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Do You Have SAVI or Are You PASIV"?: The Answer Could Change Your Life

By Elaine Sihera

What do these two terms mean and do you know the difference between them?

Of course you would not have seen these two acronyms before, because I recently made them up!

Charlotte Church's boyfriend, Kyle, broke up with her over two years ago but he is still selling stories of their love life to newspapers. The money involved might be a significant factor but my guess is that acquiring something else through his story is far more important to him - and that is SAVI". He wants it badly. Being out of her life now and seeing her happily paired off with someone Charlotte perceives to be 'gorgeous' means a huge loss of SAVI for him and he has to get it back somehow. He believes selling his story will do the trick, but he is so wrong.

The idea for this self-enrichment concept came to me while I was trying to work out what motivated people; why some of us would do certain things but not others; why extraordinary people feel the sky is their limit while ordinary mortals prefer to see the gloomy side of life or to just do the minimum; why the hopeful ones among us see the bottle as half-full, while the 'realistic' ones see it as half empty; why some people procrastinate in making decisions and taking action while others get on with it in a jiffy and, most important of all, why some deviants turn to crime and negativity while most of us prefer the straight and narrow.

We hear a lot about failed relationships in social interactions. At work, in particular, there are always personality clashes, never-ending difference in perceptions relating to bosses, managers, project leaders and others; wide rifts between unions and management; conflict between lovers and their partners and problems between parents and children: all because of a marked lack of SAVI", or, more likely, a perception that it's missing.

Ask anyone if they enjoy their jobs and at least 60% will tell you that they don't. A significant number will also add that they can't even face going to work many mornings, while too many vote with their feet and are absent more times than they're in. Is the job all that bad? Not at all. Most people gravitate towards the things they like to do. They actually CHOSE a personal career, no one forced them into it. If they are unhappy, something more important lies at the heart of their discontent.

They all lack SAVI", but they are probably unaware that they do! I have tons of SAVI now through my own work and achievements, but it has not always been like that. It used to be a dark struggle to get it! So why don't the majority of people have this key enrichment? Mainly because it depends on many positive things happening around them, so it won't come in neat, handy packages.

The meaning of SAVI

By my imperfect reckoning, most people need just four major things (SAVI") to feel great about themselves, to do anything for you, to love you to bits, to do their job well, to feel alive and kicking, to achieve a great amount in their lives and to feel like wonderful human beings. Deviants or potential criminals need a fifth element (P) to feel in control of their environment and good about themselves. That is why one can never erase criminality and deviance from our world unless that element is going to be provided from elsewhere. SAVI is essential to our lives to boost our contribution to our home, work and environment. Where it is lacking there is a very unhappy individual, or a deviant in the making. To have SAVI is to feel good: about the self, about life, about living and about purpose; to feel energised and at peace, more empathetic and compassionate.

Worked it out yet?

In a nutshell, SAVI means Significance, Appreciation, Value and Inclusion. Children who are underachieving lack SAVI - lots of it, because they feel inadequate. Workers who are unhappy lack SAVI hence the feeling of low morale and number of lost work days; troubled teenagers in their homes lack SAVI", spouses who are resentful and negative towards their partners all lack SAVI", in one form or another, and Kyle definitely lacks SAVI".

He doesn't feel significant anymore unless he is still connected to Charlotte in some way. He feels no appreciation for what he meant to her and no value as a person in her world.Worst still, he is not included in her life anymore and so he sings like a bird to the press to get all those elements back. But it merely annoys Charlotte and makes her despise him enough to whack him in his face. Kyle will only get the SAVI he seeks when he moves on with his life, starts appreciating and valuing himself again and finds another partner who values him too. Not by constantly looking back to something which is most likely gone and which keeps him feeling excluded and unworthy.

The Need to be 'Someone'

SIGNIFICANCE: Everyone of us at some time needs to feel significant as a person, that we truly matter to others - to feel like a queen or king, if only for a day. Hence the rush to see our names in print or our images on TV, if only for 5 minutes; to participate in reality programmes or just to 'worship' celebrities and be a part of their world. Being significant in the office, in the local village, the school performance or in one's job is the primary reason why many people compete for positions of status or give themselves various titles; why they are always craving acknowledgemen, promotion, recognition and responsibility. Like servicemen who carry over irrelevant ranks from the armed forces into civilian life. They do not want to lose their status and significance. They still want to feel that their titles matter to their new colleagues. Problem is, others who seek such significance themselves are likely to feel resentful at ranks they perceive to be no longer appropriate and are likely to ridicule them, thus defeating the whole objective!

Put simply, we all wish to be 'someone'. Significance comes through personal control and authority - like running a business - which gives us that valuable anchor. Upto forty years ago the average mortality rate was 67 years old. Men simply died within two years of their retirement. Obviously, leaving the jobs which gave them their sense of SAVI made them wistful and depressed and many became controllers in their homes to compensate for that. But most felt surplus to requirements and fretted themselves to death. Today people are living much longer because of the choices available for self-fulfilment after 60, for that personal feeling of SAVI in their retirement, and the improvements in lifestyle and health.

APPRECIATION: To be truly appreciated is crucial to our sense of belonging and the biggest sign of its importance is in the home where parents and youngsters often cannot see eye to eye, or partners take each other for granted. Love gradually dies through resentment and neglect. Many partners are reluctant to appreciate their spouses and that breeds low confidence and self-esteem. Workers in particular, especially those who give their all every day without ever getting much thanks, praise, recognition or appreciation for their tasks, feel the absence of this key element. We want to know we count, that our actions matter, that we are appreciated as contributing individuals to the home, to the profits of the business, to its success and its public reputation but we seldom get it. And the absence of that feeling accounts for the most break-ups of relationships and the highest number of absentees from both school and work.

The Need for Approval

VALUE: Along with appreciation, we most crave the outward signs that we are valued, wanted, worthy and have a place in someone's heart and mind. We seek that value endlessly through approval, through promotion, through praise, through acts of affirmation and above all, through love, hence the endless need for a soulmate. Sometimes we are even afraid to put a value on ourselves in case someone else downgrades it, so we wait patiently for that value to be assigned by others - by parents, lovers, bosses, colleagues - but it is usually slow in coming and leads to much personal frustration. Trouble is, often others are too mean to show value, especially through praise, prefering to criticise instead. And so the cycle of low self-esteem continues. Not likely to have been shown any value themselves, those who are mean with this attribute tend to lack the confidence, honesty and the esteem to make someone else feel worthy.

INCLUSION: To feel appreciated, valued and significant we need to feel included. Most minority groups, underachieving children, ex-offenders, workers at the frontline who are often left out of the decision-making loop, women in a man's world and people who feel unhappy in their jobs do not feel included. They feel on the periphery, useless, excluded, unrecognised, insignificant and unworthy - as though they are invisible, that their voice is not being heard. That kills their motivation and obscure their sense of value. That's why many of them sabotage work objectives, vote with their feet, underachieve at school, turn to deviance or commit further crimes after prison release. The cycle of exclusion kills the spirit and empties the soul of its understanding, empathy and compassion. Hence the increasing level of crime in our community. A lack of inclusion leads to a fifth element which all criminals crave - power.

POWER: We will never eradicate crime, only contain it, because, in an absence of true SAVI", power is the only thing that matters: the power to maim, to rob, to bully, to intimidate, to destroy, to kill; to have some kind of authority and hold over another person's life - the ultimate power. Those who lack SAVI are PASIV instead. Their need for power gives them the kind of SAVI they seek but in a way they dictate. They don't have to wait to get SAVI", they can forcibly take it through power over another or the power of disrupting their environment and causing fear and mayhem (terrorism). That's why some people commit crimes, not through any particular need, but to test that power against established boundaries (especially young offenders) or to seek revenge for feeling excluded from their home, work or community.

The power of SAVI is incalculable for our sense of well being. We can see its effects everywhere, especially in the reasons why people leave relationships or join political parties and exclusive clubs. They attach themselves to people and associations which provide the most SAVI and the biggest sense of inclusion, hence why parties like the BNP will always flourish. They feed on people's sense of powerlessness, exclusion and insignificance.

If you haven't got it, you need to focus on which bit is missing for you and start the process of getting your fair share. Ask yourself honestly today: Do you have SAVI"? If not, why not? Which element is genuinely missing?

The answer could not only be enlightening, it could also make a huge difference to your world from today and change your life for good!

About The Author
Life Coach, Diversity Consultant & Public Speaker

Elaine is a leading African Caribbean writer, life coach and diversity expert in the UK. Elaine read English and Social Sciences at the Open University (its first African Caribbean graduate) then completed her post-graduate at Cambridge University.

Author of some inspiring and thought provoking books, the latest of which deals with personal and professional issues (Money, Sex and Compromise), such as why relationships fail, how to improve personal confidence and the secrets of attraction, Elaine is an extraordinary motivator who recently reated the SAVI self-enrichment concept as a powerful vehicle for self-empowerment and fulfilment.

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