Prior to getting married, we want a perfect spouse. While choosing where to study, we want the perfect college and while deciding on a job, we want the perfect job.
When in a job, we want perfect colleagues, perfect managers, perfect customers, perfect employees, and job satisfaction. We want to feel happy and satisfied at the end of the working day.
Wanting happiness, perfection and satisfaction is good. But thinking that the job is going to bring satisfaction is limiting and is an illusion.
However, the nature of our minds is such that even in the most conducive environments, in spite of the best salaries and best managers, we can still find reasons to complain, be unhappy and be unsatisfied. It can be as trivial as the salt in the food, the unavailability of coffee in the office, the manner in which someone stared at you, or if someone forgot to acknowledge your presence, the type of computer that was assigned to you, the fact that your colleague got a 1% higher increase than you, etc.
Many a time we allow a small sand particle in the eye of our minds to distort our entire vision. If we are looking for a reason to be unhappy and dissatisfied, we will surely find it.
The tendency of the mind is always wanting more, only infinity can satisfy the mind. The place to look for satisfaction and happiness is within ourselves. Infinity is accessible only from within. The ancient Indian sages have said, “ The person whose sight is turned inwards, is always happy.” When looking outwards, the mind has a tendency to analyze and find faults. When the mind is turned inwards, the mind moves from analysis to synthesis, from seeing differences to seeing commonalities, from asking questions to being in wonder. Realizing that the source of happiness and satisfaction is within us, is empowering. We can be happy and satisfied, in spite of our surroundings.
As an employer, manager or leader, we need to realize that increasing salaries, rewards and incentives, while important, will go only so far. To keep people happy, we need to encourage themselves to go within themselves and tap into the fountain of happiness that is within themselves.
The key takeaway here is that we need to stop looking for satisfaction outside of ourselves and we need to spend a few minutes every day looking within ourselves. Meditation is spending time with ourselves and is a practice that will lead to happiness, perfection, and satisfaction.
Bharat Iyer, Faculty at the Art of Living.