Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
Whenever you want to change a system, you need josh (enthusiasm). But when you want to do something creative, you need hosh (awareness). And the combination of the two, josh and hosh(awareness and enthusiasm), is most needed in life, in any set up.
Happiness is that which makes you so enthusiastic from within, that you are able to creates a very cordial atmosphere around yourself.
Remember, our body itself is a vehicle for the soul to move. So just like your car needs overhauling from time to time, we need to overhaul our body and mind as well. For Maruti cars you may get spare parts, but for this body spare parts are very difficult to get, so take care of your health. Take care of the health of your employees, and the people in your factory and in your business setup. I am not just talking about physical health but mental health as well. Mental health is very important for a congenial, creative and productive atmosphere. You need people to be happy. When people are happy then they are enthusiastic and success comes to them. When there is no happiness and people are sulking, then there is no joy in working or in anything. What do you say? How many of you agree? Creating a happy atmosphere, this is what I spirituality is.
Generally people think happiness is becoming unconscious after having 3-4 beers, or rum, etc. But that is not happiness. Happiness is that which makes you so enthusiastic from within, that you are able to creates a very cordial atmosphere around yourself. We all have the ability to create this sort of atmosphere.
I would call that as health when we can create a cordial atmosphere around us. A trusting and happy atmosphere around us. You have a choice – either create a cordial atmosphere or create one which is so bad that nobody wants to work there and everybody wants to run away. Or create a cordial atmosphere, this is most needed today to motivate people. You can give a raise, or bonus, etc., but the effect of all this stays for a few days; a week at most, but not more than that. But when a cordial and happy atmosphere is present, then people will not leave you and go, even if they are getting paid slightly less. They will work with loyalty.
By earning money through the wrong ways, a person can manage for few days, but later he will have to suffer a lot. So for a steady growth in life, we must deliberate on these things.
For loyalty, another thing is also required, i.e., a broad vision. As a leader, you need to give a bigger vision about life to people. Earning money through the wrong ways, a person can manage for few days, but later he will have to suffer a lot. So for a steady growth in life, we must deliberate on these things.
So coming back to the subject of creating a good, stress-free atmosphere; what can we do? I want you to think about it. There are many things we can do. One of them is to involve people actively in some social project. Today we anyway have the Corporate Social Responsibility for every company. And from time to time, sitting together and playing something or doing something different, like you are doing now, also helps. Gather everybody in your office and sit and talk to them; talk to your employees, talk to your watchman, to your driver. Create a humane relationship with them. Often we don’t do this. How many of you don’t even recognize the security guard? Many people just walk past without even acknowledging the greetings from the security guard. They just keep walking looking somewhere else. Is it true or not? The person who provides security to us, we see them as a machine. This we should not do. Sometimes, talk to them. Just a few words and you will see the difference. In this way, you can create a happy atmosphere and make a lot of difference.
Do you know, 38% Europe is in depression? In our country this must not happen. We must attend to this. We need to attend to the mental health, physical health and communication skills of the people. I am sure you all agree with me on this. A stress free life is very important, so take some time out for yourself every day, at least for 20 to 30 minutes. If you sit, relax and meditate, you will find so much energy, and so much enthusiasm to work throughout the day. I would suggest Meals & Meditation in your respective factory setups. Share your meals, and before eating, sit together for a few minutes and do meditation, this will help you.
If you go to a village in India, even if they have just one cup of milk, they will share it with you. They won’t ask you who you are, where you come from, what is your nationality, your religion, or anything. This is there in the roots of India.
In this globalized world, we need to learn many things; I would say we are not just Indians, or Japanese, or Italians, or Americans, we are global citizens. As a global citizen, what do we need to learn? We need to learn team work from Japan. The Japanese are the best team workers in the world. We need to learn precision from the Germans. They are so good with precision and punctuality. We need to learn assertiveness from the Swiss, etiquette from British, marketing from Americans, and human values from Indians.
Indians are very good with human values. If you go to a village in India, even if they have just one cup of milk, they will share it with you. They won’t ask you who you are, where you come from, what is your nationality, your religion, or anything. This is there in the roots of India. There is humanness and human values there. But this is getting eroded and that is what we want to re-establish. We want to retain our values.
From Bhutan, we need to learn happiness. It is a small country, but the happiness index is highest in Bhutan. It is not just GDP (Gross Domestic Product) but GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) that is important. And it makes perfect sense! Bhutan has this happiness factor; people are happy, they are smiling. They may be living in a poor area but they have a big smile on their face and this is what we should adopt.
So when you walk into your office, first give a big smile to everybody. And then you can frown, when it is needed. I am not saying that you shouldn’t frown, or you should not be angry, and you should be all sweety-sweety. No, it is not possible to be like that. In any business, sometimes you have to yell, sometimes you have to be strict, sometimes you have to take actions which may appear to be nasty. I understand all that. I am giving you very practical suggestions. You can do all that, but don’t forget to give a smile along with that as well. That would keep the folks together, and that will create more hosh and more josh, and then success will be all yours.
You said something about engaging with the security guard relaand gave an example. But as the organization grows, the number of people increases so much that it becomes difficult to engage with everybody. So what is the solution of this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
First of all, don’t think that something cannot be done. Anytime, anywhere, if you feel like meeting people you can definitely do that. I understand on a regular basis you may not be able to be in touch with everybody, but at least sometime, somewhere you can do it. There is nothing that you cannot do. See, I meet millions of people all over the world. Wherever I am, I make it a point to meet people. Though, you are correct, I cannot meet everybody because there are so many people. But I definitely meet people, just for an hour at least, whoever comes I meet them. So in this way, we need to create time for it.