Part 3 of a three-part review series: Book Reviewer Vacations With Kindle and Karma
In my last review, I was sharing my experiences with the Kindle while on vacation reading The Diamond Cutter, a heady business book by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christy McNally about Michael’s application of the Buddhist teachings he learned as he grew Andin International, a diamond company in New York City.
After finishing The Diamond Cutter, the Kindle promptly asked me if I wanted to read any other books by the same author. So I decided to try Karmic Management: What Goes Around Comes Around in Your Business and Your Life, also by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christy McNally.
Karmic Management: How You Think Impacts the Results You Experience
As tedious as I thought The Diamond Cutter was at times, the practical business problems and solutions in the book really made me want to read more. I liked Karmic Management much better. There wasn’t nearly as much original text from ancient spiritual books, and there was much more practical application of how to think about your business and your life and start actively managing your thoughts and actions for the most positive impact.
Karmic Management outlines eight karmic rules that will impact your business and your life. After the introductory chapters, each rule has a chapter to itself. And at the end of each chapter, there are guided suggestions for how to consciously implement these principles in your business.
The book also uses three primary examples or case studies that are referenced throughout; a factory, a university and a hair salon. So you get a decent cross-section of examples whether you are in an industrial, service or nonprofit environment.
I love how plain and practical the advice is. I would really advise against looking at this as religious text and focus on how this positive, common-sense approach can not only improve the results your business produces, but also improve the quality of your personal life and the communities you participate in.
Karma – Whatever You Want Out of Life, You Must Do for Someone Else First
We often use karma to describe the idea that what goes around comes around. The problem with this definition is that it’s too passive –as if life is happening to you.
The authors point out that karma is the result of the “imprints” or “impressions” you leave on the world and on the people you interact with daily. These impressions are a choice you make when you choose your thoughts, words and actions. And by consciously thinking, speaking and acting, you can positively impact your business and your life.
The idea is to put your focus on thinking, speaking and doing the “right things” and stop worrying about what happens. The assumption is that if you are doing the right things, the right things will happen. Things don’t go the way we want them to because we’re not aware of the unconscious ways that we sabotage our success.
Here is a summary of the principles:
Stop doing things that don’t work. Stop worrying about whether something will work or not. This worry wastes brain space and time. Just be sure that things will work out. (I know – crazy, but this sets you up to turn the page for the next principle.)
- Find the cause of the cause. This is one of my favorites. “If something doesn’t work each time you try it, then it doesn’t work.” The authors use the example of turning the key in the ignition to start the car (that would be a cause of starting the car) but what if that doesn’t work? What’s the cause behind the cause? Maybe the battery is dead! That would be the cause. Then they use the example of selling 100,000 units of anything. Calling customers is a cause of sales. But if calling customers doesn’t work, what’s the cause of its not working? The authors urge you to look at and make a list of your successes – then look behind those successes at ways that you might have helped someone else become successful. Perhaps you helped someone else sell more widgets by referring customers to them. These thoughts and actions will help you sell more widgets too.
- Identify your karmic business partners. Who is playing this business game with you? Co-workers, customers, suppliers and the world. Take the time and effort to put a plan together for how you will think, speak and act with each one to help them achieve and succeed so that you will succeed too.
- Start with yourself. This chapter brings home the point that you are responsible for the results you achieve in life. The authors offer a detailed plan with recommendations for meditation, exercise and even what to eat.
- Stop making decisions. Decisions only matter if you are worried about whether one will succeed and the other will fail. If you are thinking, speaking and acting consciously, then whichever you choose, the results will be successful. (Yeah, I’m still struggling with this one).
- Load your stapler. Your stapler will work – if it has staples. Again, the concept is to always be thinking, speaking and doing those things we want for ourselves – for others first. This is what “loads the stapler.”
- Ride your problems over the top. What if your problems were a blessing? That seems sort of ironic, doesn’t it? According to karmic management principles, experiencing a problem is a signal as to where you need to take action. So if your problem is that you’re out of money – quick, run out and help someone make more money! And if something happens to you that you don’t like, stop doing it to others.
- Re-invest the karma. Now that you’re experiencing all the blessings and happiness that come from your conscious thinking, speaking and doing, what will you do with it? Reinvest the karma in your karmic business partners. It’s the circle of business. Help others succeed.
I really went all out to explain the principles, and each chapter in the book has more helpful how-tos and suggestions.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a book for just “woo woo” spiritual folks. As it turns out, both The Diamond Cutter and Karmic Management have thriving communities of businesspeople all over the world!
Both Karmic Management and The Diamond Cutter are related books. You can find communities at Diamond Cutter Discussion Groups. This is the main site where you can explore and find groups either virtually or at a location close to you. There is actually an iPhone app for Karmic Management!
I have to say that I found this to be interesting and insightful vacation reading that has stayed with me long after the sand has been cleared out of my flip flops. If you’re a business owner that’s dedicated to self-reflection and self-improvement, then I think you’ll find these very interesting.