People often ask how someone like me finds the time or any value in mindfulness and meditation. Well, that is just part of the story in terms of Art of Living and what it has helped me with in terms of personal resilience. The note below from the NGO's founder, explains its five underpinning values. If you have a look at it, you'll maybe understand why its important to me and how it helps me with all aspects of my life.
At a time when when many of my friends are feeling despair maybe its worth having a think about this approach to life and moving forward with a balance of confidence and compassion?
Art of Living Universe
1. You know there are ups and downs in life. Pleasant things happen, unpleasant things happen. The first principle is: In all situations, keep the balance of the mind.
Often what happens, when things go our way, we are so happy. But when things don’t go our way, we get depressed and angry. To maintain equanimity is the first principle.
2. The next principle is to accept people as they are. Accept difference; it could be temperament, ideology, whatever. Accept them as they are. A very important principle.
3. The third principle is, don't be a football of others’ opinions. Don’t worry what others are thinking about you. In fact, nobody has time to think about you. Look into yourself and see what is right and what is not right for you, by yourself.
4. The next point is, don’t see intention behind others' mistakes. Very important. Inside every culprit there is a victim crying for help. Recognizing that.
5. And live in the present moment.
These are the basic five things that we have to keep in mind.
What happens with these basic principles? Three things happen. Purity of heart, clarity of mind, and sincerity in action. That’s all.
Shared by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar — with Konark Modi and Nidhi Ladia.
As I write this, it is St George's Day in England. Unlike our friends in other parts of the UK, English women and men won't really engage in great celebration today. There are probably many good reasons for this, but overall I think for most folk it's just not a very English thing to do! The question then, of course is, why?
This got me thinking about culture, culture in countries, places and organisations. Do English folk celebrate less because they have less clarity around English culture? What makes Culture? Tom Peters, Charles Handy and other business writers talk about heritage, learning and unwritten norms around things like "how we do things around here" making a culture - I agree that these are vital ingredients.
I think clarity of purpose is vital to culture and not what is said about how things are done around here but how they are actually done. This is core to why countries, places and organisations change; if purpose is lost people become fearful, how they act changes, and changes fast. This impacts on how they feel about themselves and then how they treat others. Maybe a lack of purpose is impacting on current political behaviour and debate?
Loss of purpose can happen for many reasons and it is dangerous. Until a new purpose is found or evolves, a kind of grey space emerges where the norms and guiding principles of the old culture no longer apply. This can lead to bad behaviour, conflict and increased cost around conflict resolution. In a fast-changing and highly competitive world this can be extremely damaging.
Maybe as leaders and people of influence, what is required is to always keep working on purpose to ensure clarity is maintained? Then have the confidence that the people you lead will respond to this clarity of purpose and necessary culture change or evolution will take place because the mission is clear? Your role is to guide people through this change, knowing that some will welcome it and some will struggle with it. Focussing on the why always helps people come to terms with change and develop. Focusing only on the how builds resistance almost just for the sake of it. For you, knowing that nothing is permanent in this world is also vital because in leadership perspective is central to judgement and that's what really makes the difference in culture.
So, on St George's Day whether you are English or not, keep your perspective on life. Take the opportunity to be kind to your fellow human; they, like you, are coping with an ever-changing and increasingly complex world, are probably a little scared too and maybe they don't like warm beer or cricket and feel a bit excluded today. We all share one certainty, however, and that is that tomorrow will be different and how we respond to that difference is up to us. Have a great day :-)
Take a few moments every day for doing nothing. It really brings a lot of energy and uplifts the spirit. I think this is what is needed today. Our brain is bombarded with so much information, and so we need to recharge from time to time. Isn't it so? So a few moments of conscious relaxation will make a difference. - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
This quote made me think about conversations I have with many of the leaders I serve as their Consiglieri. They often reflect that they are busy doing. Thinking fast can give us a sense of value and progress, however often folk need calm judgement from their leader more than anything else. This is hard when emotions are high and therefore your intellect is lower. The only way to restore the balance is to be mindful everyday, investing in yourself in this way can seem self indulgent (or so I told myself many times) but its really a vital investment in your business and key to success.
You are paid for what you know at least as much as what you do. Remember this, and breathe :-)
© Do-Well (UK) Ltd 2015