Sunday, July 28, 2013

Imbibing Yama and Niyama to Enrich Life

This post has been published in SpeakingTree.

I am not an entrepreneur. Yet! I am a professional who has worked in various positions and managed to do reasonably well. I was tuned to working in a structured environment where my roles and responsibilities were quite clear. I knew where I belonged in the corporate food chain, what I was expected to do and when to deliver what kind of results. And that is what I have been doing for close to eight years until I was propelled into joining our family business due to various circumstances.
I was not averse to the idea but I was not too excited either. I did not know why. Logically, it should be a wonderfully enticing proposition considering how much I can do in it, the flexibility and latitude that comes with such choices but there was something holding me back in my subconscious mind. I shoved the uncanny thought behind thinking it will go away with the passage of time.
The business was an absolutely virgin territory for me. I did not have any idea about the offering, manufacturing process, inventory, client handling, finance etc. Being a small business, many areas required people to multitask. There was no system of handover or training. It was purely “learn as you do” environment. A lot of things were done with the notion “that is how it has been done till now”. There were lot of ad-hoc measures and no one could clearly explain the internal workings.
There was too much to learn and understand, too many things were haphazard, no mentoring, the intermittent guidance was disjointed. It was like various people telling me about the head, trunk, hind legs and tail of an elephant but no one could explain the elephant in totality. I was struggling to figure things out. There were couple of things which I identified as potential area for improvement but the efforts fell flat as I could not drive through the initiatives. I simply could not “sell” my vision. I had always worked honestly in earlier places and spoke my mind clearly about any issue but here things were different. Here I was being constantly shutdown or diverted.
There was also the fact that I was university educated with reasonable prior work experience and belonging to the promoter’s family. People expected me to deliver without giving me enough inputs or assuming that I knew already. At times I felt that I was being tested. I realized that managing perceptions is a huge challenge because there is no apparent logic and people seldom try to accept an alternate theory or concept.
It was becoming extremely frustrating and slowly I was losing confidence in my abilities. I was routinely angry and felt on the edge with minor impulse. People close to me started pointing it out. I did not know how to plough my way out of this situation especially since joining the business being my conscious choice.
There were questions and questions.
How do I make decisions?
How will I know that it is the right decision?
What should I do in the business to make it sustain and weather the storms?
Should my sole objective be profit maximization?
How should I deal with my employees, customers, stakeholders?
What information should I share with whom?
Who can be trusted? Whom should I be wary of?
How can I judge the intention of a person?
Am I being given the full facts or there are details obscure from my eyes? 
How should I conduct myself?
How do I gain respect of my people?
One thing that was constant is my belief that the answer to all turmoil is within or around us. We just need to tune in our senses and feel. We have to be sensitive and introspective enough to attune ourselves to the vibrations. It all lies in our mind. If we can control it we can achieve just about anything.
And one day I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. While reading an instruction on a particular Yoga Asana, my eyes fell on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It was my “Eureka” moment.

Read on . . . 

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