Book Reviews - When Work Becomes Meditation
by Megha Bajaj
This story best illustrates the fundamental idea in this book: Three men are cutting stones when a man approaches them. He notices that all three wear very different expressions. One is frustrated, the other expressionless and the third is positively beaming. When he asks the first man what he is doing, the man literally screams his reply, "Can't you see what I am doing, I am cutting this stupid piece of stone!" When he asks the second man, he replies, with a small smile, "I am cutting the edges of this stone so that the builder can build a straight wall." Then the man asks the happiest man of the three what he is doing. His reply is, "I am building a cathedral!" Indeed, our attitude towards our work decides our happiness or frustration levels – after all, we are at it for eight hours. How much better would worklife be, say the authors, if the working atmosphere were spiritual. Mind you, not religious, but spiritual. They define spiritual working atmosphere to be a place which is conducive for one's personal growth, a place where love for work is a much greater motivation than fear of higher authorities. The book describes such a place to be one where, "…there is an experience of inter-connectedness among those involved in the work process, initiated by authenticity, reciprocity, and personal goodwill; engendered from a deep sense of meaning that is inherent in the organisation’s work; resulting in greater motivation and organisational excellence!" A place where one had freedom to express, think and yes, to be.
In order to make your organisation more spiritual than it already is, the authors suggest the following changes: Creating an external atmosphere that is more aesthetic and more orderly, and therefore, more appealing for the employees. Secondly, there can be motivational affirmations put all around the walls to reiterate the company's beliefs. For the employers, the authors suggest that they should organise more functions and fairs, create means for easy access to information, work on reward principle, and give charity to become more spiritual in their approach. For the leaders, the only suggestions are being kind, and having access to different levels within the organisation. There is also a long list of assets one should cultivate to become more spiritual as a worker like be kind, patient, involved, etc. How to make these changes and examples of gaining by making these changes make it a must-pick for anyone involved in any sort of work. This book will help anyone – from an executive to a worker as it shows how he, as an individual first, and as a team member later, can make the work space much more spiritual. Until our workplaces become our temples, let us read this book, internalise its messages and act upon the simpler changes it requests out of us!
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