Sadhguru’s fundamental vision is to offer the science of inner wellbeing to every human being – a science that helps a person realize the ultimate potential within. From this vision stemmed a multitude of projects, programs, and methods.
As human potential is most critical for the success of business, the economy and society at large, it becomes important to explore this multitude of projects, programs, and methods and learn what businesses can take away from this philosophy.
In an exclusive interaction, Indian yogi, mystic, author and founder of Isha Foundation, Sadhguru, talks about his philosophy ‘Human is not a resource’ and shares how businesses can make the shift from looking at human as a resource to human as possibilities.
Since many decades, human beings have been referred to as resources, especially in the business context. However, now the perception is taking a shift and they are being referred to as possibilities. Can you share more about the new perception? Why do you believe that human is not a resource?
A human being is not a resource - a human being is a possibility. It is just that there is always a distance between a possibility and a reality. What an individual human being will become essentially depends upon whether we can unfold this possibility or not. If you consider a human being as a resource, then once we pick up a resource, we already know its qualities. We know what it can and cannot do. In other words, it is a quantity. There is a phenomenal difference between a quantity and a possibility.
A possibility means it is yet to be. Human beings have essentially come in a seed form. A seed realizes its potential only if it finds fertile soil. With the right kind of soil, one seed can make the entire Earth green. So, when you have a human being on your hands, if you think of them as a resource, you will never unfold their genius. This is like making an auto-rickshaw out of an airplane. What could take you to great heights, now you are using it in a mundane way and you think, “This is it.”
How can businesses make the shift from looking at human as a resource to human as possibilities? Why is it important for them to make that shift?
Once we were doing a program for a major international company and their top twenty-five executives were with us for three days. Our volunteers were there and they will neither eat nor sleep if something has to be done – they will be on all the time. So, these executives were watching them and they asked me, “Sadhguru, where do you get such people?” I said, “You don’t get these people – you have to make them.” They asked, “How do you make them?” I said, “You must make them fall in love with you.” “Oh, how do we do that?” I said, “First you have to fall in love with them.” They said, “Oh, they don’t pay us for that!”
Right now, you slog in your workplace and go home and love somebody. No, I'm not telling you to start an affair in your office! But, you spend more time in your workplace than with your family, if you are a successful human being. Can you be in a place for more than fifty percent of your life without involving yourself and suddenly go home and fall in love with somebody? It is not going to work. At least you can practice in your office, if nowhere else.
How will this new concept change the way companies look at HR function?
Unfortunately right now, most businesses and industries are thinking only in terms of quarterly balance sheets – but balance sheets are very devious. You would have seen, in the last twenty-five years, the same instrument which would have cost you 10,000 rupees, costs ten rupees today. Why couldn’t you have made it for ten rupees on the first day? Because it had to evolve. That is one hundred percent true when it comes to a human being – you need to allow that being to evolve.
If you want to handle people, first of all you must understand there is a way to get the best out of a human being. Today, unfortunately, many people and event management schools are saying that unless you are stressed and pressured, you will not produce your best. However, there is enough scientific and medical evidence to show that a person will be at their peak performance only when they are in a pleasant state of experience. When you are in unpleasant states of experience, the best will not come out.
As we have seen in the past, the definitions and approaches keep on changing with time, until when do you think the perception of looking at human or talent as possibilities will live? And how do you think this concept will further evolve in coming years?
If you set up an atmosphere where everyone is doing their best, you will not need any management. It will simply happen. You can witness this at the Isha Yoga Center – everyone is giving their best all the time. You do not have to drive them – you will have to stop them and make them rest. Otherwise, they will go on endlessly. We are on seven days of the week because we are doing what we love to do. So, where is the question of taking a break from that? But for this to happen, the people who lead have to set that example and inspiration, and above all set an atmosphere of love and joy.
There is enough scientific and medical evidence to show that a person will be at their peak performance only when they are in a pleasant state of experience. When you are in unpleasant states of experience, the best will not come out
This is the best way a human being can blossom into a higher possibility. But for this to happen, the first thing is you must stop looking at human beings as resources. They are not material that you can use and do something else with. It is a dimension of life. If you nurture it right, it will blossom into something tremendous. As I mentioned earlier, human beings are in a seed form. Whether you make a seed into a big tree or crush it is up to you. But if you make it into a big tree, it will bear much fruit. Otherwise, you will see very little.
Taking us deeper into his philosophies, Sadhguru writes on ‘Intelligence beyond boundaries’ and shares how humans can move beyond the limitations of their intellect and come to a deeper dimension of intelligence.