Applying Business, Balance & Beyond Approach to Work

Business, Balance, and Beyond encapsulate the Corporate Sufi approach to life, i.e. a life lived by giving your totality to each moment, because when you are wholeheartedly present to each moment and have done your best, there is no room for regrets or future worries.

River going out into the ocean at a Pacific coast of Panama

The Business, Balance & Beyond approach is versatile and can be applied everywhere, whether work, personal or social life, helping you maximize the value of any given situation. For example, suppose you want to write a book and are finding it difficult to begin, let’s apply the Business, Balance & Beyond approach and see how we can start the process.

The ‘Business’ approach refers to starting with the fundamentals in any given situation. You can also call it the hardware or the scaffolding, which forms the basic framework of any edifice or idea. Daniel Coyle in his book, “The little book of talent” says that many top performers place great importance on practicing the same skills or techniques that they practiced as beginners.

He gives the example of the NFL quarterback who spends the first segment of every practice doing basic footwork drills – the kind they teach 12 year-olds. If your fundamentals are clear, you have a strong base to proceed forward and can then improvise. In this particular case, the responses to the following questions can help clarify the business process of the task.

  1. In 100 words, what do you want the book to be about?
  2. Who is your target reader?
  3. What are the 5 topics this book will talk about?
  4. Who is/are your central characters?
  5. When do you want to finish the book by?

Once you have your basic idea reviewed and outlined, you are on the road to getting on the next pavilion.

The ‘Balance’ approach denotes that there is an extensive array of experiences, data, and learning around us, which we can use to achieve our goal in the best possible manner. Balance is about going beyond the details and embracing a holistic and all-inclusive perspective, which might at times seem ambiguous but is alert and interactive with the evolving environment within which it functions. Balance helps us to explore all facets of a situation and tie in all the loose ends to create a unified structure. Balance brings flexibility and adaptability to every situation, without compromising the principles integral to us. So while business is all about hardware, balance is about software. Picture Roger Federer going beyond his classic powerful forehand technique to hit an incredible between-the-legs lob (called a “tweener-lob” in tennis parlance) against American Sam Querrey in their Round 2 match. He wins a point and goes on to a straight-sets win. However, it’s almost impossible to hit such strokes unless your technique is strong. Hence, using balance without embracing the business element of things leads to scattered and ineffectual results.

Here are some questions to strengthen your balance quotient when writing the book:

  1. What is the daily protocol you will follow so that you can complete the book within the set deadline?
  2. What habits or activities will you have to change to ensure your total being is oriented towards the goal in sight?
  3. What are the various resources you can use to strengthen your work; for instance, reading books to explore new and challenging styles of writing, taking guidance from your mentor or working with different people who inspire and challenge you to improve further?
  4. What are the possible obstacles or self-limiting beliefs or attitudes you will need to overcome?

The ‘Beyond’ approach is the soul or the lifeblood of every goal. Applying the ‘Beyond’ quotient means aligning your goal with a larger-than-life purpose or belief that infuses you with energy and wisdom to go beyond the self and achieve the impossible. Because the goal is no longer just about you, you are able to move beyond the narrow limitations or agendas imposed by your ego and seek the higher good. The universe then becomes your co-conspirator. In our example about the book, the following questions outline the beyond approach:

  1. What is going to be special about this book?
  2. Suppose your favorite authors read your book. What would they say about it?
  3. How will your book help to create something beautiful or meaningful for others?
  4. What do you hope to achieve with this book?

Thus, with the Business, Balance & Beyond approach, we can outline the concept, process and purpose of any goal or vision we hope to achieve.

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