Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Nature of Sabotage

Sabotage is a term of French origin coined during the railway strike of 1910, when workers destroyed the wooden shoes, or sabots, that held rails in place, thus impeding the morning commute. An alternate definition pretends the word to be older by almost a century, the times of Industrial Revolution. It is said that powered looms could be damaged by angry or disgruntled workers throwing their wooden shoes or clogs (known in French as sabots, hence the term Sabotage) into the machinery, effectively clogging the machinery. This is often referenced as one of the first inklings of the Luddite Movement. Others contend that the word comes from the slang name for people living in rural areas who wore wooden shoes after city dwellers had begun wearing leather shoes; when employers wanted strikebreakers they would import 'sabots'/rural workers to replace the strikers. Not used to machine-driven labor the 'sabots' worked poorly and slowly. The strikers would be called back to work (with demands won) and, could win demands on the job by working like their country cousins - the sabots. Thus 'sabotage'.
A few quick questions:
Why does the worker throw the sabot into the machine?
Who ultimately does the failure of the machine hurt?
What is the repercussion directly against the perpetrator? Aren’t they hurt just as much?
If these things are all true, then the perpetrator does nothing but destroy value without creating any positive change. More importantly it is a reflection on their OWN internal dissatisfaction with the status quo, but does not provide a dialogue to produce change.
Why do you sabotage your own success in relationships / work / income levels and family expectations?
What are you so afraid of? How can you get over this?

When you question why you work against yourself, consider the process of sabotage and how you may be subconsciously interfering with your own success.

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