It was a Thursday morning, and I just finished a different kind of meditation. As most of my startup friends know, I am a huge meditation buff, and try my best to do it religiously every morning.
I was logging into my email to tackle the 100s of emails I get daily, and do some mundane work regarding legal, accounting, etc. that all startup founders have to go through.
But, for some reason, I felt a strong urge to take the next train/flight to New Jersey to spend time with Kamlesh Patel (my guru and spiritual global leader) at the Natural Path (Sahaj Marg) Ashram in New Jersey.
Without thinking twice, I jumped on the next Amtrak train for New Jersey. On the train, I finished a finishing a business pitch, tackle three phone calls, and tried my best to get in the right mindset and develop the correct frame of mind before my stay in the Ashram. Trust me, this is a HUGE leap from three years ago when I would resist to step foot.
Being through a transformative three days, here are five lessons I learned:
Lesson #1: Trust your heart — not your head
Luckily after starting meditation, I have opportunities to get some major introspection time before and after sessions in the morning and evening, especially in the ashram. Most people know me as being extremely blunt, to the point, and also having straightforward thinking, but it wasn’t always like that.
Especially if you are managing people, you have to make decisions fast. I have learned after two years that if something keeps coming in my head and bothering me from my day-to-day work, I will sit down in meditation for some time, and see what my heart tells me. 100% of the time, I have never regret it.
Try it now — is something on your mind? Sit down and meditate on it.
Lesson#2: Blood relations are meaningless — love all
When I reached the New Jersey Amtrak station, a family lovingly picked me up from the station greeted me. The best part about this — none of them were “Kulkarni’s” or had any blood relation to me, yet, still drove me one and a half hours away from the station to their home where they fed me and allowed me a place to call mine for the night.
I find myself confused when I hear “I need to spend time with my family.” My thought process is the concept of family should not just stem from your immediate blood family, but everyone human being that you encounter. We have a responsibility to look out for one another, and this was clearly demonstrated in this encounter.
An easy way to do this, call every single person your brother and sister. It may sound weird, but this forced action will later develop in you naturally loving and looking other for the other person. I do it all the time.
Lesson #3: Don’t brood over problems — negate them from your system
Being a startup entrepreneur, you have to make decisions fast. My good friend and spiritual follower Rajesh Setty once told me “If I am sleeping at night, and I cannot sleep, I get up and tell myself that I will never do whatever is keeping me up again.”
This exact situation happened to me when we hired an intern at Insightfully. The intern was doing work, but we weren’t including them in our meetings or discussions. Instead of constantly thinking about the problem and negating it, I ended up negating it from my system, and solving it in the process by resolving this with our co-founders and coming with the next steps road map.
Lesson #4: Balance aspects of life
I had a discussion with my sister, Sonia Dovedy, a successful yoga teacher and wellness coach. Sonia was talking to me about the interlinking of spiritual, material, and health when it comes to success to human beings.
As startup founders, I realized that we do a fantastic job working 15-17 hours a day, but do a terrible job balancing our lives in the aspects that play a fundamental roll in efficiency. For example, if are an overweight founder, try losing some of the weight, start meditating, and then tell me how much more success you have. There is a reason why we need balance for long-term success.
Lesson #5: Just chill
Dating back to when I was starting a course regarding finance, I was extremely concerned with being able to keep up. In the Ashram, I will never forget my sister Kamini Khanjee telling me to “stop worrying about things that aren’t in your control.”
It is hard to fathom at first, but It’s so true! How many of us are constantly “worried about getting enough sales”, or “if hiring someone will impact our business”. The list goes on and on. Learn to do what you do best, and enjoy the ride.
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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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