I was almost a monk for about 15 years. I say almost because I even though I practiced a celibate life style I still did things like going to school and working. A true monastic lifestyle involves abstention from all things of the world.
I had joined a community of meditators who practiced this as a way of life. Though we lived in the world there was a recognition that the world is something to be looked on with suspicion. There is sound reasoning behind this and it still holds true for me today.
It holds true because of the way the world is. It contains nothing that can give us true lasting fulfillment. If we seek happiness in money, sex, entertainment, substances, career etc. we are bound to be let down in the end. These things give us the temporary illusion of happiness at best.
I didn’t intend this post to become an advocacy for monasticism. I only want to illustrate that monasticism recognizes certain truths about life. It is a path that involves renouncing what is temporary and subject to change in order to gain that which has lasting value – freedom from desire and expectation.
Paradoxically, it wasn’t until I ventured out into the world to try my hand at building a business that I really began to grow spiritually. Building a business requires you to stretch yourself in all kinds of new ways. You have to be willing to take financial risks, go up against other people’s doubts and expectations, and discipline yourself to take action in the way of your goals each day. You have to be willing to fall and pick yourself back up many times and keep moving forward even on those days when it all seems hopeless.
The neat thing is that after a while you start to become indifferent to the financial and emotional ups and downs inherent in the process. Your resolve becomes stronger and you become solid and true to the path no matter what. More than financial aims, it becomes about your own growth.
The word sadhana is a Sanskrit term meaning spiritual practice. Business building has become a key aspect of my sadhana. It has challenged me to face my fears and take risks. At times I have had my ethical integrity put to the test. I have learned that my personal ethics are not subject to compromise, even when it comes down to the smallest details of my business.
In the short period of my life since my decision to become an entrepreneur, I have conquered my fear of dealing with people, my belief in my own ineptitude regarding matters of business, and I have become more detached from outcomes.
This has been my experience. What about you? Leave a comment below.