Swami against the tide: Why we’re brainwashed by TGIF
Indian philosopher and author says we tire ourselves out with stress and worry – not with work itself
The world’s workforce – from top management to the lowest paid employee – has been brainwashed by the “the thank god it’s Friday” concept. More especially, we only look forward to weekends and holiday time and dread Mondays.
These are the musings of renowned Indian philosopher and author Swami Parthasarathy, who applies the ancient Indian philosophy of Vedanta to teach businesspeople self-management. Dubbed the “corporate guru”, the 91-year-old swami has often had business, sport and film celebrities seek his guidance on their professional and personal lives.
For over 40 years the author of 11 books, three of which are bestsellers, has been traversing the globe enthralling universities and corporations with his discourses. He was in Durban recently to conduct a one-day summit to equip youngsters with life skills.Speaking ahead of his visit, the London-educated Parthasarathy – who turned down the opportunity to run his family’s lucrative business to devote his life to Vedanta – believes “the world has been brainwashed by TGIF. The entire workforce – right from the CEO to the lowest paid worker – only looks forward to weekends and vacations. You cannot find people looking forward to Monday mornings. This is courting inaction.”
He believes businesspeople are driven by the lust for money. “Businessmen are led by desire and greed ... which causes stress.”
Parthasarathy accused business leaders of being concerned about how they could benefit from society, rather than benefit to society. “The world is infested with thoughts of taking rather than giving. The teachings of giving have reached a small section of society.”
He was critical of the concept of corporate wellness, whereby companies invest in the well-being of their employees. “The welfare schemes designed by employers are only to impress others ... not to benefit the employees.”
He believes businesses fail when there is “lack of concentration, consistency and co-operation. With lack of concentration, you cannot achieve anything. The mind always worries about the past and is anxious about the future. It is never at rest.”
The swami’s advice? “You need to develop a strong intellect to keep the mind and concentrate on your work. It is also difficult to be successful and productive in a business without the co-operation of colleagues. This principle applies to companies, communities and countries. Unless people learn to be unselfish in serving the society there can be no success.”
He said stress and worry rather than work tires people.