The Value of #HappinessMentorKraft
India was once called the ‘Golden Bird’ for its riches not only in its material worth but also for its spiritual quests, ethical practices, and value-based culture, which translated into a happy society. The Kings and the administrators knew the science behind keeping the praja (citizens) HAPPY. They knew the art of higher productivity was in participation by the masses, it was important to foster growth at every level to have a strong kingdom (and nation/organisation in today’s context). Never before has it been more important for the government and the companies to recognize that its time we give highest priority to happiness.
Recently Times of India carried a feature that indicated that our country has fallen down to 117th position globally in the happiness index. At 81 and 109 Pakistan & Bangladesh respectively are positioned happier than India. It is for all CEOs, senior managers, thinkers, business owners and the government to ponder as to why India that is generally considered a country with great promises and bright future is ranked so poorly, while countries with ageing population and declining economic growth are ranked higher.
Through this article I represent the contemporary and ancient views on happiness keeping in mind, the corporate India and how it can benefit from it.
Matthew Killinngsworth wrote that ‘mind wandering on the job reduces both happiness and productivity. Managers may want to look for ways to help employees stay focused’. He added in his article that people’s mind wander half the time in office and this appears to lower their mood. The amount of mind wandering varies depending on the activity, roughly 60% of the time while commuting, 30% of time when talking to someone and 10% on activities you love. He concludes by stating that happiness on the job may depend more on our moment – to – moment experiences, our routine interactions with coworkers, our daily contributions than higher salary and lofty titles. Gretchen & Porath in another article state that ‘ if you give your employees the chance to learn and grow, they will thrive and so will your organization and country.
Research suggests the following actions for increasing productivity through happy minds
- Craft your own work to be more meaningful
- Look for opportunities to innovate & work
- Invest in relationships that energizes you
- Recognise that thriving can spill over outside the office & finally
- Take a break to discover yourself
Ancient yet contextual solutions
The Chandogya Upanishad (7.25.2), the Kato Upanishad (2.5.12) and in Bhagvad Gita (18.54) have stated the science of happiness from a varied perspective, I am listing out the excerpts of it and my rendition on the view.
- Faith in yourself – this one quality which will bring you freedom from everything, as faith is the beginning and confidence is its result.
- Integrity – A leader or a person who is Satyadarshi (truthful) first to himself, Samdarshi (equanimous) calm composed under all situations, priyadarshini ( pleasant personality) approachable, cordial and welcomes views and open to ideas, pardarshi(transparent) is not biased and judgmental, doordarshi( farsighted) has a vision and can dream big. A person with all these qualities of integrity with a broad vision and mission, a spirit of sacrifice, empathy and commitment can transform anything.
- Manas management: (Mind management) is central to the virtue of a happy and effective person. Management begins in the mind, when the mind is managed better, it can manage anything. Human life is structured just like an atom. At the center of the atom is the proton and the field of negative charges orbit in it, similarly we too have virtues at the center of our mind or being. But if we do not realize these virtues through the proper management of mind, we will roam the outer orbits and be in constant danger of being managed by events surrounding us every moment. Meditation is the best way to manage mind.
- Discipline – Initiation is called (Diksha) in Sanskrit ‘Di’ means intellect, ‘ksha’ means horizon or the end. Diksha means going to the end or beyond the intellect. A good company provides ‘Shiksa’ and a good happy boss provides ‘Diksha’. Discipline in our daily routine with all the above practices would give us internal happiness and true celebration of what we do. Totality of discipline is Shiksha and totality of intelligence is Diksha.
The story of life remains the same only characters and situations may have changed over the years, and it would be very relevant today for CEOs, business heads, leaders and organizations to understand and adopt ways to increase the happiness quotient at all levels. Research indicates that increasing your happiness improves chances of success. Developing new habits, nurturing your co-workers, and thinking positively about work-life are good ways to start and now you have some tools too.
My time dedicated to your success.
Ref: Vedic books and HBR