We know Lord Rama as the Maryada Purushottam–the perfect man. Truth personified, He is the most ideal man in all respects – values, conduct, relationships, and probably everything under the sun you can think of.
What differentiates Lord Rama from the average human being? What entitles Him to be called the Maryada Purushottam?
The 16 kalyan gunas are the answer. These are the 16 noble qualities that transform an average human being to a Puroshottam!
Your career is an integral part of you. As a career coach, I strongly believe that when you take charge of your career–you take charge of your life. So, on the occasion of Ram Navami, this year, I encourage you to start baby steps in realizing these 16 noble qualities to have grand breakthroughs in your career to become the Career Purushottam. Being a Maryada Purshottam isn’t too far away then!
Kalyan Guna # 1–Gunavaan / Sousheelyam: Be unconditional
Lord Rama treated everyone equally. He accepted Guha, the leader of the hunters and Sugriva, the king of the vaanaras (monkeys) as His brothers. He accepted Lord Hanuman as his ardent devotee. Vibishana was Ravana’s brother and Ram accepted him too–despite the disapproval of his followers.
You cannot choose who you work with (well, for a large majority of the time). You thus need to accept everyone unconditionally. When you do so, you can build a better connection with them, thus leading to a better work environment. Needless to say, you will be more efficient–helping you achieve grand career breakthroughs.
Kalyan Guna # 2–Veeryavaan: Be assertive
Veeryavaan literally means being strong or aggressive. However, taking this meaning literally is the mistake often made. Lord Rama was a fierce warrior and had unusual power and strength. However, He never misused these. As a matter of fact, this fierceness was combined with the first guna–sousheelyam, which made him assertive.
At the work place you will come across people of two extremes–one who is fiercely aggressive and the other lot who are full of empathy (and most often they are perceived as meek and feeble). The balance between the two is a rare find. To be greatly successful, you need to develop the boldness of being fierce and empathetic at the same time. Assertiveness is the key to be veeryavaan–the supreme powerful.
You can get started on your journey of assertiveness at the workplace here – 6 Tips for Being More Assertive at Work
Kalyan Guna # 3–Dharmagnya: Be righteous
Lord Rama always followed Dharma (the path of righteousness). Simply put, He always stuck to his values. Whether it meant leaving his kingdom to be in exile or destroying the evil in the form of Vaali (Sugriv’s brother) and later Ravana–His values were never compromised.
You would often face situations where you might have to make a choice between sticking to your values and going against them. The latter may tempt you for the want of faster growth. The former, though may feel like slow progress, is however grand breakthroughs in disguise.
If you are struggling to keep up personal values at the workplace, this will help you–Personal values and work: 3 steps to a more fulfilling work life
Kalyan Guna # 4–Kritagnya: Be grateful
After defeating Ravana, Lord Rama wholeheartedly thanked the Vanaras (Monkeys) for their help. Moreover, it is also said that towards the end of His incarnation, Lord Rama expressed being indebted to Lord Hanuman for the selfless service.
To deepen the connections, you have with your colleagues; it is imperative you genuinely appreciate them for their help they have offered you or the contributions they have made to the team. People you are thankful to will always be willing to do more for you. They will help you. And it is vital for the grand career breakthroughs you are aiming for.
Here’s a wonderful read I came across – Benefit of a year round attitude of gratitude at workplace
Kalyan Guna # 5–Sathyavaakyaha–Be True
Lord Rama always spoke the truth and nothing but the truth.
A research at UMass found that 60 percent of people lie at least once in the course of a ten-minute conversation. It is a costly mistake you can make. People around you eventually will know that you were lying and will stop trusting you. Your credibility is at stake. More importantly, it is doing you more harm than good. It triggers a stress response in the body. Being honest not just does away with these mistakes, but it also is insanely easy. Give it a shot!
Get started here–5 techniques for staying truly honest at work
Kalyan Guna # 6–Drudavrathaha: Be steadfast
Lord Rama gladly accepted to live in exile. When Bharat came to request him to come back to Ayodhya and take charge of the kingdom, He bluntly refused.
Whatever be the culture at your work, it follows a simple rule of thumb – it supports you within the defined framework, and challenges you outside of it. Now you may a brilliant idea (which is not within the defined framework) and for it to be heard requires steadfastness. Take ownership, critically analyze things, and then complete what steps you need to take. Once decided, stick to it. Commit wholeheartedly. Let nothing come in your way. You will face challenges–you alone, of course, cannot change the framework defined by your organization, but strive to be someone you would be proud to be.
Kalyan Guna # 7–Chaarithrenacha koyuktaha: Be charismatic
Lord Rama had an impeccable character and with no blemish.
The inner sense of purpose, confidence, communication, and the ability to connect with people are the essentials that build your character at the workplace. These qualities have become absolute musts at the workplace of today. Being charismatic is thus the key to be greatly successful at the workplace.
To be more charismatic at the workplace, you can get started here–The 3 elements of charisma presence
Kalyan Guna # 8–Sarvabhuteshu hitaha: Be emancipative
Blessed were the souls who ever met Lord Rama. Though a king He performed the last rites of Jatayu. He transformed stone into a damsel, thus setting Ahilya free from the curse. The stories of His compassion are plenteous.
Help people level up. If you are only concerned about yourself and your betterment at work, you are playing a short game. But when you help others–even when you have no personal gain, you are bound to get ahead fast.
Here’s an amazing article I came across – Why giving could help you get ahead at work
Kalyan Guna # 9–Vidwaan: Be a thought leader
Lord Rama had mastery over all subjects. He had the knowledge of the Astra–the weapons, (being a Kshatriya) and the Shaastra–the Vedas. He thus has been rightly described as the Vidwaan.
In the modern times of today, a thought leader is the Vidwaan. This term ‘thought leader’ has been overused these days and it might sound like another annoying corporate buzzword, but it’s much more. A thought leader is someone whose proficiency and perspective is of value–high enough to help people achieve their breakthroughs. Thought leaders look at the past, examine the present, and brighten the future with their expertise.
Here is how you can get started on the thought leadership journey–7 steps to becoming a thought leader in your industry
Kalyan Guna # 10–Samartaha: Be capable
Lord Rama was considered capable of doing absolutely anything in this world. As a child, He defeated the Demoness named Taadaka and her sons, single-handedly. At Mithila (present-day Nepal), He is said to have lifted the Shiva Dhanush–the bow of Lord Shiva, which no one could and thus was married to Goddess Sita.
You will see a lot of emphasis being laid on up-skilling and getting certified. There are tons of courses and usually, all they do is add to the confusion. A lot of people come to me asking what courses should they pursue so they can get ahead fast. I smile and say, take up any or whatever you can–they will not help you get ahead anyway! The certificates or the knowledge gained doesn’t ever help you get ahead. It is the use of that knowledge for solving a customer’s problems that will. So don’t just be learned–be capable.
Kalyan Guna # 11–Priyadarshanaha: Be presentable
Lord Rama is described as Aajaanu Baahum and Aravinda Lochana, meaning tall, well built, and handsome. When you look at Him, you are mesmerised. Such is his handsomeness.
A book is always judged by the cover. What is attractive gets sold. Also, people like to connect and work with those who are presentable. So work on yourself–not just on the physical appearance but also on your internal well-being.
Kalyan Guna # 12–Aatmavaankaha: Be spiritual
Lord Rama was a spiritual master. He was well aware of the significance of the atman–the inner soul.
Recent studies have shown that a spiritual person is better engaged at work and thus more efficient. Spirituality goes hand in hand with the knowledge and skills required for growth at the workplace. It is thus imperative that you invest in your spiritual growth.
Kalyan Guna # 13–Jithakrodaha: Be calm
Ravana was a learned Brahmin himself. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He had pleased Lord Shiva by his devotion to an extent where Lord Shiva had bestowed Ravana with His atmalinga. Even then, it is Lord Rama who is worshipped and the only difference is Lord Rama’s ability to stay calm even in the fiercest situations. Lord Rama was said to have had complete control over His emotions, including anger.
Being calm is of paramount importance if you wish to get ahead in your career. Anger takes away your ability to think and in the sway of emotions you cause yourself irreparable damage. Emotional Quotient (EQ) has been rated as the most essential skill and supersedes the Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
Here is an easy way to begin–5 ways to develop your emotional intelligence
Kalyan Guna # 14–Dyuthimaan: Be radiant
The moment Hanuman had set his eyes on Lord Rama’s face, he felt was shaken. His bones were melting, he felt goosebumps all over his body and tears of joy and love started flowing automatically from his eyes. This is the Tejas or the radiance.
Influence is a new currency. Irrespective of who you are or where you work having influence is fundamental to be able to work effectively with people around you and thus vital for your career growth.
To be more influential at work begin here–8 game-changing strategies to become more influential at work
Kalyan Guna # 15–Anasuyakaha: Be admirable
Lord Rama had a very strong control over self and emotions. So, He was neither jealous of anyone, nor did He envy someone. He was far away from greed.
To be more influential, you need to be admired. And no, I am not talking about the charisma here. I am hinting at not being jealous, envious or greedy. The person doing less work gets paid more – this is a common crib and the most common cause of jealousy, envy or even greed. These qualities will not get you paid higher. But understanding what the person has better than you and implementing it will. And yes – it is not the technical skills.
Kalyan Guna # 16–Bibyati devaha: Be dreaded
During the war, when Ravana attacked, Lord Rama was patient–far away from being angry. However, the moment Ravana attacked Hanuman, Lord Rama got terribly angry and started to fight Ravana in the war and eventually defeated him. Lord Ram never got angry when He was abused, but He did when his devotee was and He was then feared by all living beings in the world.
You should, of course, not be angry when someone does you harm, but at the same time you should not tolerate the injustice being done to the others. At the workplace, people who are quiet are generally taken advantage of. The most usual response is to join those who are taking advantage. Instead, you must side with those who are the victims.
Summing it all up –
Simple, isn’t it? But easier said than done.
Yes, the 16 noble qualities might sound overwhelming. You need to understand you cannot develop all of them at once. It takes time. Do begin taking small steps every day so you become the Career Purushottam.
All the best! Jai Shri Ram!