“Work is worship.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Physics, defines work as a transfer of energy to move an object over a distance with force. Work, that means, is an act of creating movement, simply by doing it.
Not too long ago, an Indian called Mohandas Gandhi said “My Life is my Message!”
Taking a cue from that powerful statement, work that we do becomes our identity or ‘brand’. Work done well speaks volumes about the doer’s identity. Similarly, work that is somehow completed or left incomplete also speaks volumes about doer’s identity. Work is a platform where we can unearth the hidden qualities and traits within ourselves. It is an opportunity to create goodness in our lives and a medium to fulfill our wishes, intentions and dreams.
Life happens inside of work, not outside it
Gandhiji’s efforts were governed by the principles of truthfulness, temperance, and non-violence. His ability to silently and peacefully bind people towards a common goal of achieving freedom made him the Father of our Nation. It is inspiring to see how he continuously and fearlessly aligned his actions and efforts in the direction of his vision.
One of the key highlights of Gandhiji was his persistence and diligence. When we approach our work with similar focus, determination and attention, we begin to enjoy the process. Everyone has an innate desire to live a purposeful life. Work helps us find that meaning and during the journey experience joy. And as we joyfully continue our efforts, we make a meaningful contribution to ourselves, our loved ones and the society too.
When we say ‘Work is worship’ – it doesn’t mean one has to adopt a philosophical or spiritual approach towards one’s professional life. It is about viewing work with a deeper and detailed attitude. Meaningful efforts and work create a greater sense of well-being along with discovering new people and learning new things. Like the Domino effect, simply engaging ourselves in work, creates a ripple effect to enable us to live a happier and meaningful life.
One thing that never left Gandhiji was his zeal to do his personal chores. Irrespective of his health conditions he always rose early every morning. He had people wanting to serve him but he did his own work- cleaning up, washing clothes or washing utensils. Gandhiji was a prominent advocate of dignity of work.
As long as we continuously engage our mind in thinking better, bigger, we will make constructive progress. As they say – an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. If we do not get our mind to work, the devil will!
Work is not just about earning our living and satisfying basic needs; it is an extension of who we are. The simple act of beginning our day with excitement towards that day’s task indicates our approach and respect to our own self.
When we devote ourselves to our duties and responsibilities, the future unfolds delightfully without a whisper.
How do we implement this philosophy in our work?
Plan it well
As you wake up in the morning, make a list of tasks to do that day- this helps in being efficient and effective overall. We have multiple applications to quickly make this list and keep it as a reminder through the day. Have you thought about this – 5 tasks a day will help you in completing 150 tasks in a month!
Gandhiji was known to follow a daily routine of waking up early at 4am every day, re-visiting his work and plans for the day. He would look at each day as another opportunity to get better at managing his work than the earlier day. For him, each day was another chance to improve himself and grow into a more organized and focused individual. He completed his pending work on Mondays – his day of silence.
A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. In today’s fast paced world, we run after everything but forget to take care of ourselves. Gandhiji ensured a daily routine of morning walks. Exercising even for 20 minutes leads to release of oxytocin and serotonin; also known as happy hormones. This will uplift your mood and therefore help you experience a joyful day. Let this period be anything that excites you.
Doing this will bring in energy and that special zing to all aspects of your life that day – one day at a time!
Focus on the good!
Gandhiji’s three monkeys symbolize ‘see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil’. Follow this Gandhian principle – focus on the good. What we focus on expands. When we focus on good, the world seems more beautiful. Persistent efforts will make you happier since your thoughts create your emotional being. Of course, this must be backed by neither speaking nor lending an ear to evil talk.
Bring in integrity in all that you do, in all the practices and work you are involved in.
If you want to bring in work-life balance, don’t stop your actions at attending stress management programs or complaining sessions with friends. Take charge, bring in integrity to that intention of creating balance.
Fasting from Smartphone
The proportion of importance our smartphones have achieved sometimes dwarf life itself. May be we need an ‘out of the box’ weapon to fight our smart devices. Gandhiji used fasting as a potent weapon to follow his philosophy of Ahimsa. Using the same weapon of fasting, but from smart phones, can do wonders for our creativity. Mornings are the most effective time to think of new ideas or to solve difficult challenges. Keep away from your smart phones in the morning. It could be the dumbest idea to develop your smartest self.
Doing these simple things as a daily practice will change your approach to your work and in fact life itself. There will be much more space to include many more intentions and dreams and goals.
Worship is to be in reverence of something or someone. Work when laced with respect, presence, and joy becomes worship.
Your work can be your message to the world. Want to create aspiring workplaces? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Profile: Madhukar Kumar is a leadership coach and believes in the philosophy of “Know Thyself”. His non-judgemental listening coupled with thought-provoking questioning has helped his clients to uncover authentic leadership. Academically, he holds an engineering degree from NIT Surathkal and an MBA from IIM Calcutta.