Are you a catalyst? / Can anyone become a catalyst?


Do things happen by themselves?

Are you a fatalist who believes that fate decides the outcome of every action in this world? Well, things are not programmed to happen by themselves. Did you just say ‘What about the sunrise and the sunset?’ Who knows? A greater power than ourselves may be busy at work behind the scenes.

A case in point is this funny, yet very practical, exchange between God and a fatalist.

Fatalist : ‘Dear God, please make me win the lottery this week. I’ve been praying to you everyday for a long time now.’ ‘I know I am destined to win.’

God: ‘Yeah, do me a favour, go and buy yourself a lottery ticket first.’

Your intentions are not quite enough, even when you are hoping for a miracle. You will have to be an initiator of action. You will have to be the catalyst that makes things work for you.

Who or what is a Catalyst

We come across catalysts in our lives several times a day – in office, at home, on our favourite sports team. A catalyst is simply an initiator of a reaction, one who makes things happen.

Take the football match you were watching last week for an example.

The game was meandering with not much action taking place on the field. That was when one of the players thought it was time to take charge of the situation by initiating an action.

Suddenly, the teammates realized the potential of the move made by their teammate. They made a series of complementary moves, thus initiating a domino effect. From then onwards, things fell into place on their own culminating in a beautiful goal for your team. That’s a catalyst in action for you.

Be the catalyst of your own success

In the world of business and enterprise things seldom happen by themselves. How do you know if you are a catalyst or not? If you have been initiating actions that result in goals being scored on the football field, for example, you qualify to be a catalyst. You don’t necessarily have to be the goal-scorer yourself. If you are not a catalyst at the moment, you certainly have the potential to become one. Here are a few pointers to nudge you along.

  • Be the change yourself : You can change others only when you have changed yourself. When you realize old methods do not work anymore, be the first one to take the initiative. Make things happen by being the catalyst of change.
  • Be ahead of the game :  See what others cannot see. Weigh pros and cons of an idea before others do and form a clear vision of the possibilities. Leave nothing to chance; instead create your own luck, based not on fatalism but on your own sound judgement.
  • Be a judge of your own abilities:  Confidence is key to your success. Be confident of yourself and your ability to accomplish a task. Trust your team to rally around you at crunch time. Confidence can be contagious and powerful enough to pull-off things you thought were impossible to accomplish.
  • Be the great motivator : Be motivated yourself to be able to motivate others around you. Take people along, share their energy, and urge them to always give their best. Be driven by the desire to achieve success. Success on your own terms and according to your own vision is the hallmark of a catalyst.

As a catalyst, your job is to initiate the chain reaction, the domino effect with your initiatives. It also helps to remind ourselves that, in order to win a lottery, the catalyst required is you.  Buy a ticket first and give yourself a sporting chance at hitting the jackpot!

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