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Slowing Down to Speed Up

Published on Sep 8, 2018 by Lynda Aurora

We know that Hong Kong is a 365/24/7 city, even our Singaporean neighbours comment that Hong Kong is a rat race. While most people are familiar with time management techniques that they more or less implement what is the key strategy that will be the difference that makes the difference?

Applying Buddhist principles to the business world.

I recently read The Diamond Cutter by Reshe Michael Roach an ordained American Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition.

Roach was instructed by his abbot to get a job and apply Buddhist principles to the business world. He took a job in the hustle, bustle and the somewhat secretive world of the diamond business in New York with Andin International. The business started with 4 people (including the 2 founders and Roach) around one table, Roach stayed there 15 years as it grew into a US$100 million business. He regularly worked to 11pm with a 2 hour commute each way to his New Jersey monastery.

While at Andin Roach implemented the ‘Weekly Circle’ practised by Tibetan wise men which enhanced their physical health and mental agility over the long term.

Taking time to reflect

Roach had a strict policy with the agreement of the owners he would not work on Wednesdays (his Weekly Circle day) that meant on the 2 days before and after issues could be dealt with and a strong second in command that could deal with urgent issues on the day. The whole idea is to break the usual routine, taking time to reflect, to plan and most importantly get time to get new input, new sources of inspiration and to proactively prevent health problems.

So what did he do on Wednesday? The day was strictly organized and executed for maximum benefit. Up until 2pm the day must be spent alone in silence, no telephones, TV and no other noise that prevents you from hearing the great ideas you have in your mind. It is the time to go deeper into the recesses of your mind unlocking your creativity and proactively preventing health problems. You can take time for some light exercise and drink only liquids. After a light lunch you can take a nap then in the afternoon do some practical study, for example, doing your hobby, learn photography but nothing to do with your regular job. It is best to do this outside the house and do it with someone who is an expert.

The purpose is to be exposed to excellence and creativity and the benefit comes from learning to think like and have the passion of a master. In the evening go out and help somebody at anything. Do not think that a task is too mundane. Remember the purpose of the Circle Day is to get out of the corporate mindset. As the day comes to a close again take some silent time and review the day.

The creativity and inspiration you have set up will come to you the next day when you need it. The seeds need to be sown in silence, the experience being close to a master and the willingness to serve others around you.

By following this practice Roach had ideas that saved the company and the industry millions and millions of dollars and created revenue far beyond the cost of him taking one day away from the office.

If you are striving to be a peak performer then implement this success strategy and remember we are human beings first not human doings.

Lynda Aurora

Partner, Plus Partnership

Asia's leading executive coach

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