Dealing with Expectations
Studies show that one of the leading causes for stress among entrepreneurs comes from having to deal with expectations. In an interview with Forbes, Sadhguru answered a question on this issue.
Questioner: A main stress point for any manager or an entrepreneur is to manage peer group relationships. After all, many enterprises start with friends and family. We find that entrepreneurs go through a lot of stress and anxiety when they are building their enterprise, especially when the enterprise is doing well. The whole burden of societal expectations—whether it’s from family, friends, or even the media—can be fairly onerous. What advice would you give entrepreneurs who have to deal with balancing relationships at one end and yet keeping the focus on performance?
Sadhguru: One thing entrepreneurs should understand is the meaning of being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is someone who has chosen to do what he wants with his life. When you’re doing what you want with your life, that is the greatest joy that you can have. But slowly, you forget that you are doing what you want. You start working for somebody else’s expectations. That’s not the way. The meaning of being an entrepreneur is that you are doing what you want to do, and you should continue to do that all your life. Success is not only in terms of size. Success must also be looked at in terms of finding full expression of who you are, your capabilities and your competence. If any human being finds full expression of who he is, always, he will find success. If you compare yourself to somebody in another completely different area or arena of activity, and put the numbers together, those numbers may be bigger – that’s not the point. In your area of life, finding full expression is success.
An entrepreneur does something that he cares for, that he wants to do. So it matters to him. His work is important. Once your work is important, the most important thing is, you must work upon yourself. This is completely missing. Managing a business essentially means you are managing thousands of minds. If you can’t manage yours, how will you manage theirs? If you manage yours, where is the question of pressure? Where is the question of stress? There is no such thing. Work is not pressure. Work is not stress. It is your inability to manage yourself which is the stress.
Most people think it is their job, their family, their life situations, the taxes and the unpaid bills that are causing stress. But essentially, stress is your inability to manage your own system—your body, mind, emotions, and energy.
Stress is like friction in a machine. In other words, there is not enough lubrication in the system to function smoothly and easily. In everyone’s life, situations occur, but each person manages them differently, depending upon how smoothly his or her own system functions within itself. If you know how to manage this human mechanism, there is no question of stress. How successful you are in the world essentially depends on how friction-free your own mechanism is. You can bring your system to a frictionless state of function with simple practices. The yogic sciences offer you tools for a stress-free life.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally renowned speaker, Sadhguru is the founder of Isha Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to human wellbeing. (www.isha.sadhguru.org)
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