Our professional life and career depends on what we do, how we do what we do and finally on critical decision making. We are constantly faced with these three posers in our career. The Bhagavad Gita expounds some fundamental insight which can be applied in our daily lives and are very relevant in our professional lives as well. To the first question of what is right action ” The Gita tells us that it is superior to perform actions according to our own nature and not according to the whim or fancy of another. This is particularly relevant when we consider our career moves. One should make sure that the work and the role he takes us is to his liking and is according to his natural tendencies. As they say, “If you enjoy what you do, you will never work again in your life”.
To the question of ” how” at a fundamental level the Gita enjoins us to “Therefore do your duty without attachment to the fruits of the action”. We are requested to perform our daily duties and offer the resulting success or failure as an offering to God. This philosophy of Karma Yoga of the Gita is both simple and profound. If everybody in the society performed his/her duty then everything would function very smoothly. We cannot shirk away our responsibilities. Even Lord Krishna states that though he is above all action he is constantly in the thick of things just to maintain the physical, social and psychological equilibrium of the world. So also we should not shirk our responsibility and we should perform our duties to the best of our abilities. If this attitude is adopted success is bound to come our way.
One of the most brilliant insights into action and decision making is in the following lines of the Gita “One who sees inaction in action and action in inaction, know that he is wise”. This is the most fundamental lines for decision making. One should not just react to everything that nature throws in our way. Rather we should deliberate the course of correct action and the appropriate time for our response. Sometimes the best decision is no decision at all. So it is imperative to not just understand what is the right action but also when that action is most appropriate. There are times when there is a lot of activity in the organization and any resulting action on your part will be drowned in the confusion and melee. Rather one should time one’s response and decision as appropriate. Hence it is possible when everything is calm that one perceives the right moment to make a decision. This wisdom and insight can only come through a highly perceptive mind. This is the true guide for right action.
Hence for excelling in our professional lives at a fundamental level the Gita requires us a) Perform the duties according to our own nature b) Perform our duties unmindful of the fruits of the action c) Ensure that both the timing and our response is correct. If we follow these three principles in our career we are bound to succeed.