In a recent blog I spoke about the benefits of ‘surrendering’.
One of my former students asked a highly pertinent question. “Professor Rao, as executives, we do have to make some hard decisions. How do we balance being a change agent vs surrender?”
Many of my students have MBAs from top business schools. They have been indoctrinated with the notion that, to get ahead, they must prove themselves over and over again. They must seize initiative and go the extra mile. They must perform.
How does this gel with the notion of surrendering?
Here is the key to surrendering and also using your individual talents.
Think of yourself as an instrument. If you are a person of faith, visualize yourself as an agent of Jesus, or Krishna, or Allah or the Buddha or whoever inspires you in the Wisdom Tradition you follow. If you are an atheist or agnostic, imagine yourself as an instrument of the Universe.
Whichever entity you choose is acting through you to accomplish its ends. You have been chosen to be the vehicle through which this happens. Use your native talents and MBA skills to do the best that you can but recognize that it is the entity that is making all this happen. Even the idea that you should surrender to the entity is put into your head by the entity.
It will take some diligent practice for you to get the hang of this. When you do, life becomes effortless. You work hard, but you are not really working. Work is being done through you, not by you.
Remember the words of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. “”With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan ~ to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Lincoln did not say that he did the right. He tried to do the right as God gave him to see the right.
Do the same. Situations change and evolve. If, tomorrow, you see the right differently from today, then do the right as you see it at the time.
And never forget that all this is happening, and you are merely the instrument. Drop the sense of ‘doer-ship.’
And that is how you surrender even as others see you as a change agent.