To be a business owner is to transform forever the way you think about meeting your survival needs. We are indoctrinated–through our education system–to study hard, get a good job and plan for our retirement. We spend our days looking forward to the day when we need to work no more.
In comes the entrepreneur. In the early days, he or she was filled with excitement. With time comes worry, fear, stress and anxiety. This can shatter many deeply rooted belief systems that we have inherited without us realising. We begin to question the foundation upon which our entire existence has been crafted and moulded.
It is, at this pivotal turning point, when too many give up. It is when they throw in the towel and settle down into a humdrum existence. They tried, they failed and so on. Our survival needs take precedence over other needs.
This is a reality and a fact of life.
As entrepreneurs, we have to wrestle with this fact. That in addition to actualising our vision, we also need to utilise our skills to provide for ourselves, our loved ones, our employees, our community and so on. It requires a complete transformation of our physical being.
This cannot happen if our inner terrain is still clinging onto a programming that we received from the early authorities of our lives. These days, it is becoming increasingly common to use meditation to cope with our stresses and struggles. It makes us feel relaxed and we like the benefits it offers us.
A meditation practise, however, can only be truly meaningful if we are able to integrate the external world with the inner terrain of expansive consciousness. It is this bridge we need to cross and walk across.
It is not about becoming a saint. We didn’t choose that path when we decided to become entrepreneurs. Like everyone else, we–the business owner–came into this world with a gift that we were called to share. The gift to meet our own survival needs as well as provide that benefit to others.
Entrepreneurship is a rare vocation. Statistics show that only a tiny percentile of people ever become entrepreneurs. The survival rate for a young business is also small. The probabilities are stacked against you.
But is that a reason not to stay resilient? Is that a reason to give up?
For me, the answer is no. The temptation, if you will, for an entrepreneur is to give up and stick to the tried-and-tested method. But if you listen, you will hear your inner guide. And with time and practise, you will tune into its wisdom and it will guide you where you need to go.
The Inner Guide
We all have an inner guide that is there to guide us whenever we cannot ‘see’ what we are meant to do next. We run into difficulties accessing this inner wisdom due to the way we have been conditioned to think, to behave and to respond.
Think back. How many times have you been programmed, un-programmed and re-programmed throughout the course of our life?
Our schools, our universities, our families and our peer group; the culture at large and even historical memories from long gone civilisations–they all program, un-program and re-program us over and over again. There is so much noise that we cannot hear our inner guide.
We hear the voices of others, but not our own voice.
We are trained to think a certain way. With time, this becomes a habit. We are responding and behaving in a certain way and we don’t even know why we are doing it. We don’t even know there is something ‘wrong’ till our inner guide awakens shows us the light.
The inner guide is a gift that everyone is born with. But until we sift through all our societal conditioning–and reorder our mind–our inner wisdom cannot work and cannot function at its full capacity.
When your mind gets exhausted and cannot do ‘it’ any more, it just gives up. It cannot deal with the stress of all the noise. Even if there is no one there physically, we are in a state of mental anguish and torment.
This is what leads to the mental breakdowns and meltdowns we keep hearing about. It happens because it cannot take ‘it’ anymore. In that moment, the inner guide has the potential to surface with certain symbols and long-forgotten keys. It is not something we have to look for. It is something that finds us.
For Buddha and the Taoist masters, arriving at a state of nothingness is to awaken. All ‘things’ and ‘mind stuff’ have disappeared. Pure consciousness is thus left behind. But to reach this place, we have to let go. We have to be humble. We have to accept that we do not know what ‘the right answer’ is anymore. We have to allow the right answer to find its way to us.
Thought is a world. It is why Buddha called the mind “the world.” The moment a thought arises, a wave has sprung up in the lake of consciousness. A thought form has arisen. It is temporal. You can either act on it or you can let it pass.
If you act on it and expect a certain outcome; it may not be what comes to pass, regardless of the effort that you have put it. On the other hand, you can just allow the thought to dissipate. It is not going to stick around as it is not eternal. Let it float away into someone else’s mind. Observe it come in and observe it go out.
Remember the vast terrain of consciousness. It is the nothingness in which all things arise and to which they return. It is this nothingness which where everything is possible.
That is your reality, that is your truth. Embrace the inner guide for it wants nothing but the best for you. Listen to it and the life that you always dreamt of will be yours.