. It really is fundamental and requires us to be open to others.

    1. Exactly hartanne60, these simple things as building a relationship with our clients first and from there to get an understanding of their true needs, is the art of providing services where people will return to. Building long lasting relationships from person to person and not from any need of having to reach a certain sales target or whatever. Acting in the latter way will keep us from building these relationships as it will then only be the dollar signs we have in our eyes, filtering out anything that is not about dollars from our perception.

  4. It really is a challenge NIco when you have to deal with so many stakeholders and everybody wants everything done yesterday. You are right though, we need to bring truth everywhere we go and the more we do, the more others will join in.

    1. So true Elodie, we can only start with ourselves and bring truth everywhere we go to the best of our ability. And the more consistent we become in that the more people will come and have a look, and will join in eventually if they choose to do so. Slowly we can introduce love in our nowadays loveless businesses and let this love do its work. I do meet many that truly love to work with me and are curious about the way I am and how I do my work. And that is what I am bringing, the inspiration for my fellow human beings to show them that there is another way to go about working and living and that re-introducing love into our lives is the way to go, opposite to how people are manipulated to perform themselves in the goal driven businesses we have created in the absence of love.

      1. That’s so awesome! I want to work with you!!
        I can feel an uneasiness around doing things differently because whilst it’s exactly what I want to do, when I do approach things differently at work, I am constantly met with ridicule and end up feeling very disheartend and to be honest a bit hopeless.

      2. Thank you Elodie, living from our inner most is actually very simple although we sometimes might feel a bit uneasy with it. I have learned that appreciating myself for how I feel and what I do is not for myself but for the benefit of everybody to connect with and to learn from. If they accept it or not does not matter, but they have had the choice that would not have been there when I not would have lived the way I do.

  5. Nico, I got a real feel of the integrity you are bringing to your work as I read your blog. I noticed when you spoke about the way complexity can sometimes be introduced as a way of seeking identification and recognition and can see ways that I have allowed this to happen in my own work (although less so than in the past) and see it in the way others work. Yet simplicity and honesty doesn’t carry emotional baggage and when we work in this way, everyone around us is able to be calmer and more open and the quality of the outcome is there without the fuss.

    1. This is so true Helen, if we take ourselves out of the way we make space for simplicity and honesty to our lives and everywhere we go. The calmness that is emanating from the stillness that is lived is for people a reflection that there is another way to go and that trust and having confidence in life is given a chance to be restored. There is no reason to make fuss as that is only a distraction to where it is all truly about, and that our true purpose is to work together in harmony and truth.

  6. the thing is, that for most people they are not even aware that the patterns and momentums are driving them, so to be able to become aware of them is such a blessing for a start, and then to be able to go to the source of these beings and to start to heal is even more profound experience… Thank you Nico

    1. That is true cjames2012, that many people are not aware of the momentums and patterns they are in as they are in the same time withholding us from being aware of them because of the way they are energetically constructed. Therefore what people need to become aware of these momentum’s and patterns is a reflection of someone who is living without these. It is such a blessing to be that reflection and I appreciate myself for that , to live to the best of my ability having embodied all what I have regained on life to serve as a reflection for people to consider, to reignite the spark of light that is in us all equally.

  7. Nico, I can feel how you are truly bringing you to the workplace even though this can be challenging at times. We are each responsible for what we bring into the workplace each day and everybody gets that reflection.

    1. So true Anne and thank you for your posting. The responsibility for what we bring to our workplace is of great importance. Do we bring the same of what is already there, with other words do we measure ourselves to the culture and way of working that is common at the workplace we enter, or, do we bring our true selves and in that inspire the people to live more of themselves too and to show them that there is another way to go about work and all of life as being the greater part of the picture.

  8. Nico what you present in your blog is so important. I too have been in jobs where I have felt disconnected because I have not liked what was happening. I have now found that when I speak up and share my observations I feel truly engaged and alive again. I see that although change does not immediately happen, small changes can occur in time. I’m learning patience and consistency and to not give up if I don’t appear to be heard at first.

    1. This is an important thing you share here Anne. When we disengage because we do not like what we are part of we just add to what is there and we do not acknowledge that we are part of the whole and are contributing to it. As you say, the only way is to become honest with ourselves and how we feel and from there speak up and say what we feel that we have to say. And by doing so we take our own responsibility in life and start to live our true selves and become alive again and doing so will fill us with joy as what we carry inside so desperately wants to be lived.

  9. I think this blog post is so awesome Nico. I work in an industry that deals with construction companies and architects daily, and the mess I see constantly leaves me frustrated no end. We don’t work harmoniously. We don’t really listen to what it is the client wants, we just tell them what they want to hear in order to win the job and deal with all the issues that arise later due to the lack of clarity further down the line. It doesn’t have to be this way. But unfortunately, it will take some time for people to catch on that actually…there’s another way, and guess what, it’s 10 times less stressful, and you may enjoy your job !

    1. I am fully with you Elodie, we can love and enjoy our job as it is a natural expression in our service to humanity. For me it is important that we make work about people first. As everything we undertake will always serve people, in one way or another, and will always come from people, the people that work together in providing the services to each other.

  10. I love the commitment you have to changing patterns of working and protection that do not serve and only add to the complexity and disconnection in relationships and worksites. You are a blessing to an industry that is in dire need of the simplicity, love and harmony you offer and to people willing to see what is possible.

    1. It is not only a blessing to the industry that I am working in but also to myself as I am part of the whole I am giving my natural expression to. Realising this aspect inspires me even more to take my full responsibility in life and in that to my work as these are all one. If we would truly understand that the expression of work is to learn to work as a group together in brotherhood and, that only through brotherhood we will liberate ourselves from the misery we currently living in, we would value work completely differently.

  11. Nico I loved the part ‘Now I am in the process of re-evaluating my job and am starting to appreciate what I do because there is still that much to learn for me – and for humanity as a whole.’ When we start to understand things from an energetic point, we realise that there is much for us to learn and understand.

    1. Yes Sally, and the more we learn the more we wil become aware of what life actually brings to us. I am coming to the understanding that I can either live a life that brings me illness and disease or I can live in a way that brings me healing and restores a natural order. For me I have found that approaching work from this knowing that work is a means of healing too as through work we can learn how to work together as a group and that everything we bring in that has an effect on the whole and either is healing or harming us.

  12. The imposition of “we know what you want and this is what you get” instantly creates a reaction and a brick wall whereas “we know what you want and this is what we can offer you” opens up a choice and working together. Beautiful.

    1. Indeed it is Mary, being open and transparent to one another in business is key for a true working relationship, for working together to one unified goal and with a shared responsibility. This is in great contrast to working individually for projects instead, where we are not working together but instead make others responsible for the quality of the work we deliver.

  13. We have so many hidden agendas driving us on and usually at the expense of our well-being, health and relationships, and it is essential that we stop at some stage connect with ourselves and feel these old habits and patterns and start to truly heal so that our relationships with others and ourselves come true.

    1. To stop our habits and patterns, is a great and important step in our healing indeed cjames2012. It is much needed in our world that we become aware and start to see that we live from all kinds of habits and patterns and that we see how these are witholding us from living the grandness that we actually are.

  14. Nico, your words ‘So it is not the technical part that makes it difficult but the interaction with other people that brings the issues on the shop floor.’ When people bring their emotions and problems into work it means not only are we dealing with whatever work there is to be done, but also having to negotiate or avoid other people’s drama. If we concentrated on just being ourselves, and bringing all we truly are, it would make for a very different working relationship.

    1. Yes Sally that would really make a different working relationship if we dedicated ourselves to be at service to our work instead of bringing in our emotions and just only doing the job or task that has been given to us. This is asking a level of responsibility that is not commonly known yet. When this will be understood and be brought into practice, the way we will work will completely change as each of us will feel the individual responsibility in that we have to bring ourselves in full to our workplaces as we have never done before.

  15. Very well said, Nico, and this theme that it is not the technology that throws us at work, it is the human interaction… And this extends into professions where violence would seem to be the main stressor like paramilitary organisations like police forces, but again it is seen to be the human interaction mainly in communication that provides the main stress. Empowered expression and communication are paramount for our well-being.

  16. It all comes down to expression and communication from our essence and to truly connect to humanity and in that engineering or any other occupation is not any different and are the skills paramount for our success. Engineering is a great good when used for its true purpose. Engineering for humanity is what we may call it and in that we will design that what is needed to serve all of humanity in our evolution here on earth.

  17. The art of engineering is there to serve mankind and needs to be appreciated as such. The engineering and design of bridges, air planes, cars and trains and modern mobile communication tools to name a few, have brought something very important to humanity as we are now able to visit and connect to one another more easily from all over the world. The interconnection with all of humanity we all can feel in ourselves and is in another dimension than where our physical bodies live in, we are now able to have in practical 3 dimensional physical life too because of the marvels that engineering have brought to us. We have to bring back engineering to serving mankind and not let it stray away on its own illusionary track of improving the world as it is not about that. We are unable to make the world perfect from the way we have chosen to live our lives in the physical form here on earth. We are much grander than that.

  18. What you have explained Nico makes total sense. If you come to a project with honesty and without need, just working out what is wanted by the client and what you can offer, with a realistic budget and realistic work levels then everyone is served in truth. Bringing this to your workplace is love in action.

    1. Indeed Amanda, love in action that is so needed in our nowadays workplaces. Bringing back the importance of human relationships over the plans, schedules and invented improvement programs for the way we work. If we base our projects on the human scale, rhythm and work together in close cooperation and with one unified purpose, miracles can happen and maybe one day we can build like in the times we have erected the great pyramids once again.

  19. “As I realised, what we build around our essence is for protection against getting hurt, and lets us avoid meeting each other in truth. I understood that every time we meet not from our essence, we harm each other. ” This is profound Nico. yet the whole world lives in protection, and thus we harm each other – not intentionally of course. To truly meet another and be met is such a beautiful gift. Cooperation and not competition is key – and the pyramids can be built once again. We have a lot to re-learn…..

    1. So true Sue, we have a lot to relearn in human communication and in working together and in that I can feel lies our biggest opportunity to grow as humans all together. Working together in cooperation and in co-creation with the grander picture to realise that what is needed, not for ourselves but for humanity as a whole, considering all aspects of human life and beyond, even the effect our work will have on the universe. The way we are with ourselves and one another and all what we do has a huge impact on all people we share this planet earth with and on the grander whole, the universe where we are a inseparable part of. That is something we will become aware of when we will go this direction, the direction we have to take in our evolution back to who we truly are and where we will find out that we are much grander and profound than we have ever considered our lives to be before.

  20. It is interesting that the problems come not from the technical aspect of your job but from the human interactions and I feel this is true in most jobs, my father was a vet and he said the most challenging aspect for him was breaking bad news to owners and in his lengthy training they had only had one session on that! When the academic focus is on learning the most up-to-date intricate solutions then the harmony of providing what is needed for the customer is lost because it becomes about showing off all your skills and not, as you say, about working in brotherhood to get the job done in the best way for everybody.

  21. ‘We have to tell the client if a schedule or budget is not feasible; it is part of the role of an engineering office to present this.’ Taking responsibility for all parts of any role is essential for harmonious working relationships and the sacrificing of one or more aspects is what leads to stress in any environment. It is great to hear that you have recognised this and are now speaking up and re-finding joy in what you are able to offer your fellow brothers.

  22. Bringing the light you are Nico to work for all to feel, What a difference this makes in all aspects of your life and of those with whom you work.

  23. It has been my experience that when I get myself out of the way and truly meet people, the most fraught relationships improve enormously. There is also so much joy in seeing someone for their essence. We can bring this wherever we go to whoever we meet. It changes everything.

  24. Nico I have also found how destructive jealousy and comparison is in the work place, because it becomes an unwelcome disturbance and distraction, and works against everyone working as one together.

  25. I loved re-reading this blog. There are so many great points you raise here. I often feel how we underestimate the lack of clear and open communication and how we run around trying to fix the issues in productivity, relationship amongst the staff as well as the client/supplier, without addressing the core issue. There’s much personal pride and hurt that won’t let many see the responsibility they have. Finger pointing and defensiveness is such an ugly game many play and make themselves feel suffocated. It is a peculiar situation as everyone involved actually wants the same thing.

  26. Many things I have experienced and witnessed in various work places totally agree with what you have shared here, Nico. We see so many faults in the system and relationships surrounding our work places, and it is quite sad that many openly admit and accept that the business is all about money, and it is very rare to see any kind of willingness to bring about true change as we often think moving to another job, hiring new employees would iron out a problem.

  27. Sounds like an awesome thing for everyone to experience a feeling of being in a family even though you’re at work. I think this is a stress in itself for many – that we feel we can relax at home with our family or by ourselves but when we get to work we need to put our “work hat” on, which some actually need, but it doesn’t have to mean we stop being relaxed and at ease with each other.

  28. It is interesting to consider why do we work. Is it for the money to pay our bills and to buy our food or is it because work has to be done to keep society running or could there be a true purpose to work. To me the true purpose is that yes we have to work to keep our societies running and to earn the money so we can pay our bills as that is how our society is currently organised. And I want to add that work is also for us to evolve as humanity in us working together for a bigger plan in putting into work a combined effort to make our lives here on earth more truthful to who we innately are and to return to a way of living we have lived here on earth in ancient times. By allowing me to sense the impact this has on how I perceive work I have to say that I actually love working as there is so much more to it than only to work to earn the money to pay my bills.

  29. Thank you Nico for sharing your many great insights and observations at your workplace. I have always had a strong sense of service which always meant more to me than the money throughout my working career but my need for recognition was always running quietly underneath. Recognising that this stemmed from my lack of self-worth was a huge revelation and i now have a much deeper appreciation of my true value.

  30. I love the feeling of honesty and integrity you speak of here Nico, being straight with the client and laying an honest foundation for everything to build on. My feeling is that most honest clients really like that, it feels good, and if they decline it is because of pressures dictated on them from above, or because they only want to hear what they want to hear, who wants to start a project on lies anyway? In Physiotherapy I get patients who want to get fixed in one go, and they want me to do it all, like picking up their body from the dry cleaners when its done but it just doesn’t work that way, and its my job to help them understand the partnership needed.

  31. This is a great point Nico about how on a practical level the task can seem easy but the group work is the greatest challenge of all, I feel this is often so. And yet it is also an opportunity to appreciate the richness and diversity of the different group members’ contributions.

  32. One of our greatest strengths is working together for a common purpose. Unfortunately, courtesy of all the different steps we have taken in life and the experiences we have had in the past working together is sometimes complicated by these experiences and brings up alot for all of us, as a consequence this forces us to be working on ourselves simultaneously.

  33. Nico the quality you are bringing to your workplace everyday is powerful to read. All are touched by your presence and quality and this brings a true purpose that would inspire and support everyone around you.

  34. A much needed ingredient that is missing from many work places and careers. This is something I have seen played out for many years with my husband also working in engineering, and the impact it has on everyone, including the family… working long hours and like today working on a statutory holiday to get the job done. Deadlines, expectations etc. when put before people is a recipe for further complications down the track. What you have realised with connection being the utmost first step Nico is inspiring to take into any work paid or voluntary we undertake. Thank you

  35. This is a brilliant sharing Nico of what it means to live, work and serve from the simplicity of connection to our essence. Thank you.

  36. This is a timely read for me. Thank you, Nico. I was just feeling sadness of not being myself at work, and the effect that was having on my body – tight, constricted and painful. And what I am feeling is that it’s never about putting extra effort trying to be me at work because it might be potentially more stressful environment, but work is an equal part of my life as me cooking at home, sleeping, talking to my mother on the phone… and for every part of it, I am the one responsible.

    1. Sure Fumiyo, it is our responsibility how we are at work and if work is affecting us or not. If we can observe we will see that it is only situations we have not dealt with from which we carry the hurt which will make us feel tight and restricted. But if we understand that it is our responsibility in full, that we have to deal with that which is presented to us, life starts to flow again and we will experience a way of being that really loves to work and will find that we would not want to miss this in our lives as it is a means to serve all of humanity we are so connected with.

  37. The most important integral aspect of any project for a successfully harmonious outcome is relationship and this is clearly and beautifully expressed here. And the relationship that is foundational for this to occur is the relationship with oneself, which you demonstrate so well Nico.

  38. You convey such integrity in what you share here Nico and this is very powerful and easy to relate to. Here is a man who tells us how it is and someone who puts people at the heart of whatever he does. Very beautiful. Thank you for sharing it here.

  39. I love that with the livingness you have chosen for yourself along with the deeper connection to people you now choose, there is a fluidity and responsiveness available to whatever is presented in life and an embracing of what is possible outside the confinements of the norm.

    1. Sure Samantha, it is the livingness that brings that quality to life we feel is so natural and in honor of our being. While actually so natural to live, it is not lived by many and is very much needed to be reintroduced in our societies as most of us have lost that connection with the essence of life of which the livingness is a result of.

  40. What you describe feels like you have now made your work about people first and not just about tenders, jobs, tasks and accomplishments. That would be a huge shift – it counteracts boredom and dissatisfaction and means we can stay in our job and give it our best; until such time that it is time to move on and never before.

  41. The more I feel truth – the more I know that evil exists. That which I once had chosen to not see will I see. And the more I allow myself to observe what this evil contains: the more real and clear I become. No longer do I know that, but that truth must be lived in full to put a stop to any evil in the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s