Guruji, I am a media professional who has recently taken up a new job. I have been given many duties but yet I enjoy my challenging job very much, and till recently felt that my colleagues were the best ones to be working with. But of late, I find too much politics in my work-space which upsets me. I find that people are mean and competitive even at the cost of damaging others. Slowly I find myself losing the joy of working. I am tense most of the time, and these days dread the idea of going to office and facing my colleagues. How can I remedy this situation?

This is a situation that is faced by most young people of today. Every person in the office comes from a different back-ground or culture. They have different mindsets and opinions. Every person is a product of his or her own circumstances. Our very education system has taught us to be competitive and ruthless. We have forgotten our essential nature of being kind and considerate towards every person we meet or work with. We are always out to outsmart the other person, to achieve praises for self, even at the cost of others.

When everything is working fine, or when you are only seeking each other’s company during off-hours or after-work hours, you and your colleagues are in relaxed states of mind. You are jovial, bantering with each other, etc., releasing pressures of work that lie heavy upon you, throughout the day. But, when during the day each one of you has targets to achieve, your base instincts rise up. All your inherent negative qualities such as jealousy, one-upmanship, hatred, etc. rise to the top, due to the competitive atmosphere in which you are working.

You may fail to notice your own self, but others will tell you that you are also almost like the colleagues you are describing. You are also an integral part of the office atmosphere. When you are tense, you are not aware how you are behaving. If you were to have a behaviour-check with one of your colleagues, perhaps you would understand the real situation. So also, is the case with every one of your colleagues. To top it all, each one of you might be involved in some pressure at the home-front also, which will rise to the surface when you are cornered at office.

The best way out of this situation is to first accept the situation you are placed in. Immediately, make meditation a part of your daily routine, before stepping our of your home for work. Then decide to take part in an experiment where you become an observer and not a participant. Go on conducting your duties no matter what the atmosphere you are placed in.

Be smiling, accepting and accommodative of the office-situation, as much as you can be. Let there be politics. Watch the scene as if you are watching a movie or a drama. Do not react to any situation, excepting attending to your work on hand. Go on doing your work with a conscious smile on your face. Do not oppose anyone or anything, unless it is directly hampering your work on hand. Only if anyone or anything is a direct obstacle to your work-delivery, should you engage yourself with that person or thing. Even then, only ensure that work goes on smoothly, without engaging in any verbal attacks.

As you go on working in this manner, you will observe that your situation and circumstances get better and better, and the very attitude of your co-workers start changing. Just one person – ‘you’ – is enough to change the situation in your work-area. Do not harbour any ill-feeling towards your colleagues. Do not expect anyone to be perfect in their behaviour towards you and your work.

At times you may find that what you have regarded as a threatening, negative attitude in another is hardly so. The person may be unaware of the impression you carry in your mind about him or her. Go out of your way to help others at accomplishing their jobs. You will soon find that there is a sense of goodness all around you, as people stop feeling threatened by you and also you yourself no longer feel that people are being mean or competitive.

At times, you will be surprised by the helpful natures of the very same persons who you had so far considered to be mean and vindictive. Except in very rare cases, goodness attracts goodness. The key to happiness, whether at home or at your workplace, is to be more helpful, expansive and forgiving by nature. Cultivate the habit of meditating more and more, and you will find yourself being increasingly dynamic and productive, and also very happy at your work-place.

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