Rituals have been one of the most controversial aspects of Indian society. But they are not only spoken of here. Almost every civilisation has had its version of rituals. Today’s hatred towards rituals stems from their misuse rather than their use. Every activity had a purpose and when its purpose was over, it had to be dropped. But when society holds on to rituals beyond its purposeful life, it decays and creates problems. This has happened a lot in Indian culture.
Thousands of rituals are spoken of in the ancient Indian literature (Vedas). But before we read about them randomly and dismiss them as useless or mindless, we should give credit to their creators. We should take effort to understand who created them, why was it created, in what context was it created and what was their intentions in laying them down, etc? Without understanding all of this, dismissing them is like a having sparkling diamonds and throwing them away suggesting that it is, after all a variation of carbon!
Rituals were created to build discipline. This was a step towards making ourselves eligible for higher knowledge. Without this we may hurt ourselves in receiving knowledge prematurely. It is like trying to do a doctoral level program without having gone to college or studied that subject and its existing literature base at all. That is why the academic community insists on going through a literature survey before beginning any research work at the doctoral level.
How is all this relevant to the majority of us?
We must create our own list of rituals with a purpose. If we are writers we can create routines and rituals to ensure our focus remains on our writing. Many artists had their rituals as non negotiable. Here is the review of a book about them: https://rajshankar.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/books-and-me-daily-rituals/ This enabled them see success.
Entrepreneurs have had successful habits and routines. Some never sat at their offices, but spent time meeting customers. Some spend their time building amazing products and ignoring the markets. Some went behind maximising profitability, some behind creating spectacular products and even some behind delightful services. None the less, all of them held on to some non negotiable routines / rituals / habits and stayed consistent with them.
Was this then the reason for their spectacular success and achievements? If so, why not use rituals as a tool in our budding ventures as well? Why not keep rituals to their intended reasons and ensure everyone following them, does it for the spirit behind them, rather than the mechanics. This can result in big achievements for your start-up.
Think about it!