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|Author: Başak Çevik|
|Relevant Service: Strategy Development and Implementation|
October 9th, 2017
How to develop a resilient practice off the mat? In Part I, we discovered that a good amount of stress can actually be helpful to our business since it creates a healthy environment for improvement and growth. For Part II, we went deeper in the techniques to become resilient in a conventional manner: Bruce Way. Now, for the last part, we will take the methods yoga gives us and turn them into a resilience toolkit.
So how can we keep up with stress, VUCA, simply life at all and be resilient? Author of "The Heart of Meditation" Sally Hempton articulates the secret of true resilience from yoga discipline. This is also a well-simplified resilience toolkit:
1. Svadhyaya (self-study or self-inquiry)
2. Tapas (intense effort or austerity)
3. Ishvara pranidhana (surrender to the higher reality) strike at the very root of suffering
These are very "yogic" topics hence they are very responsive for business-related issues:
1. Svadhyaya (self-study or self-inquiry): It's simply "knowing thyself." Self-inquiry, or self-study is about awareness. If you are open to investigate yourself and embrace your limits, you have a chance to challenge them. Eventually, resilience occurs only when you know yourself then you are able to thrive from there.
2. Tapas (intensive effort or austerity): Effort with right intensity and austerity means purification with awareness which is crucial to reach resilience. To be more resilient, we need to purify our life from habits, which are reducing us. In my first training my tapas was quitting sugar for 4 months. Removing sugar from my life not only showed me the version of myself without the sugar consumption, but also I gained more self confidence keeping up with the absence of something in my life which I believed I couldn't live without. (needless to mention the benefits to overall well-being) Tapas attitude in business life is a form of purification of your habits to change for good. Change for good is hard most of the time but it makes us more resilient.
3. Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to the higher reality) - strike at the very root of suffering: After all, if you cover the first two steps, you are allowed to surrender. Even though it seems contradictory in business life and some may interpret "surrendering" as giving up or not pushing the potential, it is actually not. The difference is being truthful to yourself and acting with awareness then playing with the limits, hence being mindful enough to decide where to surrender. Put it another way, in business world you need to be aware of what's happening in your environment (market, rivals, technology, etc), always be in a manner of improving your way of doing business. Then you need to see the lacks and search for ways of improvement, put out a good work aligned with all of your team, and then at some point after all is done, you surrender. Because there is something over you which you can't control but you need to flow with (welcome to VUCA world). - The problem of modern man is ignoring this point, and ignoring this point drags us to stress and burn out. - Til this point, you need to know yourself (svadhyaya) and put all your effort available, take all necessary actions (tapas). Only then you surrender (Ishvara pranidhana). And this acceptance releases the stress and increases the resilience. After all even you "failed" you won't feel failed as you put what you have on it; in other words it is not a failure, it is called learning. (at least the aware human beings say so). Ishvara pranidhana is an attitude of mindfulness at work to be more courageous, confident and experimental, it creates space to thrive.
We are more than we think!
Finally, Sally Hempton says "there also exists a deep, secret and subtle kind of resilience that I like to call the skill of stepping beyond your edge. This kind of resilience has less to do with survival than with self-transformation. It's the combination of attentiveness, insight, and choice that lets some people tune into the hidden energy lurking within a crisis and use it as a catalyst for spiritual growth. Though psychologists can list the qualities that resilient people have in common -insight, empathy, humor, creativity, flexibility, the ability to calm and focus the mind- this deeper resilience transcends personality traits. In terms of business or life, in general, we are really more than we think. Resilience is already within, we just need to reveal it with proper tools and mindset.
Throughout the series of articles, we tried to find ways to be resilient through an unconventional way: yoga and wisdom of East. We hope the methods and insights we provided in this series can help you build a better working business, thus happier employees and effective outcomes. If you think your business needs to get more resilient, get in touch with us.
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StratejiCo. is an independent Turkish corporate and public affairs consultancy firm, providing trusted advice to multinational companies and government institutions in Eurasia since 1987.
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