The Modus Operandi to Be a Stress-Free Entrepreneur
Here's how one can get rid of the cause of stress by following the ancient Vedantic path
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Building and running a business is certainly not a walk in the park. Entrepreneurs work in a high-pressure environment that can easily lead to emotional turbulence. So, it's no surprise that according to a survey by the Gallup Wellbeing Index, 45per cent of entrepreneurs reports being stressed compared to 42 per cent of other workers. Entrepreneurs also report being more likely to have worried a lot. This stress not only impacts physical and mental health but also impedes decision-making abilities.
Stress relief programs offer a plethora of solutions - time management, situation management, enhancing delegation skills & techniques, improving company's financial health and productivity, etc. - for reducing stress. These are some good mechanisms that help deal with or respond to stress but are limited in their effectiveness, as these don't prevent the re-occurrence of stress. These techniques deal with the symptoms of stress without tackling the cause. This is like suppressing fever, without curing typhoid that caused it. To get rid of stress, one must get rid of the root cause – the thoughts and the value system behind the thoughts. Therefore, the first and foremost step in stress elimination is to try to understand the cause of stress.
Why do we Get Stressed?
Stress develops when we are attached to a particular outcome and are worried that things may not turn out as we desire. When an entrepreneur desires to increase profitability but doesn't' achieve the specific profit target, stress transpires. Or, when the entrepreneur wishes to meet a particular sales target, but fails to do so, stress ensues. This means that the reason for stress is our own attachment to a particular outcome, and our unwillingness to accept other possible outcomes.
The Remedy for All Stress
Once we are conscious of the cause, the universal remedy for stress is simple – give up attachment to the outcome of the efforts. Learn to work without attachment to the results. The Bhagavad Gita instructs: karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana (2.47). Lord Krishna instructs Arjun: "You have a right to perform your work, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions." Hence, relish your work, but offer the fruit of your efforts to God. The outcome of our efforts is in any case not in our hands. It relies upon several factors, such as circumstances, assistance from others, efforts of competitors, coincidence, will of God, and so on.
The Art of Working Skillfully
Performing actions is an integral part of human nature. Having come into this world, we all have various duties determined by our family situation, social position, occupation, etc. While performing these actions, we must remember that we are not the enjoyers of the results—the results are meant for the pleasure of God. The individual soul is a tiny part of God, and hence our inherent nature is to serve him through all our actions.
Besides, giving up attachment to results does not reduce the quality of our work; instead, we become even more skillful than before. Consider the example of a sincere surgeon who cuts people with his knife while operating upon them. He performs his duty with equanimity, and is undisturbed irrespective of whether the patient survives or not. This is because he is merely doing his duty unselfishly, to the best of his ability, and is not attached to the results. Hence, even if the patient passes away while being operated upon, the surgeon does not feel guilty of murder. However, if the same surgeon's only child needs to be operated, he does not have the courage to do so. Because of attachment to the results, he fears he will not be able to perform the operation skillfully, and so he seeks the help of another surgeon.
This shows that attachment to results does not make us more skillful; rather, the attachment affects our performance adversely. Instead, if we work without attachment, we can do so at our optimal level, without feeling nervous, jittery, scared, tense, or excited. Thus, to stay stress-free, it's imperative that we put in our best efforts and be content with whatever results we get.