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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why Spirituality as the Basis for Work?

IMAGINE riding in a car whose 4-cylinder engine is working on only 3 cylinders,and whose gasoline is diluted with water. The car will struggle along, using only a part of its inherent power. It might still get you where you want to go, but with difficulty (and probably not up the steep hills.

At work, if we are running on only the power of mind, body, and emotions, we're running on only three cylinders. And if we find ourselves reacting to situations with anxiety, agitation, or anger – and feeling “there’s not enough time to do our best” – we're using diluted fuel.

What's missing ?

The missing cylinder is our “buddhi”: the spiritual intelligence that recognises the unity in the diversity of the world. With it, we can tap into our highest wisdom for making the right choices and working pro-actively toward a common goal. The pure fuel is “inner awareness”: knowing that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. This awareness gives us the strength and equanimity for being true to our spiritual values. When spirituality is the basis for our work, we have the full spiritual power to be – and do – our best.

So how many cylinders are you running on at work?

And what is the quality of your fuel?

In our workshops and interviews, business executives with a consciously-held spiritual view of life (and who intend to lead from that basis) have enlightened us on what it means to operate from a spiritual basis at work.

First, they operate with a spiritual intelligence that shifts their experience of a situation to one of “unity” and guides their actions in ways that are not readily thought of by others.

For example, the human resource executive of an Indian corporation was in the midst of union negotiations. He realised during one of our workshops that his spiritual basis for work was centred on "awakening the inner self" and "peaceful co-existence." He then saw the possibility of creating a negotiation process that focused on awakening the inner selves of each person involved.

From this spiritual basis he was confident that an agreement would naturally exemplify peaceful co-existence.
Another attribute of these executives is an inner strength to make even the toughest decisions according to their spiritual values.

One American executive told us of a situation where she had pursued a large contract in a foreign country, despite scepticism from her bosses about her chances of success. From her spiritual basis,she trusted her intuition to engage in the negotiations.

She spent many long days and hours in that country putting together a huge contract.The day she sat down to sign the contract with the representatives of the foreign government, they suddenly told her that she would need to write them a large check
before they would sign. With inner calm and without hesitation, she refused... and went home without the contract.

With some embarrassment, and a great deal of peace, she explained to her management what had transpired. She had no difficulty acknowledging that their initial scepticism had turned out to be right – and also that she had gained invaluable new wisdom that would benefit the company. (By the way, her management applauded her refusal to give the bribe.)

Take a few moments to reflect upon your own spiritual basis for work.

How often do you run on all cylinders at work – tapping into your highest wisdom to see the unity that underlies the diversity, and working pro-actively for the good of all?

How often are you powered by pure fuel at work – being aware that we are all spiritual beings and feeling the strength and equanimity to be true to your spiritual values?

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