Buddism is an ancient philosophical system following the teachings of the Buddha. The system is a meditative and esoteric practice emphasizing the cultivation of mindfulness and letting go of attachment.
With the emergence of Buddhist thought all over the world, many of the ideas of Buddhism are highly relevant to corporate managers, entrepreneurs and those seeking to build products and services for the world.
These Buddhist lessons for business are all about cultivating a mindset for taking action in the present moment. Too often we think of Buddhism as being able letting go and living freely in the here and now. This is an important aspect of it, but the purpose is to live your life as a fully functioning and flourishing human being.
For those seeking to achieve success in business, here are the ten Buddhist maxims to meditate on.
Develop the mind of equilibrium. You will always be getting praise and blame, but do not let either affect the poise of the mind: follow the calmness, the absence of pride.
This saying, from Sutta Nipata, instructs the mind to be balanced, objective and aware of the dangers of pride. Remember to be calm in the face of compliments as well as negative feedback.
Over time, you’re bound to have many successes as well as great moments of failure. These are all opportunities for learning and growth. Connect with the calmness within you at all moments.
“Too cold, too hot, too late” can always be the excuses to those who do not want to work. They let their chance pass by.
This maxim is about seizing the moment. It’s easy to think of excuses for not getting work done, and if you’re the type that is always finding an excuse, many opportunities will always be passing you by. It takes consistent effort and initiative to create momentum in achieving your goals, which is critical for anyone in business and other areas of life.
The most valuable service is one rendered to our fellow humans.
This phrase is found in Wat Phra Singh, a large Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It tells you that your work is valuable inasmuch as it helps others.
Many economic historians suggest that the history of economic progress can be told through the emergence of marketplaces. This is where people come together to exchange goods that will help others.
By helping others, we’re creating innovation in our economies and ensuring that we’re adding value to the collective human experience.
None can live without toil, and a craft that provides your needs is a blessing indeed. But if you toil without rest, fatigue and weariness will overtake you, and you will denied the joy that comes from labor’s end.
This maxim, from the Dhammavadaka, is a perfect reminder to live a life of balance. Some people seem to be able to work continually for weeks on end, but usually the time comes when you’ll burn out. By consistently balancing hard work with rest, you’ll make sure you’ll always have a good level of energy to seize your opportunities and get work completed.
Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.
Take a moment to realize that your work, which is such a big part of your life, really matters to the world. Understand that every action you take in business and in life is part of a larger journey of self-discovery.
The work we do in business is part of a grander scheme to realize our life’s purpose. Business is about creating products and services that add value to people’s lives and is just a vehicle to do something for the world.
Put everything you have into your purpose and give yourself completely to it.
Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.
These are the words of the Dalai Lama and is a reminder that every person shoulders the responsibility to do good. It is our actions that do the most good in the world, and the actions we undertake in business that hold the greatest potential for impacting the world.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Living in the present is of utmost importance, and it can help align you with carrying out more effective work.
We often have days where our mind is consumed with events of yesterday, or the tasks that need to be completed tomorrow. Concentrate the mind in the here and now in order to increase your levels of productivity.
You can only lose what you cling to.
This short maxim is a gentle reminder to detach and embrace change. The present moment is fluid and continually transforming the conditions you’re faced with. If you get stuck to old dogmas, rules and patterns of thinking, then you won’t be able to shift your business in the direction of helping other people’s changing whims and desires.
Roll with the times, go with the flow and embrace the changes happening around you. Let go.
A jug fills drop by drop.
We often have grand plans for achieving our dreams. This is important, and we don’t want to lose sight of the importance of big ideas. However, at the same time we need to remember that methodological piecemeal work is often superior to big splashes. When you concentrate on the small things, the big things fall into place.
Take heart knowing that your small efforts result in great success.
What do you think of the ten Buddhist maxims offered here for achieving success in business with a Buddhist mindset? Let us know by sharing your ideas at Ideapod, a social network for idea sharing.