While we all know Steve Jobs as an innovator, inventor, and entrepreneur, his spiritual inclination is seldom talked about.
In 1974, he backpacked across India in search of enlightenment, adopted a lifelong Zen Buddhist meditation technique, and was mostly a vegetarian for the rest of his life. Along with Steve Wozniak, he founded Apple Computers in 1976, and the rest, as they say, is history.
And he’s not alone. Phil Knight of Nike took a trip around the world in search of his ‘Crazy Idea’
If spirituality has played such a critical role in the life of some of the most successful innovators and entrepreneurs of our times, maybe it’s time for more business leaders to openly embrace spiritual practices.
What is Spirituality?
Well I am no expert on the topic of spirituality, but here’s what it means to me-
“Spirituality involves a sense of connecting ourselves to something bigger- something from the supernatural realm that is far beyond the observable world. The journey involves a lot of personal growth and mindfulness, but more importantly, a ceaseless quest to find the real meaning of our existence.”
As one of the components of the Agility Quotient (AQ) trifecta, spirituality is vital for human existence, even more so when you’re a leader and have a lifestyle that is not for the faint-hearted.
Why Spirituality for Entrepreneurial Success?
Here are some of the ways why leaders should make spiritual practice part of their everyday routine-
✫ Change of Perspective
When you see yourself as a part of the limitless supreme, the daily stressors of your entrepreneurial life might seem infinitesimal.
Spirituality can help you see things differently and approach everyday issues with newfound clarity. The feeling of oneness you develop over time improves your relationship with others around you and makes you a better leader and manager.
✫ Improved Decision-Making
The positive impact of spirituality on decision-making is proven in several studies.
For instance, according to a study, people with higher levels of spiritual well-being displayed less uncertainty with choices. They also had a lesser decisional conflict and higher satisfaction with their decisions.
✫ Focus on the Bigger Picture
In my experience, spiritual practices keep you more aligned with the bigger picture goals.
Most leaders often get busy working in their business and not on it. They get so involved with putting out the everyday “fires” that they stop focusing on the ultimate objectives. Spirituality helps you filter out the noise and focus on things that matter to overall growth.
How Can Leaders Be More Spiritual?
How can leaders make spiritual practice part of their everyday life? Here are a few tips I’d like to share-
✫ Practice Gratitude Everyday
Taking some time off your schedule and spending it in a quiet place thinking about everything you have and being thankful for them is an excellent and easy spiritual practice. It’ll make it easier for you to notice the good everywhere and get back to work with more positivity.
✫ Relax Your Mind with Meditation
If spirituality means being more mindful to you, there’s nothing better than meditation. It is a great way to relax your mind, let go of stress, stay more centred, and develop the ability to remain in the present.
✫ Be in the Present
As a leader, there’s so much really to think about—the future of your team, the organization and you as a leader yourself.
Worries of the future can devour the gifts of the present for us.
To be in the moment is just TO BE. Not to judge our actions but just to observe and to soak in. I recently read the book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, and I recommend all leaders to read it.
✫ Surrender Your Need for Control
The urge to remain in control often comes naturally when you’re a leader or entrepreneur. But success in the corporate world is a team effort. Try to surrender your need for control by emphasizing the fact that every team member has a vital role in the company’s success, and everything might not always work out as expected.
Yoga is meditation in motion. It is a great way to breathe, stretch, and attune to your body, mind, and spirit. You can start with some basic asanas that you can do every day. With time, you can also consider intermediate and advanced level yoga practices that help with strength-building too.
Being a Better Leader with Spirituality
The constant struggle to balance your professional and personal life will ultimately burn you out. It can also impact your mental, emotional, and physical health and prove detrimental to your entrepreneurial journey.
This calls for a life-long spiritual ritual or routine that can provide you with the inner calm, peace, and balance you need to succeed as a leader in the longer run.