The Third ‘Space’

As professional people and adults we live our lives in two major spaces of time, personal space and professional space. However there is another space which I believe is an
23 Sep 2017 10:09
The Third ‘Space’

As professional people and adults we live our lives in two major spaces of time, personal space and professional space.

However there is another space which I believe is an important link between the personal and the professional space.

It is called the ‘Third Space’. It is also known as the private space.

Through this column I will be sharing the significance of the third space or the private space and its positive relevance to life as a whole!


Rajen’s story

Rajen worked with a large car dealership company in Lautoka.

He was holding a senior position in the sales department and had thirty people in his team who reported to him.

It would be fair to say that in his professional space he was extremely successful. Three years in a row he had been recognised as the best leader in the entire company.

On the personal front or should I say, in his personal space Rajen was having a different experience.

His late working hours meant that he was not able to find the time he wanted for his family, especially the time for his three children.

Almost every working day of the week he would return home late night to find his children sleeping and then to see them asleep as he left for office early in the morning.

The only days he would get the much needed free time was the weekend and yet he was not happy and that is because he would keep working upon his laptop even at home.



As time passed by the pressures of his work started to affect him in more ways than one.

Every afternoon when he would return home he would still be thinking about his work and the tension was beginning to affect even his wife and parents.

Although he was achieving all his budgets on the professional front it seemed that the same success was negatively affecting his family and even his friends.

The weekend catch-up with his buddies slowly vanished. Rajen would spend his Saturdays watching TV and drinking and working on his laptop.

For him, money was important but not as important as spending time with his family and yet he was unable to do just that.

And then there came a time when things went for the worse. Due to increasing tension and stress Rajen was not even able to get proper sleep and this began affect his health.

He was losing weight and during one of the check-ups with the doctors he had to face a difficult fact.


Medical advice

The doctor told Rajen that he was suffering from extremely high blood pressure.

“You have to take care of your health Rajen! At this young age of 37 years having such high levels of Blood Pressure is not good.

“I am putting you on certain medications but then there is something else I want to tell you. Dear Rajen, it seems as though you have been working too hard and taking too much pressure. Please do something about this.

“You seem extremely stressed and this stress itself is the cause for your Blood Pressure to rise so drastically” Rajen listened to the doctor quietly.

He was shocked to know about his medical condition. The next day he went to the office and was immediately called by his boss, Mr Abraham.

“Hey Rajen, guess what! Three members from your team along with you have been judged as the best performers of the company and therefore you all have been nominated to go for a holiday along with your respective families.

“This is a three day vacation at one of the island resorts. I think it will be a good break especially for you”

“Yes Sir” Rajen replied with a pleasant ‘surprise’ in his tone. He was not expecting a vacation, that too sponsored by his company.

Rajen arrived at the resort and that night he had the most amazing time with his family. They had dinner together probably after weeks.

The next morning they all went for a swim and he joyfully watched his three children play in the pool and in a flash he too joined in.

These were awesome times for Rajen. However he could not stop the thoughts about his work coming into his mind.

Even while in the pool, for some moments, he would just be quiet and start thinking about the team and the targets.

It was the third and the final day of his brief vacation. That morning, Rajen woke up early to check the ‘office’ emails.

But before he could open his laptop he heard a knock on the door. It was one of the senior managers and he was there with some invitation pamphlet in his hand.


Stress management

“Mr Rajen, I have come here to let you know that at exactly 10 in the morning there is one hour motivational talk on work life balance and stress management techniques.

“The speaker is an expert and is staying with us in this resort. He has volunteered to do this talk, free of cost, for all the people staying at this resort.

“I would most sincerely request that you and your wife attend this talk” Saying this the Manager smiled and walked away. Rajen took the pamphlet and kept it on the laptop.

“Somehow he was extremely reluctant to check his office emails anymore.

“Is this some sort of message for me or is it some kind of divine coincidence? This is what I really needed and this is coming to me” Rajen thought to himself.

At 10 am Rajen was there in the conference room of the resort along with his wife.

As they sat there the Motivational speaker, Mr Raul began speaking to the audience.


Discovering the third space

“Most of us, in not all. Are working extremely hard towards achieving professional success. However all of us must realise that this success also means more responsibilities and therefore more work pressures and tensions.

“The same pressures begin to create stress and this stress begins to affect our personal space. Our relationships with our family members begin to get ruptured and that is not at all good.

“The same stress also can affect our physical and even our mental health. Even managers who are in their mid-thirties have been started experiencing high blood pressers and depression and this is not good at all.

“Though this is what is happening in many people’s lives, I believe there is a solution to this. The solution that I will be speaking about it called the third space.

“Most of us are getting in some ways tossed between professional and personal spaces and this tossing is creating tremendous stress.

“It is the private space which will act as a buffer and stress reliever. What is this third or private space?

“Well let me explain. Well friends the private space is that time-duration you must create in which you spend time only with yourself and start doing things that will de-stress you completely.

“In case you are wondering what you would be doing exactly, I will state the activities that you must begin to do from tomorrow onwards. That space which we must create between the two other spaces, professional and personal space.”

Both Rajen and his wife looked at each other and smiled.

“I was waiting for something like this for me” Rajen whispered to his wife.

Mr Raul continued, it is time to ‘re-format’ the ‘space’ in your life. The first thing we should do is keep fifteen minutes every day only for yourself where you will be sit still and breathe deep.

Inhale the breath in through your nose, then hold your breath for six seconds only and then exhale the same breath slowly through your nose.

Do this activity at least eleven times. The oxygen you will inhale will refresh and calm every cell and nerve of your body. At the same time it will oxygenate your blood and in that way make every organ of your body healthy.

The next thing that you could do in those fifteen minutes is practice Stillness and Silence; Keep your body till without moving even your fingertip and simultaneously make your mind as silent as possible.

The most effective way of silencing your mind is by listening to the sounds of nature such as the sound of the breeze, the chirping of the birds despite the other noises that may be there in the background.

Apart from this, what you must do is put on your earphones and listen to the music that you love the most. While listening try to feel each and every tune and note that is emanating from that song or tune.

Activities like breathing, feeling the silence and stillness and also listening to music has been known to have extremely positive effects on you and have truly helped people with stress and negativity. It has been known to also help people with more creative thinking and creative imagination”

After saying this Mr Raul actually made all the audience members to do the deep breathing that he had explained. After that he played some soothing music and requested them to close their eyes and feel the music.

By the time the session was over Rajen had tears in his eyes. It was as though he had got his answers. “This is the first time I have felt so stress relieved and calm. The time I spent with my eyes closed deep breathing and listening to the soothing music gave me this feeling of inner peace, something I have been looking for. I know my work pressure will keep increasing as I rise in my professional career but now I have something that will help me to deal with the stress” Rajen excitedly told his wife.

Dear reader’s, it has been almost three weeks since Rajen attended the stress management session at the resort and there has been a very positive transformation in Rajen.

Without fail he gets up 15 minutes early and practices his deep breathing, silence and listens to his favourite Chinese oriental music.

Now, when Rajen comes back from office he doesn’t bring his office stress home. He does not sit on the couch and watch TV all the time. He spends precious time chatting with his wife and parents.

Rajen has also managed to balance his time better. He tries to return home before the children sleep. Rajen is a happy person and he attributes this to the Third Space

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