Find Your Enterprising Edge

“Let your long-term goal be for the life within you – not for your thoughts, not for your emotions, not for society.”


We just concluded Isha Insight the other day, with some of India’s finest entrepreneurs and scientists sharing their experience in their fields, for participants to scale up their businesses. But picking up a few ideas is not an insight. Insight means to be able to see something of the inner. Picking up ideas may be useful to run situations a little better. But the fundamental question is this: Do you want to be an archive of other people’s ideas, or do you want to be a living force? If you collect lots of ideas, you may conduct a few processes better than others, but you will not live better – unless your definition of “living better” is only about living better than someone else. Your house, your income, and your car may be bigger than someone else’s, but that is not living better. This does not mean you should not enjoy what you have. You have every right to do so. But if you enjoy something because other people cannot have it, that’s sickness.

Insight means to figure out something about yourself. Look at yourself not just on a momentary surface level, but in terms of fundamental realities. Let your long-term goal be for the life within you – not for your thoughts, not for your emotions, not for society. If your goals are based on the life within you, it will be good for everyone, because everyone is just a life. On the contrary, if you set your long-term goal based on your personality, then it may be a mess for everyone around. Besides, your personality is a consequence of how you think and feel right now – it is subject to change. That means it cannot be long-term. If you set your long-term goal for the life that you are, it will be wonderful for you and everyone around you.

In business as in life in general, it is important to know what is within your capacity or not. We had some huge entrepreneurs here with us last week, who literally started their businesses from scratch. Obviously, they did something right, which made them grow. Doing something at the right time is also important. You can’t become another Bill Gates now. He rode the technological wave of that time. Similarly, you can’t build another Infosys now, because that worked at the time of the IT boom. Now there may be something else that will work. But then and now, the fundamentals are the same. The business that you start and the atmosphere that you are in may be different, but as a human being, it takes the same capacity, the same ability to do things. Whether you are a big entrepreneur or a small entrepreneur, you have to do things right to be successful.

Even those who were born with a golden spoon in their mouth have to do something right for their businesses to grow. So, don’t think in terms of whether someone is big or small. In fact, you must make yourself small – that will make you a great entrepreneur. If you could make yourself nothing as a person, it would be too fantastic. Since that’s not possible right now, you should make yourself small. Before the Sapta Rishis, the seven sages, had to leave Adiyogi and go out into the world, they asked him many questions. The final question was this: “You have been continually talking about the nature of this cosmos, how vast it is. How vast is it really?” Adiyogi laughed and said, “I can pack the entire cosmos into a mustard seed.” That’s all it is. Whether it is a small business or a billion dollar industry, all it takes to build and run it is packed into a human being.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, an employee, or you are running a family, you still need to be enterprising. If you are running a company, are you looking for people who are enterprising, who will do things beyond what they are scheduled to do and take responsibilities? Or are you looking for people who are just doing their job from nine to five? We may not be running a business, but even in the ashram, we want people who are enterprising, alive, and willing to do things. Being an entrepreneur means to be willing to take on any trouble and to always look for solutions. If you are in that state, you will naturally move upward. But you should not even think about that. Elevation will be natural. If you are flapping your wings well enough, you will fly. Entrepreneurship is not just about Start-Up but about Fly-Off.

Love & Grace,