Within the past five years, I spent 2 six month periods working in palliative care. When I kept spirituality front and centre, this was easy work to do.
I remember a period of time when I was not spiritually prepared for this work. Having recognized it, I started to listen to Buddhist audio books, which became an immediate and immense help. Buddhism, in a nutshell, can help relieve your pain and suffering. Watching people die can be a little tough emotionally at times. Spirituality helps us see the world in a different way – a way which should give us some inner peace. Consumerism doesn’t work nearly as well as a religion does, in this regard.
I remember a teacher told me long ago to go ahead and practice Buddhism, and if Buddhism is completely wrong, then so what? If it leads to peace and happiness, then you are living a good life. Peace and happiness does sound a lot better than greed and envy, doesn’t it?
Death does seem to come to people unfairly, but that’s life. Good people die too early. When that happens, we tend to question everything. I know that many people turn their backs on God when tragedy strikes them. I think this is the biggest challenge for religious practitioners who believe in God. The question becomes, ‘Why does God allow this to happen’?
When I was in palliative care, I brought Buddhism to the forefront, but when you work in a sales department, can you do that too? Can you blend spiritual traditions in your sales career?
So you already know that my leanings are toward Buddhism. I am in a religious minority in North America, however there are a few universal principles or commonalities with the other religious/spiritual traditions – karma and compassion.
Karma, I know, was also a teaching from Jesus:
A Man Reaps What He Sows.”
“Those Who Live By the Sword, Will Die By the Sword”
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.”
This last quote is Buddhist in nature, because according to Buddhism, the actions that you put out will grow and then come back your way. Say you steal a dollar, then maybe one day, someone will steal $10 from you. Of course, it doesn’t exactly work like that, but that’s the gist of it.
Ok, back to work and sales.
Can this help you at the office – bringing spirituality to work, or even working with karma and compassion in your sales career?
Karma is really great for the honest salesperson. Reap what you sow. Karma in the form of phone calls, emails, inMails, voice messages, etc…. There is a lot of outward action. The intention is to make money AND help people. These are beautiful things. Money is beautiful – look at the good you can do with it for your family. Helping people is a high spiritual practice. Keeping this in the back of your mind enables you to be spiritual at work. It’s that simple. This is how to keep positive too. Believe in karma, believe in your positive actions, and help others. Positive actions produce greater positive actions.
When it seems that positive actions are producing negative results, that is a complete fallacy, that I don’t recommend accepting.
Say you are cold calling someone and your timing is terrible, despite your positive intentions. You get blasted by the prospect. They were unfair to you and nasty. You did not deserve their bad mood. It would seem that it was created by the phone call, of course, but might that not be the case?
Perhaps you were rude to someone in the past, maybe a month ago. You put that karma out in your universe. The recent rude and nasty prospect was the result of a negative action you did. It simply came back to you. Negative produces negative, and it can come back anytime and in different ways.
The best karma at the office and in sales is helping others, not exclusively thinking about yourself, and understanding that the positive and negative actions that happen to you are a result of something that you did in the past. It makes total sense to create positive interactions with others and to try your best to think positively. The actions in your mind count too!
Compassion is the handy tool for the salesperson as well, One day we find a great prospect on a great sales call. When we follow up later, it’s a totally different story and the prospect shoots us down and suddenly takes on a completely different attitude. We think about all of those losses in our mind, we find fault in the other person,wonder why they lied, misrepresented themselves, or didn’t have the guts to be direct with us by playing a game with our time. This can create a lot of inner negativity since we are re-creating our losses in our mind. Employing compassion is the key to eliminate this future negative karma that we create for ourselves.
How so? Karma again.
When someone lies to me, they are not only doing a disservice to me, they’re really doing a harmful disservice to themselves. Someone may tell them a greater lie in the future, which can result in potential disaster for them personally. It’s so much easier for you to use compassion as protection. You can’t stop people, who you don’t know, create negative actions, but you can stop potential negative actions for yourself. Caring about those people who do wrong can become a high spiritual practice as well. Caring and helping really go hand and hand.
Simple things that will help you – think about karma and have compassion for others. Create a lot of positive actions and work on your desire to help others. Avoid doing, saying, or thinking negatively toward yourself or other people. This will result in happiness, happiness at work, and a much more fulfilling sales career.