How to manage your desire for power | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 22, 2019

How to manage your desire for power

Each human being, as adventurous as they are, is tweaked in different ways and responds differently. The reason we are not all the same is because all of us have diverse needs based on our individuality. When we do not pay enough attention to the details, it upsets our capacity to act astutely or purposefully. One dominant human need is seeking a certain degree of power and control in other people’s lives. Often, we fail to manage our need for power and develop a super-inflated image of ourselves when the said power gets to our heads. Wanting power is not intrinsically wrong and it certainly does not make you evil. The problem occurs when we get carried away with a fake sense of entitlement and lose control. Here are 3 steps to stay vigilant and tame our desire for power. 


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Self-knowledge & self-discipline is the key. The researchers I spoke with suggested to create self-awareness as to where one stands on the power hierarchy. It helps when the person truly understands that the world doesn’t necessarily revolve around them. They must also realise that having desires is normal but they shouldn’t let this get the better of themselves. Knowing the way our mind and bodies are tuned will help us get a better vision as to how we can take better charge of situations.


“When people feel powerful or feel powerless, it influences their perception of others,” said Yap, a postdoctoral researcher at MIT. People who possess a certain amount of power tend not to see the other side of the picture. They fail to recognise the opinions and understandings of other people which creates distrust and devaluation among them.  Thus, changing the way you see it might help you become more empathetic & perceptive.


Any sort of power or authority you gain does not come from you. People place you in an elevated position so that you can provide them with a service. In fact, the bigger picture suggests that the authority you expand is an artefact of other people’s social expectations. Don’t let it get to your head that you’re bigger than the role you’re playing. People will be done with you once you’re removed from the position of authority. The affirmation and reputation that people give you is an illusion which will last only till you play that particular role. Don’t ever try to assume that you have the right to abuse the power that has been handed over to you.


Sajid Bin Hasnat is a 2nd year student from BRAC University. Send warm greetings at

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