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Business/Work/Career

We are meant to live joyfully. In fact, it is joy energy which creates flow of good into our lives. We would lead totally fulfilled lives if we could but decide to be happy first. Since work is such an important element of our lives, that means that we are supposed to find joy in our work as well. Work shouldn't be toil; work should be fun. As with all of the other areas of our lives, if we are not experiencing joy and fulfilment in this area of our lives, it means that we're not in tune with our higher selves. Our Inner Being, if we but listen, will always lead us toward our joy.

You can rest assured that you came here equipped with an array of unique talents and abilities to do the work which only you can do. You may apply them in the same field of endeavor as many others but not in the same way. You came here to express uniquely as a divine creature of the universe. Work and career can be within the venues of business, art, academics or adventure. It really doesn't matter. In many cases, they overlap. The full time artist for example would like her creations to be appreciated by people who are willing to pay for them. This helps her to meet her material needs.

 

Business

Most of us don't relate the concept of work and business to matters of spirit; we separate business from the higher aspects of our lives-not that this is so unusual. After all, this seeming gap between our daily reality and our higher selves is prevalent in most areas of most people's lives. So it is that we have somewhat distorted ideas about business. Some think business is all about greed and dog eat dog. Many feel that the word business  is synonymous with deceit. Others see business as only about the bottom line (the end) regardless of methods (the means).

In a sense, one can understand why so many people hold these views. They make these judgments as they observe how business is all too often practiced-without integrity, joy or excellence. They see big business such as oil and energy companies profiteering in times of energy crisis. They see HMOs and pharmaceutical companies as heartless profiteers as well. But it's not the grand precept of business that's at fault. It's individual expressions of business that are sometimes perceived as disdainful. But again, unattractive expressions are not restricted to business. They pervade all facets of life. The whole intent of the universe is variety of expression and that includes expressions of fear. Mass consciousness is dominated by fear and separation and so we mistakenly believe that the limited and fearful thoughts therein are just "the way it is" and that we just have to accept it. Our ideas about business reflect that. Just as separation and fear cause us to believe in sickness and scarcity and limitation, so too are they the cause that leads business to focus upon competition over cooperation, deceit over integrity and respect. Consequently the word business has become charged with negative connotations.

We need to understand the higher cosmic precepts of business. Business is simply the means by which we engage in exchange of service. I like how the author U.S. Anderson puts it. He reminds us what we have forgotten--that the basis of business is the Law of Mutual Exchange.

"The Law of Mutual Exchange is the law of morality, of sin and punishment, of righteousness and reward. [..]

How best can we serve?  The answer is by creating, never by competing. We serve neither ourselves nor humanity by competing for another man's job, another manufacturer's market, another man's business. We serve by creating new jobs, new markets, new means, new methods. The magic that makes each of us what he is springs from an inexhaustible source. We are creative creatures, umbilically tied to the creative power of God. We create by our thoughts, miraculously, each moment of every day."


When we consider the spiritual aspects of business, we operate in a whole different way. It's probably unnecessary by now, but I will remind you that use of the word "spiritual" has absolutely nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with acting and thinking in harmony with universal principles and being conscious of what we are here for. We came here to engage in relationships and discover our unity with one another. Business is an integral part of that. We are here to discover our own talents and abilities and then contribute by utilizing them.

What are the implications to infusing a spiritual attitude into business? A business that is operated in awareness of universal principles first acknowledges the inseparability of the cosmic and the material aspects of life. It integrates the two. It is cognizant of the truth that there is no scarcity and thus no need for cut throat competition. It sees the value in cooperation over competition. It does not think in terms of squeezing its suppliers, exploiting employees or manipulating peers. When we maintain a spiritual perspective, we try to keep in mind that fun is an imperative. The work environment is less intense and more light-hearted, not so deadly serious. There is little blame, drama or catastrophizing amongst the workers. If the organization as a whole has decided to operate from a spiritual perspective, it is assumed that everyone there has consciously decided to be part of the vision because they want to be. It also assumes that they are all aware of their own responsibilities and experience. Therefore they aren't running around blaming, gossiping about and attacking others.  Right off, this lightens things up.

Most conventional businesses have developed the idea of a vision statement. Vision is especially important in an organization operated in accordance with universal spiritual principles. A fundamental principle of that vision is always integrity and honesty. The organization sees itself as part of the whole, not as a separate entity struggling for survival in a dog eat dog world. It is dedicated to serving through offering products and services of quality. It will do so through cooperation and good will with customers and vendors, knowing that through the laws of attraction and mutual exchange, what it puts out, it will receive in kind.

 

Business As Usual

The reason business isn't always fun and people are unhappy in their work is largely because fun is not allowed. Business is associated with seriousness. This is a natural outgrowth of companies being more concerned about competition and the bottom line. Relationships are tenuous as those involved are suspicious and wary. Employees feel the stress and become more worried about their own job security than finding joy in providing service through utilization of their unique talents. They don't really feel part of any vision; they feel manipulated and unvalued. They see fellow employees as threats. Fun is not encouraged and at the same time, unhappy employees are looked upon with suspicion, as though they are difficult and not part of the team. This is totally counterproductive to maximizing productivity and creativity. Being that bottom line numbers are what matters most, the heart and spirit is banished from the corporate boardroom.

 

Conventional Wisdom

Expertise is by definition a pack mentality which concludes that things cannot be done or that it must be done a certain way. It relies on conventional wisdom which favors that which has come before, that which is known. These experts tend not to get their hands dirty with process. -- Barry Diller, Film producer, former chief of Paramount


Part of our mistaken approach to business is a consequence of it's having become a subject of science and academia. Now science is a good thing, but it has a weakness in that it limits itself to matters that are objectively observable. Thus it disregards all subjective and spiritual aspects. Another thing is that while science makes new discoveries, the discoveries are soon turned into conventional wisdom. As the science of business management advanced, an academic mentality began to take hold. In other words, the business schools began to teach how things should be done. Defining parameters took hold including, formulas and mathematical equations for all facets of business. These parameters tended to be assimilated into models that could be applied by banks and venture capitalists in assessing business plans. Books and business publications described the models and methods, convincing conscientious business owners that this is how their businesses should look and function. Speakers at business workshops tout the principles to small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs. These workshops are often presented by local Chambers of Commerce or SCORE as well as by independent workshop providers.

There is often an uncomfortable energy at these seminars. Their purpose is supposed to be to teach one how to succeed in business but the participants are often filled with such an overwhelming amount of conventional wisdom about problems and how to avoid and / or overcome them, that an air of unease persists. The participants come away thinking obstacle, obstacle, problem, problem. This is the focus of attention and the energy it reflects. Every facet of business is portrayed as representing almost insurmountable challenges. There's the business plan, the financials, the mission statement, the warnings about the long hours and loneliness of the business owner, employee problems, the expense of advertising and marketing, the personality characteristics of the entrepreneur and on and on. All of this solidifies into conventional wisdom--the way things are done and the way they should look.

Oh sure, as business schools became fashionable in the past 15 years, many new and trendy variations have been and continue to be introduced; but still, what always lies beneath is the aura of "this is how things should be done; this is what will attract backers". So unfortunately conventional wisdom is more about obstacles, limitations and overcoming than joy. It's just a routine expression of mass conscious thinking--fear and separation. Thus, the stage is set for struggle rather than ease.

 

The Dot.Com Boom And Bust

Many are still suffering shell shock as a result of the boom and bust of the dot.com phenomenon of the late '90s and 2000. When examined from the spiritual perspective of business, maybe what occurred wasn't really so surprising. Here, the business school mentality had taken hold to such an extent that the "killer" business plan resulting in an IPO became the whole point. Funding a start-up, attracting investors and launching an IPO became the short term goal. Beyond that, things became a little fuzzy. The idea of service had become a forgotten and outmoded ideal. Many companies were unable to deliver goods and customer service was atrocious. Now, of course, I am speaking in generalizations. Certainly, there were many exceptions

The young employees were attracted to the money that was flooding into these new ventures. They were eager to build these entities because they were offered a portion of the spoils through stock options. This took precedent over service. They worked hard and long hours to build and market the sites so as to keep attracting investors. The investors themselves were participants, looking only at how the stocks were growing--not as much as what the companies did or whether they could ever become profitable through providing service. They cared little about whether the companies were going to contribute to and benefit mankind.

If one views this from the law of mutual exchange, they got in return what they put out. The universe cannot be fooled. But the great thing is that this whole experience, as all experiences of seeming failure do, offers us an opportunity to see our errors in perspective and correct them.

That technology bubble may have to burst, but if we can look at these events as an opportunity to bring us to an awareness of the universal principles that were overlooked, the stage is set for the next step in our evolution regarding our perspective and attitudes toward money, economies and business. We will be more cognizant of how the Universe works and be more aware to operate accordingly. Business is not exempt from the Universal Principle. We cannot put one over on the Universe.

So it's time to reinstate the concept of contribution into work and career. As U. S. Anderson reminds us, the law of mutual exchange implies that what we contribute, we get back. We are supposed to be recipients of the boundless abundance of the universe. One of the ways in which the universe provides prosperity is through our work. I will close then with his wise words.

  "Money is always the result of service. Take your satisfaction from service; constantly seek to expand and improve it. Our success is measured always in the quality and quantity of service we render...

Money then is never an end, never a means. Always it represents service only, for it is never more than a medium of exchange, and we can no more stop it coming our way when we are rendering service than we can start it coming our way when we are not rendering service. No service that you perform can possibly go unrewarded."


Copyright ©, 2007, William Gunderson
All Rights Reserved
No part of this article may be reproduced for distribution without the express permission and consent of the author. To obtain permission, contact the author via email.

 


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