Corporate Lessons from the Mountains

Harshita Kajaria

The ‘Strategies for life and career’ program gave me a chance to have a spiritual experience and learn many corporate lessons at the same time. Some of the lessons are as follows-
1) During a crisis, an emotion drives you that can either make you or break you.
When I was thrown off the peak of a mountain during my rappelling session, I was frightened, and I held onto the rope tightly. I felt angry for a moment, angry for taking the plunge. However, when I looked below I was stricken by fear. I had two options, I could have remained numb and upset while clinging onto the rope or I could keep moving because I wanted to reach my destination safely. It was at this moment that I let myself go and allowed my fear to drive me! I felt weak during certain moments and I wanted to give up, but I knew that remaining stuck there was not a solution. I kept going until I finally made it to the bottom.

That was not the end of my hurdles. I then, had to independently climb up the steep slopes of the mountain! This was a tedious and frightening task for me but while I climbed the slopes, I could view everything below me. The surrounding mountains, the greenery below, the villages around, the small huts and I felt as if I could touch the sky too! This made me feel ecstatic.  If I had not taken the plunge or had I given up midway I would not have experienced the bliss that I did, that made this entire process worth it!

If I compare this to a corporate crisis, I could have easily given up in a crisis and I would not have had a chance to channelize the crisis into a breakthrough. How many times do we let our emotions get the most of us in a crisis? Can we look at a crisis as an opportunity instead?

2) Everything is impermanent, so learn to adapt and accept change.
Up in the mountains the weather changes rapidly, it is sunny one moment, and rains cats and dogs at another moment, the cloud is hazed with clouds one moment and it’s a clear blue sky the next moment. We went on long treks during such rapidly changing weather conditions.  We never knew what to expect at a certain point of time. So, I learnt that I must accept and adapt to whatever the situation is, because every condition is impermanent, it passes you by sooner or later. 
Similarly, life in general and specifically corporate life both has its ups and downs, and we need to accept the situation as it is, adapt to the need of an hour, keep learning and moving ahead in life.

3) Limitations are more in your mind than in your capabilities.
Be it rock climbing, long hours of trekking, or swimming in the river, I never knew I had it in me to perform any of these tasks. It’s only when I managed to complete them on the 10-day program that I realized that any of these things were unimaginable for me before because I had created self-doubt and fear in my mind. 
Similarly, at work we create uncertainties in our head. ‘I won’t be able to take on this much of responsibility’ ‘I am not as good as someone else’ ‘I don’t have leadership qualities’ and other such doubts in our heads. These are nothing but the mental limitations that we create for ourselves. The ‘SLC Himalayas’ program encouraged and inspired me to break past my mental limitations.

4) Life is rooted in simplicity and humility.
We visited a villager’s house in the mountains, had lunch with him, helped him work in the fields as well. He and his wife told us that they work hard for long hours in the fields to get the desired result. Farmers like them are the reason that we all get food, yet they were so humble in welcoming us into their homes. We were strangers yet they were so hospitable to us and eagerly shared their meal with us. 
Their compassion and simplicity touched my heart and I realized that our lives are actually rich when we remain simple and humble. Life is about the simplicity and not all the frills that we imagine it to be. Our duty at work is to contribute to all stakeholders to the best of our abilities, and prosperity would follow, not the other way round.


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