They cut the grass to make it greener. Likewise, to grow continuously and sustain, make people feel insecure; insecurity breeds growth.
I was thinking as to how I can make sense out of this quote. It kind of kept me haunting, because it has always been the case that I either like a quote or don't like it, or the quote would be really dumb. It has never been the case where it has made me think so much. Something like, you either like a person or don't like the person. And another category is the one that is very confusing. This one falls on the last category which is confusing, and made me think a lot. I mean, this quote is something that is debatable, because standing all by itself, it does not convey the meaning. I somehow feel that there is something that remains unsaid.
In fact, I was reminded of Keats' verses from 'Ode on a Grecian Urn': "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unhead are sweeter."
And so I started writing about this... I am looking at it from one's profession point of view...
May be starve them to boredom by not giving them work? May be that is where the concept of Bench comes. And as you well know, human mind thinks faster and instills in itself a sense of urgency when it sees suffering—both self and of others. In this case, may be laying off other people might cause insecurity. See, again it depends; some minds may work in one direction and others in a different direction. Say, one might feel insecure on seeing something, the other might feel depressed, or some other can feel instigated?
I mean, forget insecurity being a factor of motivation or growth. Looking at it philosophically and psychologically, the basic thing that causes insecurity is the fear that you are going to lose something that you have, and if not something that you treasure, at least losing something that causes an imbalance or taking somebody to a new low. I do not see any other reason that can cause insecurity.
So, it pretty much explains the fact that, any action that might cause you to lose something of yours, be it self-respect, respect, money, time, effort, relationships with your peer, a poor performance or appraisal rating, not enough recognition for your work etc. But all this, I see it only leading to searching for a better option or a setup, rather than trying to perform better in the same setup.
One more thing is that, you really cannot trigger an event or an act that can cause insecurity under the pretext of being altruistic. That will be the cruelest of things that you can do to someone, when at work. I guess insecurities are again, all in the mind—someone can feel insecure all by themselves. Another aspect is that you cannot make someone think that the other person is creating insecurity for them, so that they flourish. One gets detached and develop hatred towards the other person, once they know that the person made them feel insecure deliberately.
And as I think, it is not single event that can make someone feel insecure, but a combination of various disconnected acts that reinforces, and makes someone feel that they are insecure. Also, to artificially create those kinds of activities, and instigate or expect the same kind of reaction, to make them feel insecure might be difficult to attain. First time around, they may feel insecure; the next time they may feel that, 'no, may be it is for our own good that it is happening so, etc...
Or maybe, editing the quote for its sentence structure could have made more sense? I mean, if it were constructed in passive voice? Something like:
Cutting the grass makes it greener. Likewise, an insecure feeling makes people to grow continuously and sustain; insecurity breeds growth.