Saturday, July 10, 2010

Professional Success and Spirituality

Nice guys finish last! Does this expression resonate with you? Can spiritual path travelers have a successful career? I had this discussion with my wife the other day and told her that for me Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan cannot be it since all of them revealed personality traits that I would consider unacceptable. "Well", she said, "you have given the answer right there, as you would never be willing to make the choices they have made. Yet others consider their choices as perfectly acceptable and certainly desirable".

Spiritual path travelers can be professionally successful and certainly are. It is just that the journey they take often happens to be off the beaten path. Spiritual path travelers come in a jeep I guess. Probably most of us are artist and teachers, but there will be breakthroughs in many other professions as well. I happen to work in the financial industry and am pretty sure that you can be an enlightened investor.

There is one misconception with the 'nice guys finish last' phrase however. Being on a spiritual path doesn't mean you cannot or should not act tough professionally. Of course we are and aspire to be gentle with everyone, but sometimes colleagues, friends or relatives come to us with a big sign around their neck (invisible to them) that says 'brother, please teach me a lesson'. That's the spiritual evolution the Christians still have to learn, but the concept was already taught many thousand years ago in India when Lord Krishna told Arjun on the battlefield that it was his destiny to execute his relatives and friends "Yield not to unmanliness", He said, "you have a job to do!"

Actually, I haven't had a tough personal decision to make in my career, so apparently I have chosen a peaceful professional path for myself. But CEOs of companies, politicians and so many other managers do not have this luxury. But they can be spiritual travelers nevertheless. As Lao Tse observed as well many thousand years ago in China, there is always a Tao, a middle path, that works for everybody. All one has to do is to selflessly open one's eyes and look for it.

May your spiritual path be blessed and may you finish first as it happens to be your birthright!

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