A holistic approach towards corporate wellbeing
As they say every coin had two sides. Being born in an traditional Indian family and having a close contact with Yoga and spirituality since early childhood surely blessed me with multiple skills that gives me a deeper perspective of life beyond its surface reality. The down side is though I get see and sense the superficiality of our being-ness and the chronic unhappiness that many are hiding behind the momentary joy, excitement and pleasures moments.
Before I go any further, I don’t intend to shower advises on wellbeing and happiness. Happiness and wellbeing is an inside job, all I intend is to co-design with you a wellbeing plan that gives you sustainable joy and long-lasting state of balance. So the first thing first, I think it will be important for you to know who am I and why I am passionate about wellbeing in general.
It’s been a little more than 15 years since I passed out as an electronics and communication engineer and promised myself to never step into a corporate world and work as an engineer and to follow my calling to share yogic knowledge with people to increase the quantum of wellbeing in them. (Why I have decided that I will share with you in a moment). Once said that in the past 10 years my karma got me into various multinational companies, where I have offered yoga classes, workshops and retreats on mindfulness, postural correction, art of relaxation and research on various stress related parameters etc. These courses lasted between few hours to few months and we dived deep based on the commitment and the duration of the course.
The reason I follow my passion to bring wellbeing in peoples life is I have personally struggled in my early years to find ‘sustainable-happiness’, I have also witness enough people who are materially well-off yet happiness is an alien concept to them. Over those years when I was looking for how can I contribute to the society I live in, a realization evolved within me to share the various tools that I learnt from my association with Yoga over years and living in Ashram (Sanskrit word for monastery) with the people who are also like me, searching the same joyfulness in their lives.
My association with the employees from various industries and countries gave me the experiential understanding of what is missing out in huge proportion from most of multinational corporate culture.
I will share some of my findings and insights which I find fascinating.
THE HAPPINESS DISORDER
You read it correct. Generally speaking more than majority of the corporate employee suffers from some form of ‘happiness deficit disorder’. Happiness deficit disorder is that symptom where an individual is not connected to their calling/purpose and experiences an inner void and often confuses short term pleasures with sustainable happiness which again amplifies frustration, anger and loneliness.
Needless to say the collateral damage it does within a corporate is huge and cancerous. Often it goes unnoticed till it reaches the breaking point.
Only a person from Human Resources department will understand how hard it is to work with a work force which is ‘emotional malnourished’ and experiencing ‘motivation deficiency syndrome’. There is also a ripple effect of lack of purpose, which reflects in reduced ability and willingness to learn new trends and skills.
Agility and adaptability are the key word in any evolving corporation. The ability to adopt newer understandings and making oneself aligned with it pays well in long run and ensures the progression of the company.
Information is not enough, or let’s say information should be followed up with experience. PowerPoint presentation and some statistical information on what to do and what not to could be a starting point, but not the destination. Transformation is not instantaneous and effort has to be made to bring training programs which takes baby steps in helping a the employees to initiate a soul search at their comfortable speed and rhythm. An active individualized mentoring should be offered to clarify and support this journey. East is well known over thousands of years to offer the needed tools of soul searching. Meditation/mindfulness is just the tip of the ice berg and there exists a wide spectrum of body-mind tools that works fantastic too. Happiness is not absence of conflicts or challenges, but the presence of the skills and wisdom to overcome them.
THE FEAR FACTOR
A lot many of us are product of a fractured education system, where failure is shameful and we lost the contact with our inner vibrancy. Unconsciously we have programmed ourselves to not to engage in any such activity where we might not shine. Avoidance towards trying out new things is the best way to not to invite criticism and to be in any uncomfortable shameful situation.
The constant effort to try not to fail in any endeavor shrinks us and limits us within the four walls of our fear.
The evolution of human race happened through trial and error. A child is not fearful to fail. He/she embraces failure with a grin in his cheeks where as an corporate executive can have a panic attack with a thought of failing to deliver a task. During most of my one to one session with corporate executives and mindfulness courses, participants confess that the predominant emotion that they experience at work is ‘stress’. In the corporate world stress in the synonyms of fear. Fear when remains unaddressed it becomes the thick shell which confined us and suffocated to mental emotional and eventually physical agony.
Negative imagination limits us where as positive imagination boosts us towards limitlessness. Neuroscience is echoing the same effects what yogic sages said over thousands of years. Power of positive visualization has immense power to train our mind to gear up to face any challenges, weather a board meeting or presentation or fear or public speaking.
Yoga teaches us to develop clarity over confidence. Once the mind is clear and we can see our strengths, confidence is just a byproduct of knowing what we know.
THE TOXIC ENVIRONMENT
‘The zen you find in top of the mountain, is the zen that you carry with yourself’.
Needless to say we the humans are negatively biased as our default setting. We don’t need any special skills to connect with the negativity around and it often happens spontaneously that take immense pleasure in complaining and criticizing anybody and anything but ourselves.
We do have a symbiotic effect on others, and vice versa. An unmindful person might often find themselves encapsulated in a negative cloud at work place which deplete the energy level within us.
Solution: In case we are nurturing a limited perspective about yoga can only be practiced on a mat in front of a wall to wall mirror, it’s time to melt this myth. A huge component of classical yoga is lifestyle management. Yoga offers tools to convert a space which naturally inspires one to be mindful and counterbalance the chronic attention deficit syndrome. It also offers practices to connect with the positive dimension of life. Life is more than ‘glass half full or half empty’. Yoga shows way to refill the glass in case you find it empty!
To conclude I would say an individual within every organization should think smarter to engage their body, mind and energy in order to get a wholesome benefits which more than body tone and six packs will offer the competency of developing a better mind, emotions and energy management.