The following content is a continuation from Part I of Planting Seeds, shared by CEO Patrick Wee.
Continuing from where I left off, the goal of conducting business, according to Geshe Michael Roach in The Diamond Cutter, is to enrich ourselves – to achieve prosperity, both externally and internally.
The book is presented in three layers. The first is a translation of The Diamond Sutra, an ancient text of conversations between the Buddha and his close disciple, Subhuti. The second contains quotes from some of the best commentaries in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. And the third layer, the main text, is the practical application of Buddhist philosophies to the world of business, based upon Geshe Michael Roach’s seventeen-years of experience as an employee of the Andin International Diamond Corporation, the company that was eventually sold to Warren Buffet for USD 250 million in 2009.
In The Diamond Cutter, Geshe Michael Roach talks about planting good seeds in our mind (mental imprints) and how these good seeds ‘ripen’ and create a harmonious life to be built around us. In simple terms, it is based on the universal truth that whatever happens in our life comes from the way we treat other people. The distinction comes from the idea that everything around us is empty and perfectly clear at its core, just like a diamond. However the potential is hidden by ourselves because we choose to apply meanings to people and situations and hence clouding our mind and very often perpetuating or amplifying problems.
Drawing inspiration from Geshe Michael Roach’s book, we have put in place a culture of reflection by checking in on our thoughts and intentions in our daily work. Before we embark on anything, we always “start with the why”. We do a quick MAD check to see if the project or opportunity matches our purpose of making a difference and our values.
With the belief that our intentions and thoughts of people are stored in our mind as seeds and will ripen as part of our language and actions (hence determining the results that we get), our team members are trained to always keep “What can I do to create more value?” as the main dominant thought at all times throughout the day.
At the most fundamental level, we believe planting seeds is about having good thoughts and treating others well; just like The Golden Rule which can be found in almost every tradition or religion in the world: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.
I object vehemently when people tell me that to survive in the business world, one has to be cunning and mercenary because it is a “dog eat dog world”. I have seen many successful businesses built upon the foundations of compassion and integrity. I’m also happy to share that we are in our 8th year of operation and continue to enjoy abundant projects that make our heart sing. We have also seen continuous growth in wealth and the overall well being of our people.
The tenth-anniversary edition of The Diamond Cutter issued in 2010 provides great testament to this belief as it includes many success stories, ranging from a professional ballerina to two secretaries in New York who used the book to help build a billion dollar advertising company from scratch.
Definitely, a recommended read.