Some people are driven by their agendas and have little concern for others who stand in their way. So how can you find Zen in this dog-eat-dog world? Should we just quit work and find a job with more spiritual meaning, where the people we interact with finally get what we are all about?
The question is, what meaning do you give these people in your daily interactions? Maybe they can in fact teach you something. Others do whatever they have to do; you can't change them. But perhaps you have the opportunity to create a Zen like atmosphere despite them. Chances are these screaming and bullying characters can assist you somehow in your spiritual growth and can assign you some of the psychological homework that you still have to do.
I have been there, I remember the time when I perceived some of my colleagues as my enemies who were supposedly out to steal my place in the sun. I was probably true then too because I believed it then. But there is also the other perspective, that these competitive people are in fact here to complement me. They are in need of healing just as I am. Together we can in fact become whole. Today, I can honestly tell you that I always focus on this spiritual interpretation. I see every voice out there as an opportunity for me to get better at what I do. Every conflict I view as a creative opportunity to transcend the tension altogether. But this creative solution has to be found in me and everyone is capable of helping me to advance. With that attitude, what point does it make to classify some voices as friendly and others as bothersome? All interactions are an invite of the Tao to dance with life; another opportunity to create and to heal.
My transition probably happened despite myself. Often it seemed like that it was the others that changed their attitudes towards me first rather than the other way around. That is the sub-conscience at work. Other people already perceive a change in your attitude that I hadn't realized yet. But no matter where the initial spark comes from, once the door opens just a little, please put your foot in and keep it open. That is your job. Today, I consider many of my former adversaries as my friends. When your intention is one of healing, time will heal old wounds and dysfunctional relationships. Always wait for the next opportunity to put your foot into the door that opens a smidgen.
Yes, you can live a Zen life at work and be enormously creative and happy in the process. Of course you have to be willing to embrace change, and you may have to work hard to get yo that state. Actually, being Zen in any circumstance doesn't require work at all; what requires work is to override your internal resistance that it is possible.
Wholeness and healing is really a creative vision. You take the competitive spirit of your brother and you see how you can fit yourself in to make the puzzle complete. But you have to focus on your own healing and let the others be. Jesus advice comes to mind: "First get rid of the log in your own eye, then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye." Understand that it is your agenda that analyzes the agenda of the fellow next door, and realize that with that perspective both agendas are mistaken! The healing comes from the space within, the inter-personal sanity that connects both of you. You don't have to be naive about your relationship with your friend next door either; just follow the clues of the Tao, and if your motive behind this relationship is healing, healing it will!