Not much has been written in academia or popular literature about spirituality and entrepreneurship. While there are some articles that discuss this as a philosophy in management science, the topic has been majorly ignored by the researchers and the practitioners.
The researchers ignore it because the debate of “spirituality vs religion” itself is quite overwhelming to handle. Spirituality is an abstract concept for the lesser read. And we don’t like to waste time on that which does not come from the analytical mind. Hence, the cold shoulder. It is too abstruse a debate to indulge into. And practitioners stay away from it because the distractions in life are too tempting to keep at bay.
If you don’t believe me, you can pick the teachings of any of the great Spiritual leaders, practice them in your start-up regime for a month and see the difference for yourself!
Sri Paramhansa Yogananda Ji (Autobiography of a Yogi (book) fame) penned down some really thought stimulating words while he walked the earth. Here’s one such line:
“When you are attuned with your soul, you will be able to think correctly about everything you do; if your thoughts or actions have gone astray, they can be realigned.”
This seemingly simple line holds great truth in itself. He used to say, “Is there a power that can reveal hidden veins of riches and uncover treasures of which we have never dreamed? Is there a force that we can call upon to give health, happiness, and spiritual enlightenment? The saints and sages of India taught that there is such a power. They uncovered truths that we have overlooked or forgotten, and these truths will work for you, too, if you give them a fair trial.”
The problem is – ancient Indian philosophers gave us all the answers. But we don’t ask the right questions anymore! One such question is – how does this all relate to entrepreneurship? I didn’t dig deep into what entrepreneurship is because that’s already running in your veins. But I am here to discuss how being spiritual can do wonders for you as an entrepreneur. Here are 5 rock-solid improvements being spiritual can bring to your life:
Builds your intuitive ability
Being an entrepreneur entails taking a lot of risks. And the stakes are always high on your decisions. One big bad decision or a series of small bad decisions – the downhill journey is sure to happen. As entrepreneurs, you will often rely on your experience or your guts. The thing is – those gut feelings don’t just pop out of mid-air.
While your experience and facts do often guide your path, it is not always all so rosy. More often than not, entrepreneurs are venturing into unknown territorial dark tunnels of uncertainty. Being spiritual clears up that mind clogging and helps you see things better. Be it any type of meditation, the more you meditate and work on your mind-body-soul unison, the stronger your intuitive abilities become. I am not faffing. There are scientific explanations to this wonderful phenomenon given in our ancient sciences, if only one would stop aping western philosophies blindly.
The kind of intuitive abilities that develop as a side effect of your persevered spiritual practice, can bring you a vantage point most people would kill to have. All you need to do is, observe your breathing!
Gives you an indefatigable sense of purpose
Why do entrepreneurs do what they do? Money? Creating something? Or solving a problem?
I truly believe money should be incidental. A by-product of following your life’s calling. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who are actually solving a genuine problem. Money just happened because they did it so well. They really understood a problem people were grappling with. Look at the first e-commerce companies. Way to make life easy for their consumers!
This is what spirituality gives you – an indefatigable sense of purpose. It gives you a reason to make lives better. The philosophy is drilled into you – that we are a sum total of a chain reaction of people helping each other. And it is a fairness imperative that we keep passing on the favour as well as we can. Being spiritual teaches you “Sewabhav” or the inclination to serve. You can either serve by helping directly or by making someone’s life better through a product / service. Isn’t that what you do as an entrepreneur?
Spirituality gives you that anchor, that reason to want to do good. A spiritual entrepreneur will always find a deep sense purpose, a desire to make lives better, with their idea. They are not just out to solve problems. They are out to genuinely truly help people. Money just happens along the way. Because they know the actual meaning of ‘service to mankind’. And boy does it feel good when you succeed in that!
Keeps you attuned with all that really matters
Admit it. We love getting distracted. The FB and Instagram breaks we keep taking, take much more away from us than we think we are giving away. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real reason often is the deep rooted sense of personal distractions. The world around teaches us nothing to fight them. Tips and tricks won’t work unless you program your internal hardware to ‘Quick Heal’ the virus of temptations! As a Motivational and inspirational public speaker in India if there is one point which I have iterated through almost all my events then it is ‘Priority Setting’ principles.
There is nothing better than a constant, consistent practice of meditation and understanding of the way our life system works – to make us understand how to avoid distractions. I have experienced this myself. 5 years ago I used to worry about 20 different things while working. As an entrepreneur, it always took toll on my ability to manage time and take better decisions – two of the most crucial things I needed.
You all need to pick your battles. The calmness of your being and the tremendous understanding of the way universe works (as written in spiritual literature) that comes to you after consistent spiritual practice – helps you pick better battles. Trust me, it is not easy to grasp the right problem and let the wrong problem go. As entrepreneurs we lead ourselves to believe that everything is our problem. It really is not. In meditation you come face to face with your five real problems. Rest is all just garbage that you like to accumulate for no good reason, turning your superbly intelligent mind into a trash can.
Don’t let the world dictate what is important for you. You sit with yourself, go deep inside and see for yourself. I believe that as an entrepreneur it is a killer ability to possess – the ability to separate the chaff out of the hay!
Acts like your relentless stabilizer against the voltage fluctuations of your business
When someone says they are going to start-up, we all inwardly sympathize for a second before we go into awe (assumingly). That sympathy is for the tough times and tougher paths the entrepreneurs willingly choose to walk on. If capital isn’t an issue, human capital is. And if that’s not an issue, profits are, targets are, numbers are.
Inarguably all entrepreneurs face tremendous odds, all the time. This fluctuating voltage and the ‘jhatkas’ (shocks) that your business keeps giving, can jolt any resilient man out of stupor. And it is equally easy to lose calm and quit, at that moment.
A consistent meditation practice builds in you an ability to hold your fort during these traffic jams. Because it gives you a very clear view of the rear view mirror and the dashboard mirrors and all other angles possible. It is actually kind of amazing, the way the spiritually inclined can quickly calm themselves down. Their mental training is such that they get to see the real face of things; which gives them a vantage point to find a way around it.
Being spiritual makes an entrepreneur stronger. Hence better.
Teaches you insurmountable strength and self-reliance
As much as spirituality teaches you how to love more relentlessly, it also teaches you the value of what an individual can accomplish – through his intuition, confidence and faith. And it does make a difference.
The speed with which an entrepreneur waddles through his problems with little outside help is directly proportional to the amount of positive energy an entrepreneur feeds into his troubles. As the story goes, among the two wolves in our heads, the one we feed the most – wins. With spiritually inclined entrepreneurs, the bad wolves generally turn into meek sheep over a period of time.
It is not that their problems miraculously and suddenly disappear. But they always find within themselves that insurmountable energy to keep at it. And that’s what makes the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary entrepreneurs, the difference between those who give up and those who succeed. They know they are a one man army. Funny thing is – their spiritual bend of mind also ensures they always have good people around to help them.
The positivity of these entrepreneurs attracts more positive people. The caravan keeps moving, filled with better approaches, if not immediate, better results. It is an idea worth pursuing, don’t you think?
The best part is – being spiritual doesn’t cost you a penny (for those still running around VC funding!). Nature ensured that the best we could possibly do for ourselves was available for free. And will always be.
Embrace it. It will change your life. Tried and tested!
By- Akash Gautam (Corporate Trainer & Motivational Speaker in India)