The Art of winning

Interviewed by Alok Kejriwal, CEO, Games 2win

In today's hypercompetitive society, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar exhorts young entrepreneurs to look at positive aspects because competition "will help you be more innovative" and "every competitor can inspire you to do more". To those envious of the success of others, Gurudev's mantra is to recognise and honour their own uniqueness.

As this happens, he says, competitiveness will cease. "Jealousy is there when we want to possess things. When you know you are here only to contribute, how can there be jealousy?" Intentions should be pure and clear, he says, for nature to extend its support in unimaginable ways. Edited excerpts follow:

In successful start-ups, the first team members make or break a company. What did you do to form a team?

I did not base this on anyone or on volunteers. I based it on knowledge and wisdom. There is one power that is going to take you through — moving with passion and dispassion together. Praise, talent and adulation are things people aspire to see in their twenties, thirties and forties. I had seen all this in my teens. Time is only for caring and contributing. And then the path opens up.

Five out of 10 IIM -IIT grads want to start up and family members become cagey.

They should do start-ups. Thirty years ago, there was so much prejudice against India. When we started the Prison-Smart Program in Boston, they just gave us a small 10" by 15" cell. It was a dusty place with a small window.

But when we started the course it created a big breakthrough in the prisoners' lives, and the authorities said they were seeing a miracle. They then gave us a grant to do the course for 3,000 people in another place. So, wherever there is sincerity and talent, there will be people who recognise it. You have to have patience

Most youth think a start-up means instant money. What is your advice?

When you are feverish about success you take wrong decisions. Realise that you have sown a seed and you have to let it grow. You have to have inner strength. At every step you have to ask yourself, 'Am I doing the right thing or not?' If you worry 'What about me' all the time, you miss out on ideas because you are self-centred. If your goal is clear, your aim is clear and you have the patience to move in that direction, nature is with you.

How do we cultivate intuition, how do we draw on it?

That is what spirituality is all about — taking that inner rest. That restful alertness of mind, meditation and seeing life from a broader context. Then you will not be so feverish. You will let things unfold.

Any formula for entrepreneurs to succeed?

They should keep their mind open and not be too anxious about success. Put in 100 per cent and be open to new ideas instead of being stuck in old ones.