Posts Tagged ‘practice’

Spirituality in Business: As the Paradigm Shifts

by Rosie Kuhn on April 6, 2011

If I were you, perched on the edge of your seat, curious enough to click on the topic of Spirituality and Business, I’d be readying myself for what – I’m not quite sure. I know I’d have a couple questions in mind.  I’d be curious about the philosophy or beliefs of this individual. I’d also be curious about what this topic has to do with me, personally. I’d wonder if this is going to be some righteous, woo-woo individual who’s going to preach some dogma about what’s right and what’s wrong in the corporate or business world. Is she going to tell me to meditate or pray before, during and after every meeting? That’s what I would be wondering if I were you.

Spirituality in Business

My beliefs and interpretations regarding spirituality and more specifically, spirituality in business emerged through my own personal experience of exploring the edges of my comfort zone, and also through the empowerment of many individuals who’ve felt the need for a thinking partner as they began to bushwhack a spiritual path of their own. My perspective is pretty simple; Regardless of the context, be in personal or corporate, I define spirituality in the most foundational and pragmatic terms possible. Spirituality is living in faith; faith not as religion but faith as in practicing trust. Shifting from what you know to what you don’t yet know, letting go of what you may be firmly attached to for something that may be tenuous at best, takes faith. I say a leap of faith is the essential and most fundamental practice of spirituality. That’s it!

For me, what’s required to even consider the possibility of engaging in life from a spiritual perspective is the willingness to be curious about who you are and how you be you. It’s being willing to consider cultivating awareness by exploring how you choose to choose what you choose. This practice of being curious leads to self-realization, which leads one along the continuum of enlightenment, one degree at a time. Another aspect of spirituality that’s just as important is the practice of actualizing your self – taking actions in the direction of how you want to be – maybe even who you want to be in the world.

Practice

You can hear that I am emphasizing the concept of practice – exercising and developing the muscles required to be curious and cultivate awareness, and to exercise the muscles necessary to put this newfound awareness into action. Both practices take faith and the implementation of our faith leaping muscles.

Here’s a good example:

Research shows that only one person in five find fulfillment in their work. What that means is that to some degree, most of us are unhappy and unfulfilled with our jobs! Is that a spiritual issue?

Let’s say that you are one of those who are unhappy in your job; how does your unhappiness impact on a) your relationship to the work you are doing; b) your relationships with your co-workers, managers, bosses and direct reports; and c) your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends?

When you are unhappy, what’s the quality of that experience? How do you be unhappy? Seriously! Everyone’s answers will be different, but more often than not I hear the following: I am withdrawn; withholding; shut down; unavailable; and numbed out. My creativity disappears; I eat more; exercise less; and I waste a lot of time at work. So what’s that got to do with spirituality?

Here’s another question: If you are one of the unsatisfied, what is the source of that unhappiness or that lack of satisfaction. What is it that creates that lack of fulfillment?

Again, each of us will have our own unique list of responses to this question, and what I hear quite often is: I really don’t care about the product or service of my company; the company treats its employees like we are robots; This place has no soul; I’m here for the money and the prestige of my position but I have no passion for what I’m doing; No one listens to my ideas; I’m not being challenged in the way that was promised; I’m afraid that if I leave my current position I’ll never have the stability or security I now have; I can’t make the kind of money I want doing what I’d really like to be doing, so I’m stuck.

Being stuck, unhappy and unfulfilled actually are choices we make based on our wants and desires. Too often we have more than one desire that wants fulfillment, and through the practice of choice-making we have to priorities our desires. Listing our hierarchy of desires will give us a good picture of what has us choose to choose what we choose.

It doesn’t matter if you are an individual, a small business or a large corporation; on an ongoing basis you will be choosing to choose what you choose in service to your hierarchy of desires. The questions is: Is your choice-making process currently working for you? If it’s not working for you, would you consider seeing things differently in service to having more fulfillment?

You can say no, I’m not willing to see it different. That’s good to know. However, I may ask another question: what has you say no – what has you not willing to see it differently?

Faith

Our commitment to limiting ourselves to only what we know keeps things just as they are. Just the willingness to consider possibility takes faith. It causes change and disruptions. Most of us would like a change but we don’t want the disruption that comes with change. For many of us, maintaining invulnerability is at the top of our list of priorities. Exploring, experimenting, expanding our comfort zones requires a willingness to take risks, to be vulnerable. All new beginnings require vulnerability and a leap of faith.

Research and statistics indicate that kindness and compassion within the work environment is profitable; people are happier, more creative and are more likely to stay longer with their current company. Great! With all of this being true, how does an individual, a business or organization begin bringing spirituality into the work place? From my perspective it’s best to start with the practice of being curious about how you be and what you do. Enjoy the adventure

Editor’s Note: This is the start of a new Series “As the Paradigm Shifts” by Dr. Rosie Kuhn, who will be taking you on a Spiritual journey in the land of Business, in her subsequent articles.

Photo Credit: Missy McDonald Sauer

Leader driven Harmony #8: Get a FIRE Going in Your Belly!

by Mack McKinney on January 21, 2011

Let’s pretend you have a major, life-threatening disease and are seeking treatment.  Do you want to be treated by a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse who just kinda likes their job?  Who just muddles through the day?  Who is about as good at the job as most other physicians?  OF COURSE NOT!

You want to be seen by someone who lives, eats and breathes medicine!  Someone who is a voracious reader of all things about the diseases he/she diagnoses and treats.  Someone who is sought out by other physicians for their in-depth understanding of people with your disease.  You want an expert who gets patients from other doctors who are unable to help them.  So how will you know when you have found such a specialist?  Well you should look for these unmistakable signs:

  • They have a visible and tangible passion for the subject (in this case, the disease).
  • They subscribe to every journal, newsletter, bulletin or other publication on the subject.
  • Their name is mentioned by several reputable sources, not just one.
  • They seem to have read every major book on the subject and may even have written (or be writing) one of their own.
  • They frequently talk (in person, on the phone, on email, etc.) with other specialists and recognized experts on the subject and can hold their own in discussions with anyone on the subject.

What does this have to do with you or with your business or your job?  Well, aren’t YOU providing some service or product to someone?  Don’t YOU help people solve problems?  Then this same level of engagement, commitment and proficiency is what other people expect of YOU!  Whether you are a plumber, IT specialist, car mechanic, piano tuner, grocery clerk, investment banker or military officer, people expect you to be the very best at your job!

How do you get to be the best?  How do you rise past the others in your field and become the “go-to” person?  You discriminate yourself, that’s how.  You set yourself apart from the herd by doing what they don’t (or won’t) do:

  1. Being Passionate: You decide that you are going to become passionate about your job and that, for at least awhile, you are going to let it dominate your life (this is why you want to choose careers that excite you – – –  it is hard to get passionate about a thing you are not fascinated by).
  2. Get Excited. Even if you have not been really excited about your job until now, decide to GET that way.  As Hollywood says, fake it until you make it.  (In a future post we’ll explain why this actually works, but take my word for it, it DOES!)
  3. Get fired up.  Get what the venture capitalists say they see in the people who come to them for investment money and walk away with a check for their new business enterprises – – – they have a “fire in the belly”.  The investors want to see someone so bursting with sincere enthusiasm for their idea that the subliminal message they transmit is “I believe in this idea and I am going to make this a success with or without your money!”  People can sense this passion and it is infectious.
  4. Infect others:  For a new venture, find kindred spirits who can get excited with you, and get them to help spread the word!
  5. Do your homework, everyday. In every field there are new advances, new technologies, new things to learn.  Get plugged in to those sources. Learn everything you can.
  6. Join professional organizations that let you commiserate with your fellow wizards.  From landscaping to electrical contracting, there are technical seminars and conferences that let you learn about the latest and greatest products and techniques.  Join and attend.

Some of the above advice applies to you if you are planning to stay in your existing career and just need to kick it up a notch.  But if you are pondering a major career change, you need to add a few actions to your to-do list:

  • Try on a career like you would a pair of shoes:  You slip shoes on and walk around in them awhile to see how they feel when you are walking, turning, kneeling, etc.  Do the same mentally with the new career you are considering.
  • Mentally place yourself in the job. Envision what you’ll be doing, your daily tasks and the people with whom you will interact.  See how it “feels”.
  • Read everything possible about the new career:  Pay scales, legislation that impacts it, what existing practitioners think of it and their forecasts for the future.
  • Talk to people actually doing that job right now. Ask if they would do it again and what they would do differently.

Most importantly, make up your mind to be a lifelong learner!  You cannot be the best at anything unless you commit to constantly learning, for the rest of your life, everything you can about that field of endeavor.  Every job can be stimulating if you examine each aspect to see how you can do the work better, faster, with fewer mistakes, and with better customer service.  And every job can be challenging if you decide that you are going to do that job better than anyone else on the planet earth!

Copyright: Solid Thinking Corporation