Work is inevitable. Work gives experience. Work enables living in the present. Work keeps the minds, the senses and the body in alignment. Work leads you to the state of ‘pure experience’ – Existence. Work shuts the door upon imbalances. Work keeps the body active.
Work is the force that moves the matter of the body right from the mind. Matter is inertia and can be moved by the force i.e., work. The force of work keeps man out of inertia, or laziness. A lazy man avoids work and thereby becomes lazier. It is better to be dynamic through work than to settle down to inertness. Inertia is the strength of matter. Man tends to become heavier and heavier through inertia. The mind of an inert man slowly succumbs to depression. That means the inertia takes hold of the mind too. Thereafter he develops a peculiar logic of indifference to common reflexes of life. He questions, “Why should I get up early? Why should I take a shower? Why should I not eat whenever I like? Why should I work? Mad are people who work. Poor fellows they do not rest like me.”
The man of inertia, overpowered by such logic withdraws from normal and natural activity of life. He ends up in a state where he breaks his Will. This is the man who did not know how to work.
There is another type. Another category of men. They are workaholics. They over-work. That means, the force in them overpowers the matter in the body. It is also a state where balance is not struck between force and matter. They undertake more work than necessary. They poke into others’ life. They are of intimidating type. They mind others, business. They want to decide for others too. They carry the urge to direct, to control and to possess. They become power-mongers. They too do not know how to work.
Thus one category tends to under-work and the other category to over-work. One is underactive and the other is overactive. One does not do even the minimum required things, while the other always does more than necessary. One is hypo-tensive the other is hyper-tensive.
The mid point between the two carries the Key to work that gives ease, experience and fulfillment in life. It is called the Golden Middle Path. It calls for skill in action, where there is neither underdoing or overdoing but doing as much as is required. It is being equi-distant to inertia and dynamism and is therefore called poise. This category of people are poised in work. Work is experience when you are at poise. Work is tension when you are overactive. Work is dreadful when you are underactive. Once you are out of poise in your work, it ceases to give the right experience. It ceases to be a source of joy. It ceases to be food for the mind.
Let us learn further about the three varieties of work according to the three qualities.
Inertia (Hypo-activity): Produces sleep, laziness, forgetfulness, mistakes, loss of memory. Man suffers from loss of brilliance, disinclination to action. And even when he acts, he acts wrongly.
Man also makes instinctive wrong understanding of persons, places and situations.
Man of inertia dives so deep into indulgences of the senses to the extent of becoming an idiot.
Activity: (This means Hyper – activity): Thirst for things is a predominant trait. Covetousness, aggression, annexation, domination, longing for power and possessive attitude are the other traits of a man of hyper activity.
Desire for results predominates all actions. Man tends to over work and grows greedy. He wants to multiply and does not want to stop at anything. He is restless and ever sleepless too!
A man who is overactive, overstimulates the emotions and suffers from likes and dislikes.
Poise: This is the equator of the two poles, i.e., inertia and activity. Purity is its trait. It gives brilliance and transparency. While at work, poise gives happiness and knowledge. When poise is at work, all the senses are at ease and things are known and understood easily. Man is generally at ease in mind, body and senses.
The Clue To Work:
Poise is gained by carrying out activities of goodwill. When love and concern for others is demonstrated in activity, it is called activity of goodwill. Whatever you do, do it with love. It gives you happiness. It gives happiness to those for whom you do. The very work becomes joy. This is the clue to work.
Work involves two orientations. Doing for oneself and doing for others. The second orientation is gained when you do it with love. See how a hen feeds its chicks, a mother feeds her child. There is an act of love involved that makes you think of others in preference to you. A mother forgets her personal comforts in serving a sick child. She does not feel tired of her service to the child. She does not even feel that she is sacrificing. Thus an act of love, naturally and automatically includes in it service and sacrifice without feelings relating to it. It is a natural flow of action.
When we love someone, we do many things for them. In doing we enjoy. Why not we extend this concept to every work we do? Then we gain poise, we live in love, we spread love and the clue to work is gained.
One has to choose work according to one’s quality i.e., according to one’s own nature. Then working remains natural. When we analyse, each person has certain traits that others do not have. For example, one may have good teaching qualities, another may have good administrative qualities, yet another may have affinity to persons and things and someone else may have a natural inclination towards arts, music, painting etc. There are also people who are analytical, where there are others who are synthetic. Some are concrete in their mind and some others are systematic. One needs to know what kind of work suits his nature and develop skills relating thereto. Today, many people are engaged in works, which do not suit their nature. Hence, we find many people in conflict. Conflict is the product of our involving in work, which is not suitable to our nature.
There is a golden principle in choosing work. Choose work that is suitable to you, and let that work be dedicated to the needs of the society. That means the choice of work should be done keeping in mind the needs of the society. One cannot pick up a work, which is not needed by the society. The needs of the society should be kept in mind when choice of work is done. Then the work not only feeds you but also gives you harmony. This is a happy culmination of work. It feeds you and it also keeps you in harmony.
If you choose work, regardless of the needs of the society, the society does not respond to your work and your sustenance may become a problem.
If you choose work that which is needed by the society, but is not suitable to your nature, you may sustain in society but land up in conflict. Hence the two factors play together to yield harmony.
In case you do not get the work that you like, the alternative is to like the work that is given. This requires a resigned (detached) attitude. This way also you can reach harmony through work. But this requires tremendous self-application.
In any case three factors remain to realise work in its proper sense.
a) Working for society
b) Working in tune with one’s own nature and
c) Working with love i.e., poise.
Let the three keynotes be kept in mind.
Working For Results:
These days man is pushed to work for results. To work is more important than working for results. When you work well, as per the three indicators given in the preceding paras, you enjoy the work, thereby you do the work well and it automatically produces good results. But when result preoccupies your mind, you are tensed up. You cannot work at your optimum and that affects the results.
See, when you play games, you enjoy the game well. But when you play to win, you are tensed up. Hence you cannot play as well as you normally do. If it is a championship carrying big prize money, tension prevails all over. It cannot anymore be called a “PLAY”. It is something else. We have now degraded into a situation where we degrade even play into a source of tension while the ancients conducted even work (or even life) as a ‘Play’.
child, when he/she studies a story book, remembers well every detail of it. But if it is a school book, he/she does not remember so well. Why? Because, he/she is constantly goaded to remember, to reproduce and to get the highest marks! While studying he/she is more concerned of marks and the need to remember, which stand as an obstruction to the fine process of comprehension. But studying for marks leads to a state where comprehension is kept aside and is downgraded. All study is for comprehension, but, today all study is for marks. Hence there is neither comprehension, nor development of mind.
Therefore the quiet situation is you work with love, with concern for society and in tune with your nature. Let not results bother you. Results follow those who follow the triple principle.
Means vs Ends:
Some say that means of work is more important than the ends, while others say that ends are more important than the means. But Nature tells us that every work has its procedure and its time dimension. Adoption of a given procedure and adaptation to time gives you the right clue to work. History shows that the most successful men are those who carried the understanding of the procedure and time dimension. Adoption and adaptation are the key words to accomplishment in work. Means and Ends take care of themselves in such situations.
Author – Dr P.K Kumar – http://worldteachertrust.org