Two years ago, we began this column with the goal of challenging traditional thinking and exploring new possibilities in the workplace.

Our inspiration came from the realisation that humans tend to get stuck in repetitive thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, often settling for routine and complacency.

Research by The Chopra Centre suggests that we have between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day, with 95% of them being recycled and unconscious.

 This means we are often on autopilot, with our thoughts controlling us rather than the other way around.

In our observations, we have found that people often fail to explore and settle for less than their full potential.

We need revolutionaries and change agents in the workplace and other areas of life to challenge the status quo and strive for growth and innovation.

In my hometown of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, there's a timeless tradition for wedding celebrations.

Almost every newlywed couple visits Centenary Park to capture memories, with the picturesque water fountain being a favourite spot.

The nearby trees also provide a popular backdrop for photos and videos, a tradition that has endured for years.

Growing up in my neighbourhood, I observed elderly individuals who had devoted their lives to their jobs.

Every evening, they would trudge back home, exhausted and spent after a long day's work.

They seemed to have surrendered to a life of routine, with no apparent aspirations beyond their daily tasks.

Some, perhaps due to boredom and a sense of emptiness, turned to alcohol, drinking daily and appearing content. As a curious young man, I often wondered if this was all life had to offer, as it seemed like there was nothing more to aspire to when I looked at these elderly individuals.

They would gather at the local beer garden, sharing a bowl of traditional opaque beer, taking turns sipping and occasionally gulping, before passing it on to the next person, wiping their lips in the process.

Their lives seemed as predictable and uneventful as the popular American soap opera, "Days of Our Lives," set in the fictional town of Salem.

Some individuals succumbed to alcoholism, and I vividly recall a verbal exchange between two friends in our neighbourhood.

One friend hurled an insult in Shona, saying, "Hupenyu wababa wako ndewemubhawa..." ("Your father's life revolves around the beerhall").

 This struck a chord with me, as it seemed true that the older man's existence centred on alcohol.

I wondered if I would succumb to a similar fate, relegated to a life of drinking and working.

When I entered the workforce at 22, I observed with concern that many older individuals had dedicated their lives to specific tasks or machines, almost becoming synonymous with them.

 It appeared that only death or retirement could free them from these roles.

Rumours even circulated that these veteran workers would cast spells on anyone daring to take their positions, with whispers of witchcraft.

As these elderly individuals approached their twilight years, they would visit our office, concerned about securing jobs for their sons and daughters who had completed their education.

They would earnestly request us to employ their children, revealing their acceptance of their own impending departure and their desire to ensure their children's well-being.

It seemed that their life's purpose was fulfilled by working for years, ensuring their legacy continued through their children's employment.

However, once they retired, many did not live much longer. I recall two neighbours who retired at 65, returned to their village, and passed away the following year.

It left me wondering what had gone wrong. While there's no scientific evidence to support my theory, I believe that when they lost their sense of purpose and routine, their bodies succumbed to the void, having been so deeply defined by their work.

I observe widespread boredom in the workplace, a lack of space and culture to venture beyond mere survival and explore the heights of satisfaction and growth.

This culture of complacency has been prevalent in the past and, unfortunately, still persists. We seem stuck in a rut, prioritizing business as usual over innovation and progress.

I firmly believe there's more to life and work than mere survival.

The fact that companies rarely explore humanity and the human experience while pursuing their bottom line suggests we're still stuck in survival mode, falling short of achieving our full potential.

Using Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a framework, we're largely focused on meeting our basic physiological needs, but what do we need to transcend this and reach the next level?

 Do we need to wait for some distant paradise, or can we create a heavenly work environment that fosters growth, exploration, and fulfillment?

As workplace leaders, we must explore a crucial question: Can a poor country or marginalized group escape poverty by living with a mindset that transcends their current circumstances? We'll delve into this next week.

Until then, I appreciate your engagement, and if you missed my previous column, I missed your presence too!

*Bhekilizwe Bernard Ndlovu is a human capital cxecutive in Zimbabwe, specialising in human resources management, training, development, and transformation, behavioural change, applied drama, personal mastery, and mental fitness. He is also a PhD researcher at Wits University, investigating violent strikes in the South African workplace. With experience as an HR practitioner in Zimbabwe and operations roles in South African social marketing organizations, Ndlovu remains passionate about people affairs and performance management. Reach him at