I couldn’t process your entry.

Please reload and retry in a moment.

Check your inbox!

Reset your password with the link we just sent to your email.

Hub Culture logo

Thinking Out of The Box

< Previous | Main | Next >

1st Apr 2009

Thinking Out of The Box

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos traditionally brings together top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to address the world's most pressing issues. In view of the current economic crisis and the threat of global recession, the pressure on the leadership of the world to find solutions is high and advice from someone who has the necessary clarity precious. Not surprisingly, Sadhguru was showered with invitations to address meetings, conferences and sessions, even before this year's Annual Meeting officially started.

Article Image

His trip to Switzerland started a day early with the Emerging Markets Investors Roundtable in Zurich that gathered about 150 CEOs, members of the investor's community and thought leaders on their way to Davos. As a panelist on two sessions, Sadhguru shared the floor with eminent speakers such as N.K. Singh, Rajendra Pawar, Chairman of NIIT, India and Fran ois Barrault, CEO of BT Global Services. The main topic was, of course, the current global financial meltdown and the impact that it would have on the economies of developing countries. Amidst dire predictions for the future from the other panelists, Sadhguru brought the economic and financial issues back to their human dimension, pointing out that instead of looking at people as markets whether emerging or developed we need to look at them simply as people. This will bring about a more inclusive and expansive economy. He went on to explain, "The current crisis is an opportunity for re-evaluating and redefining economic growth according to more inclusive and ecological parameters which will expand human wellbeing to a wider base of people. If the economy is founded on a wider base, the whole structure is bound to have a more solid footing."Amidst a sea of dark business suits, Sadhguru immediately found himself at the center of the participants' attention. When seeing Sadhguru for the first time, one of the conference's participants spontaneously remarked, "I don't know who he is, but he is a wonderful man...he is so beautiful."

Later that day, Sadhguru was slated to address a symposium organized by the Swiss Indian Chamber of Commerce (SICC) on the theme of innovation. Swiss parliamentarian Doris Fiala who had been at Isha Yoga Center last April with a Swiss delegation of parliamentarians introduced Sadhguru to the members of the SICC. The evening started with an address by the newly appointed ambassador of Switzerland to India, Mr. Philippe Welti.

Article Image

"The first condition to think outside of the box is to come out of the bone box"

Sadhguru opened his topic "Thinking Outside of the Box" by pointing out that whatever thought we generate, it essentially comes from the data that we consciously and unconsciously collect from outside. "The first condition to think outside of the box is to come out of the bone box" he said (pointing to his head). "Thought is essentially a projection into the future. Thinking outside of the box needs to be way beyond improvements of what we are doing right now. For that, cultivating the ability to see clearly is essential. Just as we have moments of activity, we can also stop that activity. The same needs to be achieved with the mind, where one can simply decide when thoughts should be on and when they should be stopped. It is in these spaces in between thoughts that people can achieve maximum clarity of perception." He concluded by saying that it is essential that everyone invests in developing clarity and that this is something everyone can achieve.

"In moments where intensity and relaxation come at the same time, that is when your body, your mind and emotions function at their highest peak."

In the discussion that ensued between the panelists, as some of the speakers asserted that one of the best triggers for innovative thinking was crisis, Sadhguru pointed out to the contrary. "Crisis will lead to reaction and the urge of self-preservation becomes dominant. In these kinds of situations, energies are focused on ensuring survival. It is possible that one can design enhanced means of survival but this is not innovative thinking. In times of crisis, we tend to go in survival mode and close the door to anything new. Moments of crisis will spur certain desperate measures which may feel like a certain improvement." He continued to say, "True out of the box thinking requires a certain state of relaxation where one can simply see. A certain sense of relaxation and focus is needed because in moments where intensity and relaxation come at the same time, that is when your body, your mind and emotions function at their highest peak." The audience and organizers were delighted by what they were hearing, and what the moderator referred to as thought-provoking remarks.

The conference concluded on a lighter note when in response to a question about improving trade relations about India and Switzerland, Sadhguru jokingly suggested that if Switzerland shared their secret of making chocolate, then India would share the secrets of making chutney. As the otherwise gloomy mood among the participants brightened, an opportunity to step out to the box and move on to a new level of clarity opened up for them. Whether each individual will pursue this possibility or not will make all the difference now in their own lives and for all those who are impacted by their decision-making.