Aligning your Heart and Mind

Author:Ritu Jain

How important is it for your heart and mind to be in the same place when talking about work? Well, let’s take a deeper look. 

Imagine a scenario where you love your work, you are passionate about it and look forward to doing more. At the same time, you are not paid well, you are unable to cope with office politics, and you do not enjoy a very good equation with your boss. Sounds familiar? Did you feel as if your heart is saying that something is wrong? Now, let’s take a look at an entirely different situation. Imagine you are paid well, you enjoy working with your colleagues, and you have got great customers and bosses to work with, but you are not learning anything new. Would you be happy in any of the situations given above? 

Let me share with you a real-life example from my journey. A couple of years back, I had a good job, good colleagues to work with, but no growth. Desperate to do something new, I took up a role that was technically a promotion, but I slowly realised that the actual work conflicted with my core values and beliefs. As a part of the new role, I had to develop the market for a new global product to launch in India. This required me to visit meat and seafood storage hubs to understand the real customers and their pain points. Everything sounds fine, isn’t it? What if I tell you that I am a hardcore vegetarian? I tried to keep my personal and professional viewpoints as isolated as possible. However, after a few months, the conflict between my heart and mind started getting visible, and ultimately I left the job. The sad part is that I thought this was the only reason things went wrong. 

I then took up another job where I thought I have been careful enough to avoid the pitfalls I had faced earlier. After a few years, the struggle started all over again, although the reasons were different. Then, I realised that external factors don’t repeat themselves in two different setups. I had to look deep within myself. But how? Where should I start? Unable to find any direction, I joined a coaching programme. After deep introspection, I realised that answers to almost all the questions lie within myself. The lens with which I am viewing this world has got foggy and needs some deep cleaning. Things that I initially thought would solve all my problems will never solve them. My benchmarks were wrong and not in alignment with my core beliefs and value system. I then listed out my life priorities by grouping them into four categories and asked myself a few questions:

  1. Family – What are my family goals? Where do I want to see my children going? What values are they imbibing? What do I need to ensure their all-round development?
  2. Career – What do I see myself doing on the work front? Am I competing with anyone? If yes, then who are they? What does work satisfaction mean to me?
  3. Health – How does a healthy version of myself look like? Considering my age, what steps do I take to reach there?
  4. Money – How much money do I need to cover the necessities? How much for doing all of the above, and how much to save for a rainy day?

I tried to find answers to all of the above questions, and that is when I realised that all these years I have been running after were only money and a respectable designation. While I had all the above points in my mind, I was always afraid to confront them. Not any longer. That is when I took a call that no matter how much money I am offered in my CTC, I will never be able to meet my life goals. And that day, in a real sense, I started my entrepreneurship journey. Today, I am running a Consulting firm and doing what I love doing the most for my clients – “building businesses based on sound products and ethics.”

In the last year, I have met more people than I met in the past 10 years, and I have said NO to job offers that earlier I yearned for. The quality of my life has significantly improved as my inner conflict has been put to rest. My heart and my mind are now aligned in the same direction.

*The author is the Founder of Srishti Consulting and Mentor to Startups*